Welcome to July, the first official full month of summer! By now you’re probably swimming in summer produce. Ninety degree temperatures and lots of sunlight bring tons of vibrant, colorful food options this month, particularly more fruit. Eat what’s in season, and you’ll save money and enjoy tastier foods. It’s a win/win.
Summer produce doesn’t change a whole lot each month, but here’s what’s new for July:
Apples are thought of as a fall fruit, but many are actually ripe and ready right now. Apples have a nice, long run, so enjoy your juices, apples, dumplings, and pies, now through November.
Apricots are rich in fiber and bring a healthy dose of vitamin A. Kids love their sweet flavor and smaller size. Eat them fresh, blend them in smoothies, make apricot cookies, or add to salads like this Apricot Arugula Summertime salad.
Celebrate the return of fresh, backyard basil, by whipping up a big caprese salad, or using it in usual ways like these strawberry caprese bites, or caprese chicken pasta salad. By September, basil will bolt, so enjoy it now. And, if you have extra come fall, learn how to freeze basil for use in cooked dishes later.
Bell peppers are in season starting July, so you should see prices go way down. Stock up and freeze them for use during the winter months. Slice some and freeze in baggies for your stir fry, and chop others in half for use in stuffed peppers.
Thankfully blueberries come back in season just in time to top your festive 4th of July desserts. Try them in this mixed berry pretzel salad or in something more savory like this mixed berry kale salad. Perhaps your crop could inspire you to whip up your own blueberry balsamic dressing?
Cherries are full of antioxidants, Vitamin C, and they even contain melatonin and promote healthy sleep. Reap all of these benefits and enjoy fresh cherries this month, while you can!
Corn is grown in all 50 states, so you’ll never have to go far for the taste of fresh-from-the-farm sweet corn. Learn to perfect boiling corn on the cob.
Stay hydrated with cucumber when the whether heats up. Cucumbers contain more water (96%) than any other vegetable out there (tied only with iceberg lettuce). Slip cucumber slices in your water bottle for some nice flavor, juice them, or add them to salads.
Eggplants are a summer staple thanks to their versatility. Use them as a base for mini veggie pizzas, stuff them, fry them, or make baba ghanoush.
Mmm. Fresh garlic is back! If you’re a fan, this one needs no introduction. You wait for this month all year long.
The sound of snapping green beans for dinner is a sure sound of summer. Fresh green beans are worlds better than anything canned, so if the casserole style green beans don’t do it for you, give the fresh ones a try.
Sweet, fresh cantaloupe and honeydew are in peak season from June through August. The rest of the years they’re generally shipped from South America, so by the time they hit stores in the U.S., they’ve been off the vine a while. These melons taste nothing like fresh-picked melons, so give them another try now.
Peaches and Nectarines
They’re basically the same fruit except peaches have fuzz. Picking a juicy peach off a tree and eating it ripe is such a delicious experience. If peaches aren’t grown in your state, you can still usually find them stocked at farmers markets, hauled in from a state nearby.
Plums are just now coming into season. They are slightly tart but still sweet and totally delicious. They are hardier than peaches, so they can stand up to the tumbles of summer, like picnics or backpacking, a little better than other stone fruits.
Bright, juicy red raspberries are such a joy to eat, but eat them fast! They usually don’t haven’t a terribly long shelf life once picked. They’re high in Vitamin C, they have anti-inflammatory properties, and they can fight some cancer, heart, and circulatory diseases, so get picking!
Whether its cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato tarts, or caprese salads, tomatoes are THEE summertime vegetable (or fruit if you want to get technical). They’re finally in season, so watch your vines this month for that exciting when when green tomatoes turn ripe and ready.
Another summertime must. What would summer even be without the juices from a big slice of bright pink melon running down our arms. Watermelon embodies summer all on its own, but it’s also a great fruit to mix into guac, add to bruschetta, or blend into popsicles or smoothies. There is plenty of watermelon this month to go around, so try them all!
Zucchinis are in full swing this month, so get to grilling. Grilled zucchini is the perfect accompaniment to nearly any summertime meal.
ALSO TRY, Peaches and cream smoothie.