Produce to Avail in the Summer
Peas, tomatoes, asparagus, corn, mushrooms, lettuce, peaches, oranges, and potatoes. Have you tasted these items in the peak of their season… they’re delicious! Because the demand for produce is high, many grocery stores offer such items year round. But did you know that harvesting seasonal produce all year round affects its flavor and nutritional value? If you buy fruits and vegetables out of season you will most likely encounter bland produce with lower nutritional value and a dose of pesticides. These negative factors can be avoided by doing the following:
1.Buy Frozen Produce
Most of the time frozen produce is picked and packed at the peak of it’s season. Because of this, the produce carries more nutritional value and flavor. Buying frozen produce is a great option if you are in need of out of season fruits and vegetables.
2. Buy Local, Buy Seasonal
California produces over 50% of the nations produce. With that being said there are numerous farmers markets that supply local produce by season. Here are California grown fruits and vegetables that reach their peak in the summer…
Apples, apricots, avocado, berries, cantaloupe, carrots, chard, cherries, beets, chiles, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, figs, garlic, grapes, green beans, lemongrass, limes, mango, nectarines, okra, peaches, bell peppers, potatoes, shallots, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, and watermelon. Altogether this is a great variety of summer produce that can be prepared in many ways.
A tip for you: To preserve flavor and nutritional value summer fruits may be frozen then used in smoothies throughout the year and summer vegetables may be frozen then steamed, stewed, baked, or sautéed throughout the year. Next time you are grocery shopping, make the most out of your meals by buying seasonal produce.
Author: Tonye Doukpolagha