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Eating for smoother, healthier summer skin

Long summer days are made for backyard barbecues, poolside picnics, and rosé all day. But all of that sunshine can have real consequences for your skin. The good news is that there are tons of delicious foods you can eat to help your skin recover from all of the summer excess — and also keep your complexion glowing long after the warm-weather has faded.  “There’s a big impact on how much your diet can effect the health of your skin,” said Dr. Ivy Lee, M.D., a dermatologist in private practice in Pasadena, California and clinical assistant professor at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. “What we’ve learned is that whatever is good for your heart health is good for your skin as well.”  That means farm-fresh fruits and veggies, healthy fats and plenty of water. But it’s just as much of what you don’t eat as what you do.…

How to freeze asparagus

Asparagus is one of the first official signs of spring and a promise that more homegrown produce is right on its heels. All winter long we wait for those green spears to show in the garden, but just like that, warm weather hits and the season is over. If you’re getting into June and you still have an abundance of asparagus in the ground, don’t fret. Freezing it means you’ll have asparagus spears available for the whole year to come. 1. Go homegrown Only bother freezing locally grown asparagus while it’s in season for your area. Asparagus that has been shipped from other states, or even internationally, will almost always be less tender and have less flavor — not a good place to start. 2. Size matters The spears you select for freezing should be at least as thick as a pencil. Thinner spears don’t hold up very well in…

10 Hydrating foods your summer diet needs now

Not drinking enough water is an all-too-common summertime woe. Combine beach boozing, outdoor activities, and a whole lot of sun, and you’re creating a recipe for splitting headaches and serious dehydration. When above average temperatures join the mix, not drinking enough water can be downright dangerous, leading to muscle cramps, low blood pressure, and even organ failure. But dehydration doesn’t have to spoil your summer fun. While water is always your best bet, there are many fresh summer foods that can give your body the extra boost of H2O it needs to make it through the day. Here are some of our favorites: Watermelon Biting into a big slice of juicy watermelon is so enjoyable, you’ll forget it’s good for you, too. Watermelon is 93% water, so it’s an ideal snack on a hot summer day or trip to the beach. Eat it alone, or blend it into a juice…

June: What produce is in season?

The most obvious sign of summer? A plethora of gorgeous, local produce available. With temperatures on the rise and longer days, June’s harvest is full of colorful variety. In-season produce always tastes better and is almost always cheaper, so there is really no reason not to stock up on all the healthy, tasty options in season right now. Asparagus Asparagus is still in season but enjoy it now. The crop varies from year to year, but usually by the end of the month it’s difficult to find tender asparagus. Here’s how to cook asparagus four ways. Beets Get a healthy dose of fiber, folate, and vitamin C when you add beets to your diet. The earthy vegetable comes in season this month and sticks around through December, so you have plenty of time to try them roasted, in salads, juices, and more. Broccoli Broccoli is a sun-loving cool-weather crop, so…

How to freeze rhubarb for use all year long

Rhubarb. It’s the stuff spring dessert dreams are made of. It’s one of the first veggies to appear in the spring, bringing its bright pink color and wonderfully tart taste to compotes, cakes, pies, and crumbles. But just like that, fresh rhubarb bolts when the summer heat turns up, leaving us longing for more. The solution? Freezing it, of course! If you’re lucky to have extra rhubarb — or just didn’t get around to baking as much as you would have liked this spring — it’s worth noting that rhubarb freezes very well and will stay good for up to a year. The easiest way to freeze rhubarb is to cut cleaned stalks into 1-inch pieces, then lay them flat on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze about 3 to 4 hours or until firm. Then, transfer to freezer bags and label. You can use frozen rhubarb the…

How to make corn on the cob perfectly every time

Is it even summer yet if you haven’t had corn on the cob? Biting teeth first into a buttery, bright yellow ear of corn is one of those moments of pure summer joy. It’s a rare vegetable that kids enjoy just as much as adults. The fuss-free summer staple is delicious topped with just a pat of butter and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Peak season for sweet corn is May through September, so pick it up at the grocer or farmers market and enjoy it while you can. 1. pick out the best ears Husks should have a green sheen to them and should be tightly wrapped against the cob. The tassels on top should be moist and tacky to the touch. If they’re black or dry, then you’re looking at an old ear of corn. If you have the rare opportunity to peek a bit deeper, peel…

What’s in season in May? A guide to spring produce

The list of in season fruits and vegetables starts to lengthen in May as weather turns warmer for even the northernmost states. Citrus is on its way out, along with cool weather crops, but most of the country can now enjoy spring icons like asparagus and rhubarb. Southern and western states start to welcome summer produce like berries and cherries. Asparagus We really only get good asparagus for about two months of the year, so enjoy it all the time now, while you can. Try this asparagus tart with strawberry salsa for the ultimate spring brunch. Or go back to the basics with 4 ways to cook asparagus. Cabbage Cabbage comes back in season this month. This hearty vegetable can handle frost, but not heat. So even if we get a late-season frost, the cabbage crop still stays strong, but cabbage heads (which are mostly water) will expand and split…

Thick or thin? The skinny on asparagus size

‘Tis the season for asparagus. And whether we get it from the grocer or our garden, it would be hard not to notice the size difference in asparagus stalks. So which is better, thick or thin? For a while “thin was in.” Skinny stalks were thought to be more tender and were even marketed as “gourmet.” Thicker stalks were passed over at the market because they were thought of as woody and tough. (Admit it. You assumed this, too.) But larger doesn’t actually mean tougher, and our association of “young” and “tender,” when it comes to asparagus, is incorrect. In fact, according to Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, young asparagus puts a lot of energy into producing spears that can stand upright, so the younger plant is more likely to have more crude fiber per square inch. Whereas, if thick asparagus got a reputation as woody, it’s because home cooks…

Creamy asparagus, mushroom casserole

This creamy asparagus and mushroom casserole is the picture of spring side dishes. It uses up loads of that delicious, just-from-the-garden asparagus, fresh mushrooms, and leftover hard-boiled eggs. (Confession: My eggs had pretty pastel spots from getting dyed just days before, but this dish is a great way to make sure they don’t go to waste!) I’m a big fan of this casserole because it delivers such a big serving of vegetables, but it’s also so flavorful, I would eat it as a meal. The smoked paprika brings a lot of flavor to the white sauce, so take a few taste samples as you simmer the sauce and add more to your liking. Creamy asparagus, mushroom casserole Ingredients 2 bunches asparagus 8 ounces sliced mushrooms, with dirt brushed off 2 1/2 tbsp butter + 1/2 tbsp butter 1/4 cup onion, finely copped 2 tsp Dijon mustard 2 1/2 ounces shredded…

April produce guide: What’s in season

You’ve given your thick sweaters and snow shovels the boot. It’s time to welcome spring and all the tender, young produce making its way to your dinner table this month. Spring is full of vibrant and delicious produce, so clear build your menu starting with these in-season produce. Not only will using produce in-season save you money, but it tastes better, too. It’s a win/win! Here’s what’s in season in April: Artichokes (Best Mar. – May) Artichokes come into season pre-holidays, around October, but they’re at their best from March until May. They may be time-consuming to prepare, but the tender leaves taste great stuffed or served with any number of dipping sauces. Asparagus (Best April – May) Arguably, the king of spring. Asparagus taste great raw, tossed in a fresh spring salad, but they’re also easy to roast, sauté, or even grill. Chives (May – June) Chives are one…