Summer Produce Guide with Grateful Grazer

Jun 14

Stocking your kitchen with seasonal fruits and vegetables is one of the easiest ways to eat healthier while supporting the environment. Need some summer-cooking inspiration? Here are the best dishes to make with your next farmers-market haul.

ZUCCHINI

Zucchini Noodle Spaghetti Salad by Sinful Nutrition is a quick and easy healthy side dish for summer potlucks or cookouts!

Zucchini has a slightly sweet flavor and soft, tender texture. It’s delicious baked, grilled, grated, or spiralized. Eat the peel for extra fiber and less food waste! Try pairing summer squash with fresh basil, dill, garlic, lemon, olive oil, or fresh tomatoes. It’s great for soups and pasta dishes!

BERRIES

Gorgeous weather needs a perfect side dish, and it’s this delectable Spring Raspberry Salad by C It Nutritionally!

Summer is the best season to fill up on fresh strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Try poaching, baking, or serving them raw. All berries taste great with chocolate, yogurt, ginger, lemon, peaches, or wine. To extend the lifespan of your fresh berries, discard any damaged or moldy pieces before storing them on a towel-lined plate in the fridge.

Recipes to try:

TOMATO

Roasted Tomato Avocado Toasts by Grateful Grazer are perfect for parties and leisurely weekend days.

Fresh, summer tomatoes are decidedly sweet with a delicious, juicy texture. They can be baked, broiled, grilled, pureed, roasted, or served raw. Try tomatoes with fresh basil, beans, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, or thyme. Don’t store fresh tomatoes in the refrigerator! Keep them on the countertop (in a paper bag if they aren’t yet ripe—the bag traps natural ethylene gas to speed up the ripening process).

Recipes to try:

PEACHES

Peach Panzanella Salad by Jessica Levinson is a twist on a classic Tuscan summer dish.

Sweet, juicy peaches pair perfectly with berries, cinnamon, cream, ginger, honey, lemon, mint, or chopped nuts. This stone fruit is delicious raw, but you can also bake, broil, grill, poach, puree, roast, or sauté. Look for lighter-skinned peaches to use in desserts (they tend to be the sweetest). You can also use the paper-bag trick (above) to soften under-ripe peaches. (Adding an apple to the bag will speed things up even more!)

Recipes to try:

CHERRIES

A Cherry Caprese Pasta Salad by Byte Sized Nutrition would make the perfect addition to your next BBQ or summer party!

Cherries are another stone fruit that peaks during summer months. Try cherries baked, poached, stewed, or raw. You can also dry them to use all year long. Pair fresh cherries with almonds, goat cheese, chocolate, cinnamon, or vanilla. In the fridge, store them in an open bag or bowl to maximize freshness and flavor.

Recipes to try:

CORN

Tempeh Sheet Pan Nachos by The Grateful Grazer are a quick and easy way to satisfy your Mexican food cravings and load up on veggies.

Sweet corn is a starchy vegetable that’s also a whole grain. It’s best enjoyed the same day you buy it—try baking or grilling with the husks still attached. Fresh, summer corn is delicious with black beans, peppers, cilantro, garlic, lime, onions, or tomatoes. Try using it in chowders or fresh salsa!

Recipes to try:

CUCUMBER

Savory Miso Kale Breakfast Bowls by The Grateful Grazer are an easy way to turn leftovers into a delicious breakfast.

With a slightly sweet flavor and crisp, refreshing texture, raw cucumbers are made for hot, summer days. Serve them with feta cheese, chives, cilantro, dill, lemon, tomatoes, vinegar, or yogurt. They can also be pickled or sautéed!

Recipes to try:

Which fruits and vegetables are you stocking in your kitchen this summer?

 

Learn more about healthy delicious foods from Stephanie on her blog, The Grateful Grazer.

Stephanie McKercher, MS, RDN is a recipe developer and non-diet media dietitian based in Denver, Colorado. She's the author and photographer behind the fruit and veggie-forward food blog, The Grateful Grazer. To see what she’s been up to lately, follow her on Instagram.