Eating in Season: Summer Edition
Better for our body: During the hot summer months, our body naturally gravitates toward cool, refreshing, produce; rich in water content to replenish and quench the thirst. Our bodies are producing sweat and lowering your metabolism to keep you cool. Seasonal vegetable and fruits contain beneficial nutrients that are lost through sweat. For example, watermelon, peaches, and oranges have higher water content and vitamin C to rejuvenate the skin from sun exposure.
Better for the planet: Seasonal food is fresher, tastier and more nutritious than the food produced out of season. Typically seasonal foods are produced locally. Although with the technological advancements and we can enjoy strawberries year round, the prime time to eat them is in the early summer from a local farmer's market. Eating seasonally locally grown foods tend to will be tastier and more nutritious because they are picked at their peak ripeness and traveled less distance. Studies have shown that fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients when allowed to ripen naturally on their parent plant. The strawberries we pick up from the store in the middle of the winter most likely came from Mexico or somewhere far and were picked before ripening to prevent over-ripening during the transport. The road less traveled conserves energy and limits the emission of greenhouse gases.
Better for your wallet: Did you know buying in the season can save you money on food? Because the foods produced in season are at the peak of its supply, it costs less for the farmers and distributors to supply the foods in season. So eating in season is a win, win, win for all of us!
How to enjoy your summer produce: 1. Explore new tastes. Have you tried all the foods in the season? Even if you have already, pay a visit to the farmer's market and pick up some fresh, ripe local veggies and fruits! You will be amazed by the flavour of produce in the season!
2. Spice up ordinary produce. Grill a whole eggplant and make the Mediterranean inspired eggplant salad with olive oil and tomatoes. Chop up fresh tomatoes, onions, and cilantro from the farmer's market to make a Mexican fresh salsa.
3. Get creative in the kitchen. Having a BBQ with family this weekend? Cut up some fresh pineapple and peaches, grill them over the fire!
Here is a list of produce harvested in summer in North America Apples, July through October (cold storage until spring) Arugula, May through September Asparagus, May and June Basil, July through September Beets, June through December Blueberries, July and August Broccoli, June through November Broccoli raab, August through November Cabbage, June through October Cantaloupes, August and September Carrots, June through September Cauliflower, August through November Celery, August through October Chard, May through November Cherries, July Corn, June through August Cucumbers, July through October Eggplant, July through October Fava Beans, May and June Fiddleheads, April and May Garlic, July through October (stored year-round) Garlic Scapes/Green Garlic, May and June Green Beans, July through September Green Onions/Scallions, May through September Kale, June through November Herbs, April through September Kohlrabi, June and July, September and October Leeks, August through December Lettuce, May through October Melons, July through October Mint, spring and summer Morels, spring Mushrooms (wild), spring through fall Nectarines, August and September Nettles, spring Onions, July through October (stored in winter) Oregano, June through October Parsley, May through November Parsnips, April and May; October through December Peaches, July through September Pears, August through December Pea Greens, April through June Peas and pea pods, July through October Peppers (sweet), July through October Plums & Pluots, August and September Potatoes, July through December (available from storage year-round) Radicchio, September, and October Radishes, May through September Ramps, March through June Raspberries, July through September Rhubarb, May through July Rutabagas, August through November Scallions/Green Onions, May through September Spinach, May through September Squash (summer), July through September Stinging Nettles, spring Strawberries, June Thyme, May through September Tomatoes, July through September Turnips, August through November Watermelons, August through October Zucchini, July through September Zucchini Blossoms, June and July