What to Look For When Buying Vegetables

I love vegetables (always have!) and it can be confusing when trying to buy the best. From Lifehacker we get a cool

Infographic Tells You What to Look For When Buying Vegetables

This Infographic Tells You What to Look For When Buying Vegetables

If you are unable to tell which tomatoes are ripe or if that lettuce is fresh, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a helpful guide on how to select vegetables at the supermarket.

We’ve talked about some of this before, but we figured it would be perfect to put it in an easy-to-scan, printable infographic format. Save it on your phone or print it out and take it to the store, and you’ll always have the freshest veggies. Check it out below.

This Infographic Tells You What to Look For When Buying VegetablesEXPAND

Other important advice while buying produce:

  • Handle produce carefully. Someone must pay for vegetables ruined by rough handling. In the long run, it will probably be you.
  • It’s a good idea to cook your vegetables as soon as you’re home, so as to make them last longer.
  • Don’t buy because of low price alone. It doesn’t pay to buy more vegetables than you can properly store in your refrigerator or use without waste. Most fresh vegetables can be stored for 2 to 5 days, except for root vegetables, which can be stored from 1 to several weeks.
  • Don’t shy away from irregular or misshapen vegetables, says WonderHowTo. They often have the best taste, according to Brian Everett of Jacob Farms/Del Cabo Organics.
  • If your tomatoes need further ripening, keep them in a warm place but not in direct sunlight. Unless they are fully ripened, do not store tomatoes in a refrigerator—the cold temperatures might keep them from ripening later on and ruin the flavor.
  • Is that corn or pumpkin ripe to eat? Here’s how to tell.
  • This infographic only covers vegetables, but we also have some advice on picking fresh, ripe fruit.

How to Buy Fresh Vegetables [PDF] | United States Department of Agriculture

Build a Healthy Salad

This is a great infographic on 8 easy steps to creating a healthy salad. Details from Cleveland Clinic:

8 Ways to Make a Super Healthy Salad (Infographic)

Experiment with flavors, textures and colors

Want to discover a simple, delicious way to get your four servings of vegetables per day? Fix a salad. Start with the right kind of greens. Choose from a broad range of veggies – or even fruit – to add color, texture and flavor. Include a healthy source of protein to satisfy your appetite. Then top it off with heart-healthy dressing. Below are tips for creating healthy, beautiful salads you can celebrate.

Top 10 Food Infographics to Hang in Your Kitchen or Save to Your Phone

These are great! And ready for you to print. From Lifehacker we get the

Top 10 Food Infographics to Hang in Your Kitchen or Save to Your Phone

Top 10 Food Infographics to Hang in Your Kitchen or Save to Your PhoneEXPAND

Sometimes, a chart or infographic is the best way to communicate complex topics—like what the different types of cuts of beef are (and how to cook them) and how to fix common cooking mistakes. Here are some of the most save- or print-worthy food graphics we’ve shared on Lifehacker.

10. Foods That Keep You Full and Prevent an Energy Crash

Top 10 Food Infographics to Hang in Your Kitchen or Save to Your Phone

This chart graphs foods based on how full they make you and whether or not they give you a sugar high (and subsequent sugar crash). Post it on your fridge to remind you to reach for oranges or apples instead of bananas, eggs instead of cereal.

9. How to Cook Anything on the Grill

Top 10 Food Infographics to Hang in Your Kitchen or Save to Your Phone

It’s always grilling season, isn’t it? Keep this chart handy by your grill to get the timing right for meats and veggies. They’re approximate times and temperatures, but that’s still a whole lot better than just winging it.

8. Pick the Most Nutritious Produce

Top 10 Food Infographics to Hang in Your Kitchen or Save to Your Phone

Not all fruits and vegetables are the same, if you’re looking to improve a certain area of health. This colorful chart highlights the nutritional qualities of different vegetables at a glance, so while you’re planning your weekly meals or shopping in the store, you can choose wisely. (Eat the rainbow!)

7. Put an End to Wasted Food

Top 10 Food Infographics to Hang in Your Kitchen or Save to Your Phone

Spoiled food is a terrible waste—of our money and, obviously, fresh food. Without guides like these, though, it’s hard to know how long foods will last before you have to throw them out. The chart identifies the “prime” storage time for various foods, on the counter, in the fridge, or in the freezer.

6. How to Eat the Rainbow

Top 10 Food Infographics to Hang in Your Kitchen or Save to Your Phone

Many of us aren’t eating enough of different produce to reap their benefits. This graphic offers suggestions for getting your fill of each color, the benefits you can expect from doing so, and other miscellaneous facts like sneaking more “greens” in your diet with green tea.

5. Turn Pantry Staples into 20+ Meals

Top 10 Food Infographics to Hang in Your Kitchen or Save to Your Phone

Having a well-stocked pantry could mean all the difference between being able to whip up a quick meal or entertain last-minute and having to run to the grocery store or order out. This flowchart/graphic turns pantry staples into multiple meals.

4. Know How to Substitute Common Cooking Ingredients

Top 10 Food Infographics to Hang in Your Kitchen or Save to Your Phone

No matter how well you think you’ve stocked your pantry, though, there’s a chance you’re working with a recipe that calls for something you just don’t have on hand. I mean, who has an endless supply of fresh buttermilk in their fridge? This graphicoffers substitutions for common and uncommon ingredients.

