Summer time and the produce is fresh
It’s the middle of July – which means 2017 is more than half way over! July also means pool days, picnics and farmers’ markets. I’m sure everyone can name a few summer fruits and veggies that are ripe and ready to eat, but how about challenging yourself to try something new? Let’s go beyond the strawberries and melons and give these other fruits and veggies a try. Here is a short list of 6 summer ripe produce ideas that are ready for consumption that you may not be super familiar with. Head on down to your local farmers’ market and check them out. Try adding one or more to your weekly meal planning today!
Okra is a green seed pod that is harvested from a flowering plant and is ready to eat in the summertime. It is low in calories and high in fiber – just what you need for digestive health. It is rich in potassium, calcium, folic acid and both Vitamins B and C. You can roast slices of okra in olive oil and salt, or cut them lengthwise and add them to a stir-fry or vegetable medley for a nice and bright addition to your summertime BBQs.
These capsaicin-filled veggies are a must have this summer. With so many varieties, you are bound to find at least one at a farmers’ market. They are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and beta-carotene and can add a ton of flavor to any meal. Consume them raw with a salad or humus, or grill them with your burgers. You can chop them up and they are perfect in you egg scramble and don’t forget to add them to some homemade salsa. YUM.
A shallot is a type of onion, but it looks more so like garlic. They pack a flavorful punch when added to a recipe. They are a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and most importantly, as an antioxidant. If you are substituting shallots for an onion (which you can do!), just use half the amount of shallots for the same flavor. Try adding them to soups, pasta dishes or even pickling them!
These little green tomato-looking fruits are tart and tasty. Tomatillos contain 20% (20!) of your daily requirements of Vitamin C. They are great sources of niacin, fiber, potassium, Vitamin K and so much more. Can you say “optimal nutrition”?? My favorite tomatillo recipe? Salsa Verde – hands down. They are also great for making soups, sauces, or even in your bloody mary!
Mate a blackberry with a raspberry and you get – boysenberries! They are jam-packed with Vitamin C and fiber so eat them up to help reduce your risk for certain cancers. Their deep color let you know that they are also high in antioxidants to help fight free radicals and keep your immune system top-notch. Add them to your lunchtime picnic, smoothies or try them in this curried chicken recipe.
Figs have been around for a LONG time – and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. They are amazing sources of fiber and minerals (think magnesium, manganese, calcium, potassium and more). They are good sources of vitamin K also, which is a necessity for blood health. Try these fruits dried all year-long. But a fresh fig is sweet and delish. Add them to a summer salad, to your quinoa mix or add them to a fun summer pizza!
What are you waiting for? Get your summer shopping on today!