It’s July: fireworks, BBQs, and warm weather perfect for growing your favorite fruits and vegetables. So celebrate the cheaper (and better tasting) produce and look out for these items next time you’re at the supermarket.
Apricots are most commonly found in the dried fruit variety, but dried or not, apricots are a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamin C. They can be snacked on alone, or used in a recipe. Make some apricot crisps and freeze ’em to enjoy long after apricot season ends.
Arugula is the new kale, but tastes better and is more nutritious. You can use it as a base for a salad (savory or sweet) or use it to add some pizzazz to almost any dish (pizza? grilled cheese?). Kale was soooo 2014, anyway.
Most commonly seen in pesto or on a caprese salad, basil is your bff for those nights when Sriracha doesn’t cut it anymore. Sure, you could throw some pesto pasta together in minutes, but basil is more useful than you’d think.
For dinner, grab a fried cheese sandwich with garlicky herb and lemon mayo or, if you’re really craving pasta, throw together a tomato, onion & basil one-pan pasta. If you really want pesto pasta, add some avocado to the mix.
While coffee beans and jelly beans are great, we’re talking about bean-beans. You can find them in bags or cans, but they’re super cheap either way (and a great source of protein).
Beets are a great way to add color to your dishes. They’re easy to store since they almost never rot, and they’re packed with potassium, dietary fiber, folate, and manganese (bonus: it’s also a great hangover cure). Use them in risotto, salad, hummus, juice, or even as food coloring.
Blackberries are pricier than most other fruits, but July is the perfect season to get a good deal on them. They’re great alone or in summery drinks, such as a blackberry-mint margarita and a blackberry gin fizz. Also try ’em topped on breakfast foods, such as Greek yogurt, oatmeal, and waffles.
Since the 4th of July is here, celebrate with some American flag fruit sticks and a blueberry crisp. For those trying to eat healthy, treat yourself to a slice of healthy coconut blueberry cake. And, for the lazy peeps out there, you can spice up your daily grilled cheese sandwiches by using blueberries.
Cherries are a great cure for post-workout soreness. They’re a classic in pies, lemonade, and covered in white chocolate. People love cherries so much, there’s even a festival in Washington, D.C. about cherry (blossoms).
Cucumbers are a miracle vegetable: shrinking post-final eye bags, relieving stress, ending hangovers, providing an energy boost, and #lifehack: cleaning and erasing pen marks(?!). They can be chopped and tossed together in a 5-ingredient salad, thrown in water, or stuffed in a pita pocket. Buy extra cucumbers to pickle and eat later, too.
Corn is the best BBQ summer food, perfect for vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores alike. It’s super versatile and there are tons of ways to change it up. You can also take it off the cob by making cheesy corn (a healthy mac & cheese alternative), chili, or corn salad.
Eggplants are a hidden gem, with most of us not realizing just how easy it is to cook this delicious, creamy purple plant. They can be used as a low-carb alternative to pizza or in a chickpea stew. If you’re feeling lazy, you can even pop them in an oven and roast ’em.
Kiwis will make you kawaii, but the biggest struggle is cutting one. Once you’ve cut one open, it’s easy to enjoy by itself or in a kiwi & pineapple mojito, smoothie, or fruit-infused water. Kiwis are great alongside other fruits, especially in fruit popsicles.
You most commonly know it as those green leaves in salads or the “L” in BLT, but lettuce can be incorporated into many other dishes. It can even replace the carbs in tacos. It’s also great for helping you get a good night’s sleep and reduce stress. So, let us eat more lettuce.
Mangoes are amazing (especially eaten with peanut butter or chili powder), but the biggest struggle is cutting them. Once you’ve mastered that, you can freeze them and add them to smoothies, ice cream, and even more exotic foods like aam panna and aam papad. They can also change up your favorite salsa, guacamole, salad, and salmon.
Perhaps the only reason to move to Georgia is for its peaches. Picking a peach is easy: find one that is a little soft, but can still hold its shape. Once you’ve found your perfect peach, you can add it to yogurt, guacamole, cobbler, cupcakes, or microwave cobblers. You can even grill, bake, or poach them.
Raspberries are a sweeter sister to the blackberry. They’re also the perfect base for jams and add the perfect flavor to drinks, such as a raspberry mojito and a raspberry mango smoothie. For breakfast, you can snack on a raspberry breakfast popsicle, followed by a dark chocolate, raspberry and brie grilled cheese for lunch.
Strawberries are best eaten covered in chocolate or Nutella. If there’s a strawberry picking farm near you, don’t miss this opportunity for fresh strawberries. You can use up your strawberries in smoothie bowls, on ricotta and honey toast, with grilled cheese, strawberry salsa, cheesecake, healthy milkshakes, or even in a simple fruit salad.
Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? Though it is mostly used in savory dishes (such as tomato, onion, & basil one-pan pasta or tomato soup), the tomato is actually a fruit. Regardless, it is extremely adaptable to almost every dish.
If you’re feeling adventurous, make some shakshouka, Chinese scrambled eggs with tomato, or spinach and quinoa stuffed tomatoes. Or, if you feel like making something closer to home, go for a pasta and a tomato cucumber salad.
Watermelon is made up of 92% water and 100% deliciousness. This makes it a perfect candidate for freezing and turning into popsicles (just cut it into slices, stick a popsicle stick into it, and freeze).
Sure, you could make a watermelon out of ice cream, but nothing beats an actual watermelon. Watermelon refreshers or watermelon margaritas make the perfect summer drink. They’re also delicious savory in salsa or salads.