Get a taste of summer with these nutrient-rich fruit and veggies. All of them are being picked fresh as we speak and can be found now at your local farmers markets or farm stands.
Strawberries: the ultimate sweet symbol of summertime – bursting with flavor yet completely guilt-free!
- Did you know? The varieties grown in the Pacific Northwest are different than those from California. Washington varieties tend to be smaller, a deeper red and spoil a bit more quickly. However, they are just as sweet and juicy as their larger cousins from the Sunshine state! They are also easy to grow in your home garden.
- Market data: Look for locally grown berries at the farmers market throughout June and July.
- Nutrition: bursting with vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants to boost your immune health and keep you regular
- Meal ideas: add them to your morning cereal, oatmeal or plain yogurt. They work great in salads too – try a spinach salad with toasted pecans or walnuts and sliced strawberries with a vinaigrette dressing.
Tomatoes: so many varieties, so little time! Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, heirloom varieties such as Red Brandywine or Moskovich —be adventurous, try a new variety this summer
- Did you know? Top tips for growing tomatoes: grow them in a sunny spot in your garden (at least 8 hours of sun daily); use stakes or sturdy supports; prune them during growing season to avoid disease, provide airflow and produce larger fruit. Get them started in Spring to give them plenty of time to grow and ripen on the vine.
- Market data: appearing at your local market or farm stand from now until October
- Nutrition: contains an antioxidant called lycopene whose health-promoting effects increase when tomatoes are cooked
- Meal idea: homemade pasta sauce with ripe Roma tomatoes and basil
Summer Squash: possibly the most versatile, dependable and prolific vegetables on the planet; the farmers market will offer unique varieties – sporting stripes and fun shapes – perhaps this will tempt the children to eat their vegetables?
- Did you know? Britain holds the record for the largest zucchini grown – at 65 pounds! However, it was probably not the tastiest – small or medium-sized zucchini tend to have more flavor
- Market data: popular varieties include: green zucchini (most familiar), yellow zucchini (golden version), yellow squash (straight or crookneck), pattypan squash (shaped like little flying saucers, in yellow, green or a combination) or eight-ball zucchini (round version); find them locally from June through October
- Nutrition: contains a wide variety of nutrients and is a good source of potassium, Vitamin C and multiple types of antioxidants; it’s also low in calories and low on the glycemic index
- Meal idea: try Zoodles (zucchini noodles) in place of spaghetti for an Italian meal lower in carbs and calories; you can make them with a spiralizer, a mandoline or even a vegetable peeler