Summer this year officially ends on September 23, so while you’ve still got about a month and a half of sun and surf left to enjoy, be sure to take advantage of the fresh seasonal produce while you’re at it. Fruits, veggies and herbs that are in season during the summer months include tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, peaches, nectarines and berries. Here are six ways to use summer produce while it’s still in season:
1. Freeze for Ice Cream and Popsicles
This is one of the best, healthy tricks for summer: use frozen fruit for ice cream. On a basic level, that’s really all you need; just freeze some fruit, blend it up and you’ll have a one- ingredient ice cream. If you have some almond milk or coconut milk on hand, even better. Coconut milk in particular will give your non-dairy ice cream a delectable creaminess. Use mango and banana for this Layered Mango and Banana Ice-Cream and blackberries for this Blackberry Ice Cream. Also, see these 10 Frozen Vegan Recipes to Cool Down This Summer and these 15 Dairy-Free Ice Creams to Enjoy This Summer.
2. Bring Out Flavors in a Simple Sauté
Throw those summer veggies into a pan over the stove with some olive oil and your choice of herbs and spices. Since produce tastes best when it’s freshly harvested and also in season, pick up some summer produce from your local farmer’s market or opt for organic items when at the grocery store. The taste of the vegetables will come out if you make them the main star in a sauté. Try this Early Summer Light Veggie Saute.
3. Purée Raw Soup
Raw soup is a fantastic, go-to meal option during the warm summer months. Aside from having to prep and chop your ingredients, making raw soup is so incredibly easy — throw the ingredients into a blender or food processor and give it a whir. See this article on How to Make Yummy Raw Blender Soups (with Recipes) and these raw vegan soup recipes.
4. Make Zucchini Into Pasta
Pasta is such a hearty and comforting dish, and it can even be incredibly healthy when you think outside the box and have your veggies as your pasta, not just alongside it. Don’t let that fresh, summer zucchini go to waste without trying your hand at transforming it into noodles. Zucchini ribbons make for a nutritious, filling meal that is healthier than regular pasta and also better for the summer months. Try these recipes: Spicy Kale Pesto with Zucchini Noodles, Gluten-Free Carbonara Spaghetti With Zucchini Noodles, Raw Zucchini Noodles with Tomato Basil Sauce and Portobello Meatless Balls, and Raw Zucchini Pasta with Creamy Avocado-Cucumber Sauce.
5. Craft a Salad
Last but not least, present those bright, fresh summer veggies in a colorful, appetizing salad. Check out these 10 Refreshing Vegan Salads to Kick off Your Summer, these 6 Easy Breezy Meatless Summer Salads and these 5 Super Awesome Meatless Summer Salads.
6. Blend Smoothies
They’re cool, refreshing and fruity– smoothies are great friend in the summertime and drinking them makes it easy to get in a bunch of nutrients. Try this End of Summer Smoothie, this Summery Mango and Hemp Seed Smoothie and this Watermelon Mint Vega Summer Smoothie.
For more ideas on cooking with summer produce, see this article on 10 Ways to Use All That Summer Zucchini You’re Growing and these 40 Raw, Light and Fresh recipes to Cool Off in the Summer.
Lead image source: Raw Zucchini Noodles with Tomato Basil Sauce and Portobello Meatless Balls