The farmer’s market is a fantastic way to save money on produce and it’s also a great way to support your local community agriculture. Summer is one of the best times to stock up on fresh produce because many summer options are some of the best for you and are quite versatile too. Summer produce also freezes well ,for the most part, meaning you can enjoy year round when fall and winter’s chilly air rolls around.
We still have two months worth of summer’s heat to stock up on and enjoy summer produce, so don’t miss out on these fantastic options!
Packed with vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and vitamin B6, zucchini is an excellent veggie to enjoy. It’s normally available all summer long and makes delicious grilled veggie dishes or can be used in replacement to noodles in pasta dishes like lasagna and spaghetti. Or, chop up a zucchini and freeze to use in place of frozen bananas for a super creamy texture just like yogurt that also adds a slight sweetness with no sugar! Raw zucchini is also tasty when chopped into cubes and dipped into hummus or salsa!
Technically an herb, basil is one of the most antioxidant-rich foods of the summer. This beautiful green plant contains an array of anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, not to mention it tastes fantastic. An easy way to upgrade any dish is to add a leaf or two of basil. Try it in veggie pastas, salads, veggie pizza, and even add a leaf or two to a smoothie or your favorite savory breakfast for a tasty gourmet flair.
3. Heirloom Tomatoes
Larger and more flavorful than regular tomatoes (not to mention beautiful!), heirloom tomatoes are a fun way to enjoy a simple fruit during the summer. They’re relatively similar in nutrition to regular tomatoes but a bit more extravagant and larger. Try different colors and appreciate the different flavors each one offers. Try them out in this delicious Rustic Heirloom Tomato Tart or use them in your favorite dish with tomatoes that you already enjoy.
A high source of potassium, water, vitamin C and the beautifying ingredient silica, cucumbers are terrific for you and also important to buy organic. Since organic options at the store can be pricey, they’re great to pick up at the farmer’s market. You can even freeze cucumbers in cubes like bananas and use them to make super chilling smoothies to cool you off in the summer. Also, try using them in place of half the greens in your next salad recipe. For instance, give them a whirl in this Basil Cucumber Salad that’s packed with flavor and nutritious summer ingredients.
Cherries are such a refreshing fruit to enjoy when it’s hot outside, and they’re some of the best for you. Cherries are a great source of antioxidants and can help lower your blood pressure and blood sugar. Cherries are also a natural source of melatonin in the body and can help you sleep better at night. Try them in these yummy Cherry Nut Bars or use them in these 17 Very Cherry Recipes.
Packed with vitamin C and low in sugar and calories, strawberries are both nutritious and delicious! These berries are also very easy to freeze and enjoy later and can be used in just about anything you can think of from breakfast to dinner. Try them in smoothies, oatmeal, bake them into breakfast bars, eat them as a snack, add them to a salad or sandwich, place them in zucchini pasta for a sweet touch, or top your next dessert with a few.
Bitter foods like radishes cleanse the body and balance the palate. Radishes are also nice and crunchy to add a lovely texture to your foods. Try grilling radishes on kabobs, chop and add them to a salad and enjoy their lovely hue wherever else you like. Try ruby radishes, daikon, or even black radishes for something different this summer!
8. Butter Lettuce
Butter lettuce is such a treat to enjoy when it’s hot outside. It’s slightly sweet, super soft, and just goes so nicely with a creamy dressing such as an avocado-based dressing. And, despite the myth that lettuce isn’t really healthy, butter lettuce is actually a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and chlorophyll. Pick up a few heads at your farmer’s market and enjoy this summer treat while it lasts!
9. Fresh Corn
Corn gets a bad rap for the main reason that it’s typically genetically modified, however, during the summer that’s not the case. Fresh, organic (non-GMO) corn is everywhere during the summer when it’s in season which is the perfect time to enjoy it. Corn is a grain that can be enjoyed like a veggie and is a good source of fiber, antioxidants, and B vitamins. Grill your corn for maximum flavor or slice it off the cob raw and add it to raw soups and salads.
Such a healthy veggie and a tasty one at that, beets belong in your grocery carts and on your plates this summer! Beets are inexpensive and some of the most nutrient-dense veggies out there. Grill them, slice them and eat them raw, roast them, bake them, or even juice and blend them if you please. Did you know beets are a liver-friendly superfood that can cleanse and nourish your body? Why not stock up in the summer when they taste the best?
You’ll also want to keep your eyes peeled for: squash, fava beans, peas, some varieties of apples, key limes, eggplant, plums, watermelon, and cantaloupe. To find a farmer’s market near you, visit LocalHarvest.org, and see more veggies and fruits in season here to watch out for.
Happy farmer’s market shopping!
Lead image source: Coconut Ice Cream Cheesecake With Lime and Avocado