Written By: Tania Garcia | Marketing Intern
It is officially Summer and while the first thing many think of is no school, hot weather, and the beach, we should also think about the in-season food! Beginning from June until August right now is the time to enjoy the freshness of certain fruits and vegetables. Eating in-season produce is relatively more inexpensive, easier to find, and -contains more nutrients, providing a richer flavor. Seasonal fruits and vegetables grow based on their specific requirements of temperature, humidity, and light needed. As stated by Ward’s Supermarket, “Produce that’s not in season undergoes early picking, cooling, and heating that reduces the flavor. Fruits and vegetables in season spend less time from farm to table, so they maintain much of their nutrition and flavor.” With this into mind, let’s acknowledge the summer produce that you can enjoy!
First, did you know that July is known as the National Berry Month? Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all in-season ready to be eaten during the summer months. According to Harvard University, “berries provide potassium, magnesium, vitamins C and K, fiber, and prebiotics-carbohydrates that help promote a healthy gut.” Berries are some of the best sources of antioxidants, dark berries especially can help protect the kidneys. Additionally, according to Eric Rimm, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “On average, people who eat more berries seem to live a little bit longer.” Now, that does not mean that these berries should just be eaten all alone; instead, opt for including them into your meals. My favorite meal to include berries in is breakfast—banana oat pancakes topped with various berries are unbeatable. Luckily for you, Common Threads has a recipe for Banana Oat Pancakes, and not only are they tasty, but easy to make.
Let’s talk about some vegetables, cauliflower and bell peppers are in season for the summer! Cauliflowers are specifically known to help strengthen your bones, as well as being a great source of fiber. While it may be easy to assume that bell peppers are mainly there for a taste of spice; bell peppers are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C! Consider sautéing them and including them with some chicken for protein or simply stuffing them! Follow the Common Threads recipe on Simply Stuffed Bell Peppers for a delicious meal!
Many of the fruits and veggies that are in-season often contain vitamin C and antioxidants. According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin C is a nutrient your body needs to form blood vessels, cartilage, muscle and collagen in bones. On the other hand, antioxidants protect your cells against free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Stay active and healthy through the summer by finding fun ways to incorporate these in-season fruits and vegetables providing the nutrients your body and mind need. To find a list of what’s in season year-round visit the USDA’s Seasonal Produce Guide.