Summer is here which means our 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 our local economy by buying and eating seasonal fruits and vegetables locally.
If you ever wanted to hop on the trend of eating locally and in season then summertime is the perfect time to do it. Farmers markets 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 more of my 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.
- Peaches – About the only time of year you will spot peaches is in the summer and farmers markets will be loaded. This is because they are hard to transport due to their delicate nature. Another benefit of buying peaches locally is fewer pesticides which means a sweeter
- Cucumber – Cucumbers add lots of hydration and a nice crunch to your salads. Due to their high-water content cucumbers are perfect for combatting the hot summer weather and provide nourishment to your skin.
- Okra – Okra is a good source of antioxidants and high in fiber to help keep you regular. This versatile vegetable can be baked, roasted or used in salads and soups. Cook the whole pod to avoid the natural slimy texture.
The best part about 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. Use the fruits and vegetables this season to make smoothies, salads, juices and even cold soups.