I had the opportunity to get out and explore my local farmers market this weekend, and was amazed by the abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other locally grown/made goodies.
I also walked away with a bag of fresh produce for only $5.
If you can, I highly recommend looking up the farmers markets in your area and checking them out…it is good for you and also a great way to help support small, local farms.
No farmers markets near you? This list still applies to the seasonal produce that you can find in your grocery store.
Your summer farmers market guide…
Basil, cilantro, dill, oregano, and so many others. These herbs grow incredibly well during the summer season and can be used to make any healthy recipe even more delicious. If you are familiar with the dried versions, I highly recommend trying them fresh instead. They have plenty of nutrients and pack a flavor punch.
Summer is the peak season for strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and other berries. These sweet little treats are packed with good-for-you antioxidants and fiber, so go ahead and indulge. Also, fresh picked berries are often more flavorful than their imported, grocery store counterparts.
This category includes some of my personal favorites: peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, and cherries. Known as “stone fruits” because they have a large seed or pit. Many of these fruits are high in vitamin c, and there is research that shows that they may also contain compounds that may have anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory properties.
Spinach, kale, lettuce, and other greens are generally abundant through most of the summer. These greens (the darker ones in particular) are chock full of vitamins and nutrients. Get them at a great price from a local farmer and use them for salads, sautés, or for garnishing summertime sandwiches or burgers.
These summer fruits come in an almost endless variety of colors, textures, and flavors. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene and other antioxidants and are linked to heart health, so eat ‘em up. Also, a great benefit of farmers market shopping is that you can often get a taste of the tomatoes before you buy. Make sure to look for ones that are somewhat firm and heavy for their size. Note: For fresh and delicious tomatoes, never store them in the fridge.
Garlic, onions, and peppers:
Most of these goodies (and green onions) can be found throughout the season, although the main harvest is primarily late summer. Garlic, onions, and scallions are high in antioxidants, great for natural detoxification, and may even be beneficial for preventing some forms of cancer. Peppers and chiles are also super healthy and the spicy ones can help to naturally boost metabolism.
This list is a lot of the basics, but these are just some of the amazing things that you can find. So, get out there, explore, and then enjoy your bounty with a refreshing cup of iced Wu-Long Tea.