June is here and the official start to Summer is around the corner. Not only is Summer a lush, green, sunshine-filled time for us when we spend more time outdoors and have more energy thanks to that sunny Vitamin D, it is also a fantastic time for colorful, healthy produce! Eating seasonally is not only ideal for eating fresh, robust-flavored produce, but it is also healthier, saves money, and more!
OVERALL BENEFITS OF EATING SEASONALLY
- MORE FLAVOR: Flavor is sacrificed when produce is picked before it is fully ripe. If your produce is coming from across the US or another country, it is picked too early and then packed up to travel, oftentimes sprayed with chemicals to prevent ripening when on-the-move.
- MORE NUTRIENT-DENSE: When produce is picked before it’s ripe (in order for it to travel long distances,) the nutrients do not fully develop in the flesh of the fruit. When picked too early, they don’t have the sun to grow them into their full nutrient potential, which limits their full health benefits.
- SAVES $: Produce in season is more abundant, so it is less per pound in the store. If you are buying produce that is out of season, it comes from a long distance and has added cost for the travel or measures taken to grow it locally in a greenhouse during off-seasons.
- COMMUNITY: buying seasonally is most likely also buying local. That is a great way to support local CSAs, Farmer’s, and businesses.
SUMMER’S SEASONAL PRODUCE LIST
HERBS, SPICES/PEPPERS, + GREENS
Butter lettuce is amazing to use as a wrap for tacos or as a low-carb bread alternative in so many circumstances!
BERRIES: Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, + Cherries
STONE FRUITS: Peaches, Apricots, Nectarines, Plums
For info on the many health benefits of peaches, check out my blog
I love adding stone fruits to my salads, so using peach slices in a simple chicken salad is a fantastic way to change-it-up and add a dose of seasonal produce to a meal.
MELONS: Cantaloupe, Honeydew, + Watermelon
For plenty of refreshing watermelon recipes like grilled watermelon-feta salad, watermelon salsa, watermelon sorbet, and more, check out the health benefits blog for the summertime melon
Try my healthier take on Elotes for a great corn recipe this summer!
- Try using cauliflower, and purple cauliflower at that, with this creative Cauliflower “Grits” breakfast bowl- made with eggs and oh-so creamy and good!
- I also use cauliflower to make a keto-approved, low-carb Everything Bagel recipe
- For the health benefits of purple cauliflower
GREEN BEANS + LONG BEANS
I use radishes ALL of the time, but 2 of the more creative recipes using my favorite watermelon radishes are:
TOMATOES + TOMATILLOS
This easy to make instant pot recipe is a great #tacotuesday summer dish: Chicken Verde