My favourite factor about summer season? While there’s a lot to select from (the nice and cozy temps, the lengthy nights, and the season’s simple, breezy vitality), I’ve to say—the produce wins out. From vibrant peppers and candy tomatoes to gem-like berries and juicy watermelon, meals merely tastes higher. With June’s welcome arrival, it’s now time to add extra selection to your plate. Think recent strawberries, aromatic basil, and grilled corn.
With a couple of easy swaps, it isn’t laborious to let your creativity run free in the kitchen. New recipes and scrumptious flavors are right here to encourage, plus an uptick in nutritional vitamins and minerals is all the time a pleasant bonus. So, let’s discover out what fruits and greens are in season in summer season, how to purchase them, and what to prepare dinner with them.
(Psst… In want of extra recipe inspo? We’ve received you lined—it’s out of doors entertaining season, in spite of everything.)
Featured picture by Michelle Nash.
Eat the Rainbow
Speaking of well being, summer season produce is full of antioxidants and phytochemicals. It’s colourful for a cause! Bright colours in pure meals (tomatoes, carrots, leafy greens, and so forth.) comprise polyphenols—and polyphenols assist forestall illness. These compounds are discovered in every kind of crops. Consuming them commonly has been related to a lowered threat of many chronic illnesses.
In most circumstances, the deeper the colour, the extra nutritious the meals. For instance, blueberries assist hold your thoughts sharp, and tomatoes are linked to a decrease in prostate cancer. To get the utmost disease-fighting energy of those phytochemicals, eat the rainbow. And in the summer season, consuming the rainbow tastes so good.
What Is Seasonal Eating?
Seasonal consuming is consuming meals at peak harvest. Said otherwise: It’s recent produce that’s in-season, whether or not you purchase it or develop it. For instance, stone fruit shines from May by way of October—peak summer season produce. Digging right into a stone fruit salad with basil, in June, is seasonal consuming. Grow your personal cucumbers? Et voilà, you’re consuming with the seasons.
Why You Should Eat With the Seasons
Thanks to modern-day agriculture and know-how, meals is well transported everywhere in the world. Because of this, most metropolitan grocery shops carry the identical produce, year-round (i.e., apples in spring and humungous strawberries… all the time). While this aids in entry, it makes it tougher to distinguish between what’s grown in season, versus not. You can use this Seasonal Food Guide to study extra about what fruits and veggies are grown throughout the United States, by month.
At any fee, there are such a lot of advantages to consuming with the seasons.
- Foods devour throughout their acceptable seasons are extra nutritionally dense. In a research evaluating nutritional vitamins in broccoli, it was discovered broccoli that’s grown in the autumn (its peak season) had extra vitamin C than broccoli grown in the course of the spring. Beyond diet, fruits and veggies cultivated throughout their pure rising season have way more taste and ripeness.
- Eating seasonally helps you assist and join together with your area people. Across the United States, there are lots of CSAs (community-supported agriculture), in which you should purchase a field of fruits, veggies, and proteins which can be grown in season. That stated, “locally grown” indicators or stickers on the grocery retailer will point out what’s in season.
- Eating seasonally is extra economical. When a fruit or veggie is in season, there may be an abundance. In flip, it’s obtainable at a cheaper price. Also, produce grown shut to residence prices much less cash to transport it, culminating in a decrease general price at buy (additionally a win for the surroundings). Lastly, while you assist native farmers and growers, that cash stays in the group and subsequently helps stimulate native economies.
What Fruits and Vegetables Are in Season in Summer?
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How to Buy Basil
There are a couple of totally different kinds of basil, however you need to select a flagrant, voluptuous bunch with shiny inexperienced, unbruised leaves. Sweet basil is hottest, however Thai basil is pungent and has purple hues. To hold basil recent, put together it like a flower bouquet.
What to Cook with Basil
4-Ingredient No-Churn Mango Basil Ice Cream
Why We Love It: Deliciously indulgent ice cream minus the dairy? We’re here for it! Forget your reservations when it comes to making your own ice cream—this recipe couldn’t be easier. Simply blend up the mango, coconut milk, and maple syrup, add your chopped basil, and freeze.
Hero Ingredient: With four stand-out ingredients, it’s hard to choose. But we love that the maple syrup gives you a naturally-sweet scoop and lets the mango flavor shine.
Get the recipe for 4-Ingredient No-Churn Mango Basil Ice Cream.
