Healthy eating is never more exciting than during the summer season! Between growing your own plants and visiting the local farmer’s market, the options for fresh summer vegetables are endless. This is the perfect time to explore fresh foods that expand your palate as well as connect with your family and the community.
Growing your own in-season vegetables is a great way to bring healthy eating even closer to home. By growing your own plants, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint and monitoring exactly what your food is exposed to before it hits your plate. This is also a great way to get kids involved and inspired to pursue their own healthy eating journey.
You might also consider shopping for fresh summer vegetables at your local farmers market. Healthy, fresh, seasonal options are always available from local farmers, and checking out the farmers market is a great way to support your community. Check out these great tips to get started!
Whether you decide to grow your own or shop locally, you can’t go wrong with these summer vegetables:
- Avocados are at their peak in the summer. This summer vegetable is an amazing source of healthy fats as well as potassium, folate, and vitamin C. They also have a compound that helps your body to absorb healthy carotenoids from vegetables, so they make the perfect beginning to the list. When you’re shopping for avocados, look for ones that have unblemished skin that are firm with a slight give.
- Eggplants are also at their peak during the summer season. Eggplants are a great source of fiber and they contain a variety of phytonutrients that help with antioxidant activity. When you’re selecting an eggplant, look for one that has smooth, clear skin and seems heavier than it looks. Try grilling an eggplant and lightly seasoning it with oregano, salt, and pepper for a fresh summer taste.
- Hot peppers are another must-try in the coming months. Hot peppers contain capsaicin, which is a compound that can help alleviate migraine headaches, arthritis, inflammation, and more. It helps to speed your metabolism and even reduces the risk of cancer. In addition, hot peppers contain nearly twice the amount of vitamin C as oranges. This summer vegetable is also easy (and fun) to grow yourself at home or in a community garden!
- Zucchini is another great source of vitamin C as well as fiber, magnesium, potassium, and protein. You can find the freshest locally grown zucchini between May and July. Look for ones that are about the size and shape of a cucumber with thin, smooth skin that’s either green or yellow. For inspiration, check out this simple recipe for zucchini slaw!
If you’d like to catch more tips and advice for healthy eating and cooking like a chef, be sure to follow me on Instagram at OfficialChefT, check out SimpleEatsTV on YouTube, and find my podcast, Simple Eats w/ Chef T, on iTunes, Google Play, Overcast, Pocket Cast, and Radio Public.
Always remember Eat with a Purpose!