It’s officially summer!
Whether you’re on a beach vacation, having a pool party, or just laying in the grass finding shapes in the clouds, here are 18 delicious vegetables and fruits to eat this summer and why they’re so good for our bodies.
I started a tradition every Saturday now, where my son and I go to the Farmer’s Market down the street from our house. Each week, I challenge myself to buy all our weekly vegetables at this Farmer’s Market to not only eat seasonal, organic produce, but also to support the local farms, interact with neighbors, and of course, spread the word about my website.
During the summer here in Texas, I’m sad to say the spinach, lettuce, kale, and collards are now gone from the Farmer’s Market. Even broccoli, which is my favorite vegetable, can’t stand the brutal summer. However, there are a variety of vegetables and fruits that thrive in this summer heat.
- Beets – Can be used to make chocolate cake and wine similar to port. Now you can have your vegetables and cake at the same time.
- Bell Peppers – Surprisingly, peppers are actually fruits because they contain seeds and are produced from a flowering plant.
- Cabbage – There are over 100 varieties of cabbage around the world; the most common ones being green and red cabbage.
- Cucumbers – Will cool you down and keep you hydrated. Cucumbers contain 95% water.
- Eggplant – Thomas Jefferson first introduced eggplants to America and are related to tomatoes and peppers.
- Tomatoes – Grown in a variety of colors, tomatoes can be green, yellow, orange, pink, black, brown, white, and purple.
- Green Beans – One of the fastest growing vegetables, green beans can be harvested after about 50 days – from planted seed to dinner plate.
- Summer Squash – The entire squash plant is edible, including the leaves, shoots, stems, flowers and seeds.
- Apricots – At just under 20 calories each, apricots are an excellent source of Vitamins A and C.
- Blackberries – The darker color indicates higher antioxidant levels. Blackberries are well-known for lowing the risk of many forms of cancer.
- Blueberries – July is national blueberry month. Grab a pint and celebrate the “star berry” as our ancestors once called them.
- Cherries – Don’t pigeonhole cherries to sweet treats. Pair them with sage, chives or verbena and serve them with pork or beef for a satisfying, savory meal.
- Grapes – The color of the grape influences the flavors. Darker colors tend to be sweeter and lighter colors tend to be more tart. Mix the two together for the best of both worlds.
- Grapefruit – Most commonly known as a breakfast food. The sweet and tart grapefruit flavor can brighten everything from ice cream to fish tacos.
- Peaches – There are over 700 varieties of peaches in the world, including nectarines, which are actually peaches without the fuzz.
- Raspberries – Along with blackberries, strawberries and cherries, raspberries are part of the rose family. So now you can stop and smell the raspberries too.
- Strawberries – A single strawberry contains an average of 200 seeds. It’s also the only fruit to wear its seeds on the outside.
- Watermelon – As the essential summer fruit, watermelons contain electrolytes that help keep us hydrated and our bodies free from toxins.
Should I only eat in-season produce?
My love of all things green and leafy will not let me survive solely on summer vegetables all season long. Here in Texas, the summer heat can continue well into September.
Depending on my weekly meal plan, I still buy additional food from the local grocery store. By simply incorporating these summer vegetables and fruits into my weekly meal plan is enough to diversify my plate and allow my body to thrive on new and different vegetables and fruits.
It’s fun experimenting with new vegetables and fruits as the seasons change. I crave the fresh, fruity ingredients of summer cooking, or sometimes, not cooking. From crisp Salads to warm Zoodles and Sauteed Summer Squash, I’m excited summer is here and can’t wait for our next trip to the Farmer’s Market.
Shop local and organic, but most importantly, remember to eat healthy. Give your body the nutrition it needs to derive natural energy from your meals to keep you going all summer long.
I understand it can be very difficult to stay healthy while on vacation, so I created a post just for you. For ideas on where to stay and how to incorporate exercise into your vacation this summer, check out this post on Staying Healthy on Vacation.
Don’t let your budget deprive you of eating healthy, I’ve written a post on, Paleo Shopping Tricks so you can eat healthy while still on a budget.
Enjoy the many beach vacations and pool parties along with these great summer vegetables and fruits. Get creative with some of these summer recipes and take advantage of any and all the shopping tricks you can.