Eating With The Season: Summer Edition

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and summer is (almost) officially here! 

There is no doubt that this change of seasons brings a lot to look forward to. Along with longer days, warmer weather, and family vacations, the arrival of summer also brings the beginning of the biggest growing season of the year, which means there has never been a better time to start eating with the season by buying fresh, local produce.  

Why Should You Choose In-Season Produce?

Each new season brings more than a change in weather patterns—it also brings an array of thriving ‘in-season’ crops that are ready to be harvested. While you can walk into the grocery store and get nearly any produce you want no matter what time of year it is, adding in-season produce to your plate comes with a variety of benefits for your body, your wallet, and the planet. 

Benefits For Your Body

Buying in-season produce means that every fruit and vegetable you eat is fresh and was harvested at its peak ripeness. Because of this, your taste buds will be delighted by how fresh and flavorful each bite is. In addition to that, in-season produce, especially if purchased from local farmers, is less likely to be processed or treated with chemicals. Not only does this mean you won’t have to worry about ingesting harmful chemicals, but you also can rest assured that each bite is providing your body with the maximum amount of nutrients possible.   

Benefits for Your Wallet

In-season produce is often more affordable. This is because farmers are able to harvest a large amount of the produce when the crop is in season, which increases the supply and lowers the price. Additionally, sourcing your in-season produce locally can further reduce the cost since local farmers don’t have to calculate storage and travel costs into the price.  

Benefits for the Environment

If you are looking for new ways to reduce your carbon footprint, buying in-season produce is an easy way to do so. When produce is in-season, it doesn’t require as many chemicals or energy for storage and travel which makes it significantly more eco-friendly than out-of-season options.

Top Summer Produce Picks

So which fruits and veggies are in-season during the summer months? Quite a few actually!

In fact, summer is the easiest time of year to eat with the season because there are so many options. As long as you aren’t choosing items like cranberries or winter squash, you almost can’t go wrong. But if you’re the type that needs a list before you head out to buy groceries, here are some of our favorite fruits and veggies to enjoy during the summer months.  

Summer Fruit Picks

  • Apricots. These fragrant sweet fruits are full of important antioxidants and vitamins, and they are in season from late spring to early fall.  
  • Blueberries. Loaded with vitamins and fiber, these delicious fruits are harvested all throughout the summer. They can be added to yogurt bowls and smoothies or you can even use them to make homemade waffles or syrup. 
  • Blackberries. Starting in early summer, these fiber and antioxidant-loaded berries are available in abundance. Whether you pick them yourself or buy them from the store, you can use them in your smoothies, make homemade jam with them, or freeze them to use in a delicious pie during the holidays. 
  • Limes. The perfect fruit to have on hand to make summertime popsicles, salad dressings, or refreshing limeade. These juicy summer fruits can perk up nearly any recipe you add them to. 
  • Strawberries. These summertime favorites have a split growing season, which means they are often available from late spring all the way until early fall. Full of antioxidants and polyphenols, strawberries make great additions to salads or smoothies.
  • Watermelon. This summer staple is available all summer long. Loaded with a variety of vitamins and antioxidants, you can keep it on hand for smoothies and fruit salads, or you can enjoy it by itself.  
  • Cherries. Another summertime fruit that is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. Eat them by themselves, make them into jam, or save them to use in sweet treats during the cooler months. 
  • Peaches. While available from late spring to early fall, peaches are best during the hot summer months. In addition to slicing one up as a snack, consider grabbing a few extra to make some peach jam or peach tea.  

Summer Veggie Picks

  • Zucchini. Whether you use it to make noodles or serve it as a side dish, this vegetable is rich in vitamins and minerals and is best during the summer months. 
  • Bell Peppers. Full of phytopigments, vitamins, and minerals, bell peppers begin to hit their peak around the middle of the summer. These versatile vegetables can be used in nearly any dish, including salads, dips, and pizzas. 
  • Okra. These fuzzy green veggies are great sources of vitamins and antioxidants and can be served sauteed, grilled, or pan-roasted. 
  • Tomatoes. This barbecue must-have is harvested all summer long. Tomatoes contain many important vitamins and minerals, making them great ingredients for hamburgers, salsa, pasta dishes, and so much more.  
  • Cucumber. With important vitamins and minerals, as well as high water content, cucumbers are fantastic summer veggies. Put them in your salads, serve them as a side dish, or add them to a glass of water. 
  • Eggplant. This versatile vegetable is chock-full of fiber and antioxidants and can be used in everything from salads to stirfries. 

Embrace The Abundance of Summer

Nature has a lot to offer during the summer months. Embrace it all by incorporating more in-season produce into your life. Not only will you get to enjoy delectable dishes, but you’ll also get to reap the benefits of eating with the season. It really is a win-win, which is why we consider it part of living the #NewEarthLife.

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