Farmer's Market Guide

At PlantBelly, we think that fresh fruits and veggies should take up most of your refrigerator. Forget the “veggie drawer” - fill a couple shelves with nutritious, delicious garden bounty. A good starting point is with the 🌈. (Because even if life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, your magical plant-based kitchen can be.) It’s true - incorporating lots of vibrant colors is a surefire path to some vivacious veggie shelves.

That’s partly because of a little something called phytonutrients. They’re compounds that plants produce, and they give fruits and veggies their various colors. And beyond their rainbow effects, phytonutrients are associated with an array of different health benefits.

Tips to make the most of your produce bounty >

Start building your own nutritious rainbow with:

Glorious Greens

Green produce has so much going for it. Not only is it anti-inflammatory and full of antioxidants, but many green fruits and veggies are packed with fiber, folate, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin K.

Our favorite greens are those of the leafy variety (like chard, collard, kale, and spinach), because they’re among the healthiest foods on the planet. How’s this for a mind-blowing fact – in a CDC study that examined the nutrient density of almost 50 fruits and veggies, 17 of the top 20 were leafy greens. It’s enough to make other veggies green with envy!

Get Started With:

  • Leafy greens: Chard, Collard, Kale, Mustard Greens, Spinach
    → Typically high in: Vitamins A and C, antioxidants, fiber, and iron.
  • Cruciferous Greens: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Bok Choy, Cabbage
    → Typically high in: Folate (vitamin B9), fiber, and vitamins C, E and K
  • Fresh Herbs: Basil, Cilantro, Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme
  • Green Fruits: Green Apples, Kiwis, Limes, Pears
  • More Green Goodness: Artichokes, Asparagus, Avocados, Cucumbers, Green Beans, Green Bell Peppers

Yellows & Oranges

Many yellow and orange fruits and veggies get their color from alpha- and beta-carotene, which our bodies use to convert into Vitamin A. Vitamin A is good for our skin and vision, and research suggests that it lowers risks of cancer and heart disease. This brightly colored produce also tends to have lots of fiber, folate (Vitamin B9), potassium, and Vitamin C.

Get Started With:

  • Squashes: Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, Summer Squash
  • Root Veggies: Carrots, Ginger, Sweet Potato, Yam
    → Typically high in: Vitamins A & C, potassium, and fiber
  • Citrus Fruits: Grapefruits, Lemons, Oranges, Tangerines
    → Typically high in: Vitamins C
  • Stone Fruits: Apricots, Mangoes, Nectarines, Peaches
    → Typically high in: Vitamins A and C, fiber, and potassium
  • More orange ‘n yellow goodness: Bananas, Cantaloupe, Corn, Pineapple, Yellow/Orange Bell Peppers

Radiant Reds

Red fruits and vegetables have two phytonutrients – lycopene and anthocyanin – to thank for their rosy hues. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that may fight high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even cancer. And the vast majority of lycopene that Americans consume (around 85%) actually comes from tomatoes and tomato-based products.

Anthocyanin is another antioxidant, and studies suggest that it may offer anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits. All told, these ruby reds have a lot to offer.

Get Started With:

  • Root Veggies: Beets & radishes
    → Typically high in: Vitamin C, fiber, and folate
  • Berries: Cranberries, Raspberries, Strawberries
    → Typically high in: Fiber, vitamin C, and manganese
  • Stone Fruits: Apricots, Mangoes, Nectarines, Peaches
    → Typically high in: Vitamins A and C, fiber, and potassium
  • More Red Goodness: Apples, Cherries, Red Bell Pepper, Red Potatoes, Pomegranates, Tomatoes, Watermelon

Powerful Purples & Brilliant Blues

Like red produce, purple and blue fruits and veggies contain anthocyanin. So not only do they bring those same antioxidant-packed health benefits, but they also make for some strikingly vibrant and beautiful meals. Purple and blue produce is somewhat rarer than other colors in the edible plant kingdom, hence our shorter list for them.

