Summer is one of the best times of the year. For many, school is out and it is a time to enjoy friends and family in the warm weather. In addition, it is farmer’s market season. Why not support your community and your health by purchasing fresh, homegrown produce? Here is what’s hot at the market right now!
Squash and Zucchini
Often sold together, squash and zucchini are two vitamin packed vegetables that give any stir-fry or pasta a beautiful blast of color and nutrition. They can also be cooked up as chips for a healthier side dish or can even be baked into breads for a fun summer dessert. See our recipe for squash zucchini sauté.
Now is a great time to purchase honey made by local bee keepers at your farmer’s market. Use it as a sweet topping to add to yogurt, pretzels, and teas. It can also be used in baking things like granola, or as a substitute for sugar in certain recipes. As a matter of fact, some studies indicate that eating honey from plants in your area might help decrease your allergy symptoms. . See our homemade granola recipe for a way to incorporate honey into your everyday eating.
Fresh tomatoes are a huge summer favorite. They are juicy and add a beautiful shade of red to any dish. They can be eaten on a sandwich, in a salad, and some people even bite into them like an apple. You can also sauté them with olive oil and make a delicious sauce to go with your squash and zucchini pasta.
Peaches are also at their peak season this time of year, and there are so many different varieties to try. Make sure to ask your local farmer which type of peach he grows so you can start getting a better idea of which peach is your favorite. Also, ask around for white peaches. They have a unique mild, sweet taste that is sure to please.
Blueberries are in their peak season right now. This means that they are bigger, better, and taste delightful. They can be used in oatmeal or yogurt for some fresh summer flavor or in a big blueberry pie for a picnic. Or you can simply sit on your back porch and pop them in your mouth like popcorn.
What barbeque isn’t complete without some corn on the cob? During the summer it is easy to get corn at 50 cents an ear at your local farmer’s market. Fresh sweet corn makes for a great side dish at picnics and barbeques and is sure to satisfy everyone.
The month of July is so often associated with watermelon. It’s a wonderfully refreshing fruit that can be made in so many different ways. Try it in our summer granita. It’s also a great food to keep you hydrated during these hot summer months, so eat up!
Katie Nahay is a senior at Auburn University studying nutrition dietetics. She hopes to attend physician assistant school in the fall.
Photo Credit: FBM, Dollar Photo Club