Monday, June 23

A Guide to Seasonal Summer Produce

California grows about 80-90% of all fruits and vegetables in America, so one can see why these seasons are important. Even if you don't live in California or go to local farmer's markets, this guide can be helpful to anyone that purchases produce from the U.S. Not only does food taste amazing when in season, but purchasing these plants in season also helps sustain a healthy earth because the farming is in tune with nature.

So without further ado, these are some of my favorites that I like to eat in the summertime. They nourish me, and I love going to the markets because I know when I'm suppose to be eating what. If it's at the market then it's in season, and this is also a great way to get the freshest, best-tasting produce year round. It also makes one's diet interesting, because I can't wait to have it again when that time of year comes around.


Here are my summer favorites:

Strawberries - Used in vitamin water, eaten raw, juiced for a salad dressing, sliced on salads, blended in smoothies, juiced, frozen as popsicles, and dried for snacks. A great source of vitamin B6, C, K, calcium, fiber, magnesium, iron, potassium, protein, and are high in water content. They're also amazing at boosting the immune system, lowering cholesterol levels, and protecting against cancer.

Blueberries - Used in vitamin water, eaten raw, blended in a salad dressing, sprinkled on salads, blended in smoothies, juiced, frozen as popsicles, and dried for snacks. A great source of vitamin A, C, E, K, calcium, fiber, magnesium, iron, potassium, protein, and phosphorus. They're also wonderful for activating fat-burning genes to assist with weight loss, increasing the production of dopamine, and maintaining brain health.

Raspberries - Used in vitamin water, eaten raw, blended in a salad dressing, sprinkled on salads, blended in smoothies, juiced, frozen as popsicles, and dried for snacks. A great source of vitamin B6, C, E, K, calcium, fiber, magnesium, iron, potassium, protein, phosphorus, and niacin. They're also good for alleviating arthritis, anti-aging, and preventing cancer.

Watermelon - Used in vitamin water, eaten raw, blended in a salad dressing, blended in smoothies, juiced, and frozen as popsicles. A great source of vitamin A, B6, C, calcium, fiber, magnesium, iron, potassium, protein, copper, and is very high in water content. It's also fantastic for improving circulation, soothing sore muscles, and protecting the skin against the sun.

Cantaloupe - Used in vitamin water, eaten raw, blended in smoothies, juiced, and frozen as popsicles. A great source of vitamin A, B6, C, K, calcium, fiber, magnesium, iron, potassium, protein, niacin, and is high in water content. It's also fabulous for boosting the immune system, keeping eyes healthy, and maintaining good digestion.

Avocados - Used in sauces, eaten raw, mashed as dips, blended in soups, as a garnish, blended in a salad dressing, sliced on salads, and blended in smoothies. A great source of vitamin A, B6, C, E, K, calcium, fiber, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, protein, copper, phosphorus, and a healthy source of fat. They're also brilliant for the skin, maintaining healthy brain function, and keeping bones strong.

Cucumbers - Used in vitamin water, blended in soups, eaten raw, sliced or diced on salads, blended in smoothies, juiced, and frozen as popsicles. A great source of vitamin C, K, calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, and are high in water content. They're also excellent for reducing the risk of cancer, stabilizing blood pressure, and maintaining beautiful skin.

Tomatoes - Used in sauces, mashed as dips, blended or diced in soups, eaten raw, as a garnish, in a salad dressing, sliced or diced on salads, blended in smoothies, and juiced. A great source of vitamin A, B6, C, calcium, fiber, magnesium, iron, potassium, protein, and lycopene. They're also outstanding for protecting the skin against aging, strengthening bones, and boosting the immune system.

Bell Peppers - Used in sauces, diced in dips, blended or diced in soups, as a garnish, in a salad dressing, and sliced or diced on salads. A great source of vitamin A, B6, C, E, K, calcium, fiber, magnesium, iron, potassium, protein, and niacin. They're also incredible at improving circulation, keeping skin glowing, and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Cilantro - Used in sauces, minced in dips, chopped in soups, as a garnish, chewed for fresh breath, in a salad dressing, minced on salads, blended in smoothies, juiced, and dried for a spice. A great source of vitamin A, C, K, sodium, and potassium. It's also terrific for the skin, bad breath, and removing heavy metals from the body.

Garlic - Used in sauces, minced in dips, blended or minced in soups, as a garnish, in a salad dressing, blended in smoothies, juiced, and dried for a spice. A great source of vitamin B6, C, E, K, calcium, fiber, iron, potassium, protein, and niacin. It's also phenomenal for increasing blood flow, maintaining a healthy immune system, and keeping bones healthy.

Thyme - Used in sauces, blended in soups, in a salad dressing, minced on salads, blended in smoothies, juiced, and dried for a spice. A great source of vitamin A, C, iron, and potassium. It's also awesome for maintaining a healthy complexion, cancer prevention, and reducing high blood pressure.

Check out these other guides as well:

♡ Claudia

4 comments:

  1. ANDY FROM CCS7/03/2014 2:00 AM

    I'm surprised cherries aren't on this list. Maybe it's a Michigan thing. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Andy!
      Cherry season is coming to an end here soon. It's typically May-June, so I put them on the spring list: http://claudiasutton.blogspot.com/2014/03/a-guide-to-seasonal-spring-produce.html

      They definitely do overlay both seasons though because I'm still seeing them at the markets this year. :) How long do they last over there?
      ~Claudia

      Delete
  2. ANDY FROM CCS7/03/2014 11:20 PM

    Well, there's a big cherry festival thing I think in Traverse City this month, so I'm guessing that would be the climax of growing season here. Cherries are year round in the store though, really don't pay attention to the growing season when you can just get them from another country when it's their growing season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh awesome! I love it up there. I have so many fond memories. :)
      Yeah, I hear ya, but I definitely love getting them freshly picked from the farmers. They're full of life!
      ~Claudia

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