Summer Produce: A Fresh, Delicious, Vibrant Feast!

Summer Produce: A Fresh, Delicious, Vibrant Feast!

North American summer produce is truly one of the best parts of the season! The longer days and warmer weather bring a peak variety of local fruits and vegetable to market. It’s your best time to savour the sweetness of stone fruits, load up on fragrant herbs, and appease fickle summer appetites with thirst-quenching salads and rustic fruit galettes.

So this summer take advantage of the season and all it has to offer by stocking up on as much fresh produce as you can!

Fruits:

Berries

Berries

Strawberries continue from Spring, reaching their peak in July, while blueberries, blackberries, Saskatoon berries, and raspberries make their debut in July and August.

Tip: Opt for locally grown berries that are full and colourful. Remove those with signs of damage or bruising, then store refrigerated in a sealed container.

Melons

No summer picnic is complete without a big juicy slice of melon! Honeydew, watermelon, cantaloupe, casaba, pepino – there’s no shortage of delicious offerings.

Tip: When choosing melons, give them a gentle tap. A hollow sound indicates they’re ready to eat.

Stone Fruits

Cherries

Kick-start your summer by biting into a fresh, juicy peach. Cherries continue from spring, while apricots, peaches, plums, and nectarines start brightening store shelves in late June.

Tip: Stone fruits will keep ripening after they are picked, so it’s okay to buy them slightly firm if you don’t plan on eating them right away. Leave them on the counter to soften and maximize their amazing sweet fragrance.

Tomatoes

From large beefsteak to small cherry tomatoes, there’s a variety for almost any summer meal. They’re a scrumptious choice for fitting more antioxidant carotenoids into your diet — including lycopene!

Tip: Choose brightly coloured, vine-ripened tomatoes and store them at room temperature to maximize the flavour.

Vegetables:

Beans

Green beans, yellow wax beans, lima beans, soybeans, and many other varieties are available fresh throughout the summer. Eat them raw by the handful, or toss them in salads, stir-fries, quiches, and casseroles!

Tip: Look for crisp, unblemished beans and store them in sealed plastic containers in the fridge.

Bell Peppers

Bell Peppers

Local Bell peppers can be found fresh in late summer. Their range of green, red, orange, and yellow hues are beautiful on kebabs, pizzas, and veggie platters.

Tip: Choose firm, unwrinkled peppers. Store them refrigerated in a paper bag.

Celery

There’s no guilt from snacking on celery! The high-crunch factor, along with dietary fibre and water makes celery incredibly satisfying.

Tip: Celery is considered one the “dirty dozen” so it’s worth buying organic celery when possible.

Corn

It sure feels like summer when you’re eating corn on the cob — just be sure to keep some dental floss handy for afterwards.

Tip: Choose corn with tight, bright-green husks. Instead of butter and salt, top your cob with healthier alternatives like lime and chilli powder, teriyaki sauce, salsa, or pesto!

Eggplants

Eggplant

Make your summer BBQ vegan friendly with a delicious meal of grilled eggplant.

Tip: Look for slightly firm eggplants with a smooth, shiny surface. Eat within a couple of days of buying.

Herbs

Basil, thyme, parsley, spearmint, and lavender – add to pizza, grilled foods, salads, sandwiches, dips, and desserts.

Tip: For the greatest punch of flavour, avoid exposing fresh herbs to high heat by. Instead, add them to your dish after it is cooked.

Root Veggies

Carrots, beets, parsnips, potatoes, onions, shallots, garlic, oh my! Toss them in a roasted root veggie salad or bake them into chips. Either way, you’re adding a wide scope of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your diet.

Tip: Remove stems and foliage from root vegetables before storing. Keep in a dark, cool location, such as a basement or the refrigerator.

Summer Squash and Cucumber

Cucumber

Cucumbers and summer squash, such as zucchini, globe squash, and pattypan, contribute nice gentle flavours without adding a lot of fat or carbohydrates to your meals.

Tip: Choose medium-sized plants to avoid a dry interior. Grill, roast, steam, or add raw to salads and smoothies.

Complement your summer diet with the whole-food nutrition of chia seeds. Organic ChiaFactors® is a source of plant-based protein, omega-3 essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamin, and minerals.