Monday, July 13, 2015

July's Just Picked

Break out the grill, make some cool lemonade, and catch some lightning bugs; it’s definitely summertime.  Don’t miss out on the bounty of summer foods available now!  When food is picked in season, it provides the best and most flavor.  In-season produce is usually significantly less expensive as well!  Beat the heat and try some cool new recipes with July’s tastiest foods.

Figs: Fresh figs are nothing like it’s dried counterparts.  They taste delightfully sweet, and have a chewy texture from the skin and crunchy texture from the seeds.  Figs are high in fiber as well as a good source of potassium.  Excellent on their own, but fantastic in salads and sliced over breakfast cereal or oatmeal.  If you’ve never tried one before, make sure you pick some up before they’re gone! 

Cherries:  These teeny stone fruits come in both sweet and sour varieties.  Cherries boast a wonderful nutritional profile and may reduce muscle soreness, help with sleep, and reduce stroke risk among other benefits.  The sweet ones are great for snacking and the sour variety are perfect for baking.

Peas:  Whether snow, snap, or English, these green pods have the best flavor when the weather’s warm.  Peas are packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients and they also may help with blood sugar regulation, heart health, and provide some protection against stomach cancer.  Their characteristically sweet taste and crunchy texture make for a perfect summer salad.

Peaches:  When I think of summer, I think of ripe peaches.  This fuzzy stone fruit is fantastically sweet and juicy and a good source of vitamins A and C.  There are two well-known varieties: clingstone, in which the stone is stuck to the flesh, and freestone, in which the flesh is easy to remove from the stone.  Peaches are known for having a yellow flesh, but they can also be white in color.  Whether you enjoy it on it’s own, in with some mixed fruit, or in a pie, be sure to grab a napkin!

Rhubarb: Often an essential component of a strawberry rhubarb pie, this celery like plant has a slightly bitter taste.  Please don’t make a mistake and eat the leaves, as they are toxic!  Rhubarb is known to be high in fiber as well as vitamins C and K.  The reddish green food is best baked or stewed and also makes great jams as well as sauces.

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