3. Know What You Can Turn into Compost

Top 10 Food Infographics to Hang in Your Kitchen or Save to Your Phone

You’ve got kitchen/household scraps. Can you turn them into gardening gold instead of garbage? Instead of tossing food out, check out this graphic which highlights the many trash-headed items that could be used instead to improve your garden—even dryer lint, hair/fur, or fireplace ashes.

2. Learn How to Use Your Knife

Top 10 Food Infographics to Hang in Your Kitchen or Save to Your Phone

Perhaps the most important tool in your kitchen, the knife is one instrument you’ll want to master. This graphic highlights the differences between different knives, the different kinds of cuts you might want to use, and more knife-y tips.

1. Check Cooking Times, Weight Conversions, Meat Cuts, and More in One Cheat Sheet

Top 10 Food Infographics to Hang in Your Kitchen or Save to Your Phone

Want just one cheat sheet to cover lots of cooking and shopping territory? Here you go. Useful for on your fridge and/or while selecting something to cook.

Bon appétit!

How Much is 100 Bucks Worth in Your State?

This is interesting. “Inflation” on a state-by-state (and a bonus by metro area) basis. From Lifehacker we can take a look at

<h1″>How Much $100 Is Really Worth in Every State

How Much $100 Is Really Worth in Every State
The face value of $100 is the same in all 50 states, but when it comes to actual purchasing power, your mileage may vary depending on where you are. These are the states that offer the biggest bang for your buck.

Update: Ask and you shall receive! The good folks at Tax Foundation have also put together a map for metropolitan areas due to popular demand. This map helps break down smaller regions a lot better. Check it out below!

The numbers on the map, from the Tax Foundation, represent the actual value of goods you can buy in each state compared to the national average—as calculated by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Essentially, $100 that you earn in one state is actually worth more than $100 you’d earn in another. Some of the gaps aren’t that wide, but when you consider your salary, it can make a world of difference. For example:

The same amount of dollars are worth almost 40 percent more in Mississippi than in DC, and the differences become even larger if metro area prices are considered instead of statewide averages. A person who makes $40,000 a year after tax in Kentucky would need to have after-tax earnings of $53,000 in Washington, DC just in order to have an equal standard of living, let alone feel richer.

Of course, states where your money may be worth less also tend to have higher incomes to try and balance things—so keep that in mind. Still, it’s something to consider when you’re dwelling on places to move or open a business. For more information on the relative value of $100 across the states, check the link below.

The Real Value of $100 in Each State | Tax Foundation via Consumerist

The Real Value of $100 in Metropolitan Areas | Tax Foundation

How Much $100 Is Really Worth in Every StateEXPAND

Baking 101

This handy infographic comes from our good friends at Shari’s Berries (see previous DLT posts here and here).

The Science of Baking

Ever wondered how your oven can transform a pale blob of dough into a crisp, brown sugar cookie? Or a pan full of gooey batter into a fluffy cake? It’s not magic. Well … maybe it’s a little magical, because all cooking is one part art, especially when it comes to inventing new recipes and baked treats (like cake pops). The other part, of course, is science. That’s the part that does all the browning, crisping and batter fluffing. It’s all explained in our fun and informative infographic.

The Science of Baking

More About Baking

Ready to start baking? Or would you rather eat the chocolate cake than make it? That’s fine too, as we’ve got plenty of cakes and cookies  if you need a delicious baked birthday or holiday gift in a hurry. You can also join us on Pinterest for more great baking ideas.

Universal Bread Machine Instructions

We are one of those families that has a bread machine, but seldom use it…. Maybe this will spur on some renewed interest!

From Lifehacker:

Bread machines are great appliances, but many people buy them and never use them so there is a glut of cheap used bread machines at yard sales, flea markets, and on Craigslist. The downside of paying $10 for a machine that originally went for $100 is that used bread machines usually don’t come with an owner’s manual, but if you take a little time to understand how a bread machine works you won’t actually need the manual.

Frugal living site Hillbilly Housewife has an exhaustive article that delves into understanding the three main parts of a bread machine, how to measure the bread pan capacity to plan recipes, control panel functions, crust settings, using timer and delay settings, special ingredients, and what order to add ingredients to a bread machine. Reading this article should get up and running with your new-to-you machine.

While you can certainly make homemade bread without a bread machine, I’ve found that having the machine around pays off for my family, and we’ve made a lot more bread after purchasing our $10 used bread machine that we did before it entered our lives. Photo by edvvc.

Bread Machine Basics | The Hillbilly Housewife

A Guide to Wine

I like wine. I think it has become a health food 🙂

Here are some basics about wine if you are just learning about how wonderful it is – from Visual.ly:

A Beginner

A beginner’s guide to wine which digs a little deeper than just the surface. Giving an overview of the terminology used by wine lovers, as well as the correct equipment, this is perfect for any wine or food fans. – See more at: http://visual.ly/beginners-guide-wine?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=promo#sthash.XxNpZuCM.dpuf