We all need to eat more fruits and vegetables! Not only do they add vibrant colors to our meals, but they are packed with all sorts of nutrients that promote good health.
Right now you’re in luck – a vast array of fruits and vegetables are in season during the summer months, making it easier than ever to include them in your daily meal plan.
When something is in season, it is the time of year that the crop ripens and is harvested for people to eat. Therefore, it is the time of year when a fruit or vegetable is most readily available.
Want to get more for your money? Buying in season often helps! Prices come down when a fruit or vegetable is in season. In addition, the quality of the produce (taste, texture, freshness, etc.) is usually better than at other times of the year.
When you buy out of season, (for example, buying berries in the winter), you are probably buying food that has been shipped thousands of miles. It is usually more expensive, less environmentally-friendly, and the quality of the food may not be as good. When you buy in season, it is more likely that you are supporting your local farmers and local economy.
Below is a list of vegetables and fruits that are at their peak during the summer months of the year. Stock up now and enjoy!
*Seasonality can differ slightly depending on the region where you live.
In addition to the list above, there are many vegetables and fruits that are available during the entire year - summer included! Most greens, mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, garlic, onions, beets, lemons, oranges, bananas, and avocados fall into this category.
As you can see, there are many options available to you during the summer season. If there is a good time of the year to get into the habit of eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, it’s now! To get started, take a look at the summer produce list above. Pick out three fruits and three vegetables to buy next time you go to the store or the farmers market. Check out our meal ideas below and start thinking about how you can use them in your own kitchen.
Fresh summer produce can be part of your main course, served as a side dish or dessert, or eaten as a snack. Here are some ideas for adding more fresh produce into your daily diet. Please note that portion sizes may need to be adjusted to make these suggestions work with your individualized plan.
At lunch and dinner:
These ideas can get you started. There are so many things you can do with summer produce. Be creative in the kitchen, and check out this month's recipes for even more ideas!
by Nancy S. Hughes
With over 150 quick & easy recipes, you'll see that making delicious meals doesn't have to be complicated, time-consuming, or costly - and you can do it with just 4 ingredients!
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