How to Buy Bell Peppers
When it comes to buying bell peppers, select firm, crisp bell peppers that feel dense. You want to avoid any that are shriveled or have soft spots. Depending on the recipe you’re making, size and shape matter. For example, choose round, block-shaped peppers if you’re making a stuffed peppers recipe.
What to Cook With Bell Peppers
Samosa Stuffed Bell Peppers
Why We Love It: When bell peppers take center stage, you know you’re in for a treat. Plus, with a vitamin-packed vessel holding the dish together, you know you’re getting all the good stuff in one totally-addicting package. Any bell peppers will do (yellow, red, orange, and green). If you can find heirloom bell peppers at your local grocery store or farmer’s market, they are equal parts beautiful as they are packed with vitamin C. Soft, summery sweetness awaits.
Get the recipe for Samosa Stuffed Bell Peppers.
How to Buy Blueberries
When you buy fresh blueberries, most come in a plastic or cardboard carton. Look for berries that are firm, dry, and smooth-skinned. Like bell peppers, you don’t want shriveled or soft spots. Although size isn’t an indicator of peak harvest, color is. Blueberries should be a deep purple-blue hue.
What to Cook With Blueberries
Blueberry Swirl Coconut Milk Popsicles from Occasionally Eggs
Why We Love It: These creamy vegan blueberry coconut milk popsicles are swirled with sweet berries and tart lime zest for a beautiful, fresh summer dessert. This dessert is surprisingly simple, with just under seven ingredients. Using full-fat coconut milk and fresh blueberries is key. That said, any type of berry will do.
Hero Ingredient: While you’re welcome to use any type of yogurt for the base, coconut yogurt is a great, no-dairy option that lends a little tang to your popsicles, balancing out the maple syrup’s sweetness.
How to Buy Cantaloupe
Every wonder how to tell if a cantaloupe is fresh? Same—and I can guarantee we’re not alone. The best wait to pick a cantaloupe is by smell. It should have a sweet, slightly musky scent. A good cantaloupe also feels heavy for its size, along with a rind that resembles raised netting. When you press on the stem (or where the stem was removed), it should give slightly when pressed with your thumb.
What to Cook With Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe and Mozzarella Caprese Salad from Foodie Crush
Why We Love It: This is a simple twist on the classic Caprese salad. Sweet balls of cantaloupe sub for tomatoes and pair nicely with salty shaved prosciutto. This recipe is brimming with flavor and texture, and it packs a protein punch.
Hero Ingredient: We’re suckers for a sweet-savory salad, and the lightly acidic, white balsamic vinegar really sends that home.
How to Buy Cherries
Cherries are truly nature’s candy. It’s impossible to eat just one. When buying cherries, I prefer grabbing a basket from the farmer’s market. Look for shiny skins with the stems still attached, and try to avoid any with brown spots. Most importantly, you want firm cherries as they will continue to ripen once you bring them home. Cherries perish quickly, so store them in the refrigerator.
What to Cook With Cherries
Cherry Crisp from Well Plated With Erin
Why We Love It: It wouldn’t be summer without a cherry crisp. While everyone has their own favorite crisp or crumble, this recipe will become your new staple. Promise. It’s nourishing, delicious, and has an addicting crumble topping. Serve it warm, of course, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Hero Ingredient: While there’s plenty of room in our hearts for a filling that truly delivers (you can thank the cherries for that!), a crisp isn’t a crisp without a golden brown topper. The brown sugar’s caramelized goodness makes it happen.
How to Buy Corn
Like cherries, my favorite way to buy corn is at the farmer’s market. If that isn’t an option, look for corn husks that are bright green, tightly wrapped against the corn. They should also be slightly damp. Make sure the husks aren’t starting to feel dry. Double-check for small brown holes, as those will indicate insects and should be avoided.
What to Cook With Corn
Roasted Corn, Chickpea, and Avocado Salad With Poblano Vinaigrette
Why We Love It: This is the perfect summer get-together salad. Whether you’re meeting friends for a picnic or can’t wait to celebrate your new backyard, this Mexican corn salad features all the good stuff—roasted poblano peppers, a good glug of fruity olive oil, and all the spicy, fresh herbs to give this salad all the summery vibes.
Hero Ingredient: It’ll always be the avocado.
Get the recipe for Roasted Corn, Chickpea, and Avocado Salad With Poblano Vinaigrette.
How to Buy Cucumbers
Look for firm cucumbers, without blemishes or soft spots (which can indicate that they’ve started to rot). Cucumbers should be dark green without any yellow spots.
