What’s in Season?
July is here and it is one of the most traveled summer months of the year!!! 🙂
It’s a busy and exciting hot month, with so many adventures happening. The kids are on a summer break, families are travel to the beaches, and of course, the much awaited Independence Day celebration!
Not to mention, foodies, are also rejoicing, because The Food Festivals are also in the month of July. From the Taste of Chicago (July 5-9) to the Groupon Bite of Seattle (July 21-23) and the NYC Restaurant Summer Week (begins July 24).
But despite all the celebrating and traveling, I have created a Live Healthy – July Monthly Produce Guide to help you plan your menu this month and so that you are aware of the produce in season:
Apricots are an early summer fruit and have quite a short season. They’re in season from May to July, so get them fresh while you still can. This month is your chance to take advantage of this delicious fruit.
You can roast them and use them for your crepes, waffles and pancakes. Or use them as part of a sauce for your poultry dishes.
It’s best to buy them at the right degree of ripeness, which means slightly firm to the touch. You know it’s ripe when the color is yellowish-orange. It shouldn’t be too ripe that they easily bruise.
Figs have two harvest seasons. The first is from June to July (the “breba” season), and the second season is from September to October (the “new wood” season).
The best way to choose figs is by picking out a fig which does not have breaks in their skin, and should be slightly soft to the touch. You can keep your fresh figs in the refrigerator for a few days. To prevent bruising, remove them from the bag or container where you bought them, and place in a shallow bowl.
Figs are a great source of dietary fiber, potassium and manganese.
Fresh peas are now in season, but they won’t last very long. Usually you can find fresh peas from now until September.
These legumes (don’t be shocked) 🙂 are like cousins to beans and lentils, and so they’re rich in healthy quality protein (a good meat replacement) and carbohydrates. Plus, they contain fiber, vitamins A and C, iron, phosphorous and folic acid.
When buying fresh peas, choose pods which are bright green in color and are not wilted. In order to retain the color and nutrients, never overcook the peas. Just a quick blanching or steaming them will do.
A loganberry is a hybrid between a blackberry and a raspberry. It was named after Judge J. Logan, the owner of the garden in Santa Cruz, California in which it was found.
In terms of flavor, loganberries are more tart than blackberries and raspberries. Thus, they usually need to be sweetened before eating. You can also mix them with other fruits in your smoothies, or flambé them with a sweet liqueur for desserts. These berries are rich in vitamin C, as well as some folic acid and fiber.
Fennel season begins in July and last until October. This herb is indigenous to the Mediterranean region but now grows in other parts of the world. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, fiber, and potassium.
Fennel is also a versatile vegetable with different parts: bulb, stalk, feathery leaves, and seeds – which all parts of the Fennel is edible. Fennel is aromatic, and has a pungent aniseed flavor. The bulb can be braised, grilled, sautéed, stewed or even eaten raw.
So, now that you know what’s abundantly and freshly picked in the month of July, it’s time to head off to your favorite farmer’s market or local grocery store. I hope that you have enjoyed Healthy – July Monthly Produce Guide! 🙂
Happy 4TH of July, Happy Shopping and Happy Cooking! Please be sure you check out my Vegan BBQ Recipe Post!