The time is ripe to pick from the season's bounty of fresh, flavorful, colorful fruits and vegetables.
What's in Season?
In the summer months, it's easier than ever to enjoy fruits and vegetables because an abundant and delicious array awaits you in the produce department. That's good news, because many people fall short of getting recommended amounts for good health. Generally, most adults should aim for 1½ to 2 cups of fruit and 2½ to 3 cups of vegetables each day.
The chart below shows fruits and vegetables in season from June through August. Of course, locally-grown options vary, depending on where you live.
|Fresh, in-season fruits||Fresh, in-season vegetables|
|Crenshaw Melon||Green Peas|
|Figs ||Lima Beans|
|Honeydew Melons||Sweet Corn|
|Persian Melons|| |
Source: Fruits & Veggies—More Matters™
Making the Most of Summer Produce
These ideas add a delicious new twist to some old favorites:
Grill zucchini, yellow squash, red peppers, sweet onions, eggplant or other vegetables. Offer as a side dish or layer between slices of crusty whole-grain bread as part of a sandwich.
Slice peaches or nectarines in half and remove the pit. Brush with vegetable oil, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and grill cut side-down for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with a little crumbled blue cheese and chopped walnuts.
Toss a fresh fruit salad of melon balls, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, pitted cherries, and other favorite fruits. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a teaspoon of sugar to help fruits release sweetness.
Drizzle steamed green beans with reduced-fat Italian dressing. Or blanch beans, toss with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and slivered almonds, and sauté until tender.
Make salad the main course. Toss up a spinach salad with sliced strawberries, sliced grilled chicken, a sprinkle of walnuts, and a drizzle of salad dressing.
Sauté beet greens in a touch of olive oil and salt, or serve raw and chopped in a green salad. Or, roast beets and let them cool until they're comfortable to touch. Then, slip off the skins, and dice and toss the beets with vinaigrette dressing. Serve room-temperature as a side dish.
Layer sliced tomatoes, bocconcini (fresh mozzarella balls) and fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Grill corn in the husk. Soak ears in cold water for about three hours, then grill for 15 minutes. Shuck corn and give it a kick by sprinkling with cumin and chili powder instead of the usual salt and pepper. Or, slice kernels off the cob and mix with black beans, diced jicama and red peppers, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and a dash of olive oil, cumin and chili powder.
Enjoy fresh peas in salads and stir-fries or as a snack.
Puree raspberries with olive oil to use as a dressing for salads and grilled vegetables.