What to Cook With Cucumbers
Tomato, Avocado, & Cucumber Salad With Feta
Why We Love It: Once all of the ingredients are chopped, this recipe comes together in no time. We love the crunchy-creamy interplay of the cucumbers and avocado, plus there’s nothing better than taking a big bite of salty, briny feta. This salad has a light and fresh flavor that pairs well with just about any summer main. You’re also welcome to enjoy it on its own, too.
Hero Ingredient: Pickled red onions are the secret magical ingredient that doubles down on both flavor and color. Their pinky hue is just pure joy.
How to Buy Eggplant
Eggplants should have smooth, shiny skin, are uniform in color and feel heavy for their size. To test for ripeness, lightly press your finger against the eggplant’s skin. If it leaves an imprint, the eggplant is ripe. Smaller eggplants tend to be sweeter, less bitter, and have fewer seeds.
What to Cook With Eggplant
Stuffed Roasted Eggplants
Why We Love It: Hear us out—this is the eggplant recipe to end all eggplant recipes. Roasting the eggplant whole gets the skins crispy and caramelized, and the center is a deliciously creamy treat. Truly egg-ceptional. With this stuff-and-roast technique in your back pocket, you’ll never have to wonder what to do with your bumper crop of eggplant ever again.
Hero Ingredient: The options are honestly endless when it comes to how you choose to stuff your eggplant. Figs, fresh mozzarella, pine nuts, and more. But our favorite? A simple quinoa stuffing will keep you satisfied with an easy, mostly hands-off dish. Vegetarians, rejoice!
How to Buy Peaches
The best peaches have an even background color (golden-yellow or creamy-yellow), a well-defined crease, and are neither mushy nor too hard. In other words, avoid peaches that are green around the stem or have shriveled up. Also, pick them up and smell them. They should have a slightly sweet aroma and are round. A peach becomes round as it ripens.
What to Cook With Peaches
Honey-Grilled Peaches With Ice Cream
Why We Love It: If you haven’t thrown peaches on the grill, you’re missing out. It’s truly game-changing. While any (and all) stone fruit works here, the combination of peaches and cream is equally delicious as it is nostalgic. This dessert is also perfect for friends with dietary restrictions—it’s naturally gluten-free and easily made vegan.
Hero Ingredient: This is pretty light and virtuous as far as sweet treats go. But drizzling the peaches in honey after taking them off the grill makes this the summer dessert of our dreams.
How to Buy Tomatoes
The difference between a winter and summer tomato is night and day. Nothing compares to a juicy, middle-of-July tomato. When buying tomatoes, look for bright colors and smooth skin. Avoid tomatoes with blemishes or dark spots. The tomato, like most produce, should have a good weight for its size. You want it to be firm yet soft and very aromatic (smell where the stem was attached).
What to Cook With Tomatoes
Summer Spaghetti With Tomatoes, Burrata, & Basil
Why We Love It: The search is over: this is your new favorite summer dinner. This dish couldn’t be more Italian—not only in flavor but in its pairing of ease and elegance as well. Camille created this recipe to satisfy many (Mediterranean-inspired) cravings. But number one on her list? Finding all the ways to make burrata a staple in our everyday diet. Tossing the pasta, veggies, and cheese together helps the burrata coat the dish in a creamy daydream. Dinner ASMR, delivered.
Hero Ingredient: Everything burrata touches turns to gold.
How to Buy Watermelon
Fear not: Buying a watermelon is easier than you think. First, look for the yellow spot. Watermelons develop a splotch where they rest on the ground. When this splotch is creamy yellow, it’s ripe. If possible, give it a good tap. Tap the underbelly of the watermelon. A ripe one will have a deep hollow sound, which means it is brimming with juice and at the peak of its ripeness.
What to Cook With Watermelon
Watermelon Salad With Feta from Love & Lemons
Why We Love It: This simple, refreshing watermelon salad recipe is the answer to hot summer days. With feta, avocado, mint, and lime, it’s the perfect mix of savory and savory. It takes minutes to throw together, and it tastes incredibly refreshing. Try it once, and you’ll be making it all summer long.
Hero Ingredient: When June hits, we are craving mint’s fresh zing in all our dishes, desserts, and drinks. In this recipe, the herb pulls all the ingredients together. The result? A salad that tastes just like a summer day.
This post was originally published on May 29, 2021, and has since been updated.