Summer is here! The gardens are growing and producing. Also your local farmer’s markets are open and packed full of fresh fruits and vegetables. Summer is the season of abundance and the time to make fresh and simple meals to stay cool and hydrated. It is by far the easiest time of year to support your local economy by buying and eating seasonal fruits and vegetables locally. Also it’s the best time of year for growing your own food and saving money.
If you ever wanted to hop on the trend of growing your own food and eating locally and in season then summertime is the perfect time to do it. Farmers markets have just opened their doors and have an abundance of produce provided by local farmers. The delights to choose from during the summer are practically never-ending. From tomatoes to strawberries and summer squash to blueberries it’s all colorful and delicious.
The following are a few favorites to look out for this season:
- Carrots – Carrots are high in fiber, vitamin A, and beta-carotene which helps support eye health and regulates blood sugar. To get the most nutrients from this vegetable simply eat it raw. Orange isn’t the only color to look out for there are also purple, red, and yellow carrots.
- Peas – Peas are a great addition to your menu. There is the regular garden peas plus there is the snow peas with the edible pods. They’re both full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients.
- Leafy Greens – Greens for your fresh salads like lettuce, baby kale and swiss chard. A bowl full of leafy greens can do wonders for your overall health and there is such a huge variety of edible greens in the summer.
- Cucumber – Cucumbers add lots of hydration and a nice crunch to your salads. Due to their high-water content cucumbers are perfect for combating the hot summer weather and provide nourishment to your skin.
- Tomatoes – There is nothing like a vine ripened tomato! There is not only the red tomatoes but yellow, orange purple and even a green striped one! They come in all sizes from the cherry tomatoes to the big beefsteak varieties. Not only are they delicious and nutritious but they have outstanding antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities.
The best part about growing and eating your own food or eating seasonal and local produce is that it’s extremely affordable and provides the best nutrients and flavor. Local produce offers the highest vitamins and nutrients because they require little transportation compared to produce at grocery stores. Farmers markets also have more variety and abundance compared to grocery stores which help eliminate costs.
With the large variety of fruits and vegetables in season during summer, your menu options will never end, and you will stay satisfied. It is also a great way to stay healthy and lose a few pounds if you need too. Eat the fruits and vegetables this season raw or use them to make smoothies, salads, juices and even cold soups.