Get Started With:

  • Berries: Acai Berries, Blackberries, Cherries, Red Bell Pepper, Red Potatoes, Pomegranates, Tomatoes, Watermelon
  • More Purple ‘N Blue Goodness: Eggplant, Figs, Plums, Purple Cabbage, Purple Carrots, Purple Cauliflower, Purple Potatoes

Wholesome Whites

You may associate white foods with simple, low-nutrient carbs like white bread and pasta. But that’s not true when it comes to white fruits and veggies! (We’re using “white” loosely here because the produce typically has tints of gray, yellow, or brown.)

White produce indicates the presence of the phytonutrients anthoxanthin (which research suggests is excellent for our immune systems and may reduce the risk of stroke and cancer), and allicin (which is believed to be heart-healthy). White food may be void of color, but it’s far from empty when it comes to nutrients.

Get Started With:

  • Allium (onion family) Veggies: Garlic, Onions, Leeks, Shallots
  • More White Goodness: Cauliflower, Jicama, Mushrooms (which are a fungi rather than a veggie, but we just couldn’t leave ‘em out), White Potatoes
  • Root Veggies: Parsnips, Turnip

That’s it! So head to your local farmers market or favorite grocer and get colorful.

Produce Tips & Guidelines —

A short guide to buying, storing and making the most of your produce bounty.

Buy What's In Season

Fruits and vegetables bought in their season will always be the very best versions of themselves - they'll look, feel, smell and taste SO much better than when purchased out of season. Tomatoes are a great example! Summer is the time when these beauties shine as they require lots of sunshine and a warm climate to flourish. Even when grown in the most sophisticated artificial conditions, a tomato won't taste nearly as good as it will in the summer months. The best way to know what's in season? Head to your local farmer's market and check out what's on display!

Certified Organic

We recommend buying organic fruits and veggies whenever possible. While organic produce is a bit more expensive, it's a positive commitment to your health and the health of our environment. These fruits and veggies are non-GMO and have not been treated with harmful pesticides or fertilizers.


Getting up close and personal with the fruits and veggies will let your senses do what they do best - guide you towards the good stuff. Look over the fruit for signs of ripeness or any damage or bruising. Touch to get a sense of ripeness as well. Your sense of smell is a great tool to find the fruits that are the sweetest and a whiff of an earthy mushroom may very well inspire your next dish.

Preparation & Storage

It's wise to give your produce a quick wash before eating or cooking. Chances are that many hands have touched the fruits and veggies you've just brought home. A quick rinse will remove any dust, dirt or insects. After washing leafy greens, be sure to pat dry with paper towels or spin in a salad spinner to remove the extra water that can leave you with soggy greens and sad salads.

Knowing where and how to store your market haul will extend the shelf-life and freshness of your fruits and vegetable.

FRIDGE: Crisper drawers help maintain the freshness of your produce. Store fruits and veggies separately as some fruits release ethylene gas that can spoil veggies.

Fruits: Apples, Berries, Grapes, Cherries, Lemons/Limes
Veggies: Asparagus, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumbers,Eggplant
Delicate Herbs (Store these in a glass of water): Cilantro, Parsley, Mint
Hardier Herbs (store these rolled in a damp cloth): Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary

COUNTERTOP: To maximize the flavor and sweetness of the following fruits, keep them on your counter - keep an eye on them as they ripen and be sure to enjoy before they pass their prime: Avocados, Bananas, Melons, Tomatoes, Mangoes, Kiwis, Peaches, Pears, Oranges

PANTRY: Store the following in a cool, dry and dark place: Onions, Garlic, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Butternut, Delicata, Spaghetti and Acorn squashes.

Cuttings & Scraps

Scraps and leftover cuttings (seeds, peels, and roots) can be composted or collected to make stock for some soups or sauces.Keep a container in your freezer and toss these "extras" in throughout the week - when you've amassed quite a bunch, toss them in a pot with some aromatics and water to create a flavorful vegetable broth. Bananas almost past their prime, those last few ribs of celery, wilted spinach leaves, an avocado wedge - these all can be frozen and used to bulk up your next smoothie.

Did you know that you could regrow vegetables from scraps? Here's a great