I’ve given up on incorporating the farmer’s market into my weekly shopping routine. Maybe I’ll give it another go in the fall when I don’t stick to the inside of my car, my hair, and my shorts even at 7am. Just because my good intentions have been put on hold doesn’t mean I can’t pass the knowledge on to you and live vicariously through those who are regulars. Summer really is when the pickings are ripe at the farmer’s market with such a broad selection. I’ve decided to combine the summer months as the offerings overlap quite a bit. Here’s what you should look for in June, July, and August according to the Tennessee Seasonality Calendar.
Take a look back for what’s in season in April and May.
Apples. A go-to snack in our house. Smothering with peanut butter is one of my favorite snacks to get through a sweet craving.
Artichokes. I don’t utilize these yummy guys enough. They’re great in pasta dishes or you can bake them whole and then serve with a dipping sauce as an appetizer.
Basil. An easy snack for a party are these caprese skewers with tomato, basil, and mozzarella.
Bell Pepper. Peppers are a great option for a meatless dinner as they can be used to beef up (pun intended) vegetarian spaghetti or quesadillas.
Blackberries. I don’t love the little seeds, but blackberries have so many awesome health benefits. I wonder if the antioxidants still count if they’re in a cobbler??
Blueberries. Blueberries stay on rotation with strawberries at our house. They make a great snack for baby, and are a favorite oatmeal garnish.
Bok Choy. This is a great ad-in item if you enjoy Chinese dishes. Try throwing some into your next stir-fry.
Cabbage. I have recently discovered a love for this veggie. I really like this recipe, but we’re tying to cut back on processed meats so I often just saute the cabbage with garlic and butter and use it as a side.
Cantaloupe. A southern breakfast staple in the summer. Did you know that you can get it dried?? I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I’m intrigued.
Cherries. Tim can’t stand cherries, which makes me so sad. I love these as a sweet treat! The rich flavor seems indulgent, but comes without the guilt.
Cherry Tomatoes. This is my favorite type of tomato to put in a salad. I also love that I can keep them in the fridge all week and they stay firm longer than some other varieties.
English Peas. I grew up eating peas as a side with spaghetti and do the same with Lyla as she’s not quite a salad eater yet….we need a few more teeth.
Field Peas. I wasn’t familiar with this term, but after a quick Google I realized that there are a few varieties. Here is a list along with some prep tips.
Garlic. I’m definitely guilty of buying the minced garlic in a jar, but fresh garlic is just so much better! If going the fresh route, it definitely helps to have the right tools for prep.
Gooseberries. Yet another summer offering that I have no experience with. Cooking Light offers some knowledge.
Grapes. Baby absolutely adores grapes. Mama of course has to cut each one into about six pieces but this results in me not hyperventilating each time she takes a bite and keeps her busy for an extra few minutes. I’ll take it as a win-win.
Honey Dew Melons. I feel like honey dew get the bad rap of being the leftover flavorless option in the restaurant fruit salad. They maybe need to be given another shot. This popsicle recipe sounds interesting.
Leeks. Creamy soups are my favorite, but potato based is not always the healthiest way to go. You achieve the creaminess by pureeing other vegetable… such as a leek. I’d like to give this recipe a shot.
Lima Beans. I have never bought lima beans fresh as they are on my freezer rotation. Trisha can teach me what to do.
Okra. I absolutely love okra! The good news is that it’s a healthy veggie. The bad news is that I’m a southern gal who only likes it breaded with cornmeal and fried.
Onions. Used in our house almost every day.
Peaches. Fresh peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream is one of my all time favorite summer desserts.
Plums. I occasionally buy prunes, but forget about plums. Any good recipes for these guys??
Potatoes. Homemade french fries are a favorite of mine. I don’t make them too often, but always go the baked route to feel a little less guilty.
Raspberries. Another wonderful and healthy fresh berry. These adorable bowls will be going on my wish-list for storing these beautiful little fruits in the fridge.
Squash. Another southern staple that I love to have fried. A healthier option is sliced into a salad or with hummus.
Sweet Corn. I shared an awesome recipe for Mexican street corn on my last Friday Favorites post.
Tomatoes. There’s something very nostalgic about fresh tomatoes. Growing up in a small town, they always seemed to be in abundance as many neighbors of ours grew their own and wanted to give as many away as possible.
Watermelon. My favorite guilt-free dessert during the summer months!
Zucchini. Zucchini is a must when preparing a healthy side of grilled veggies. Combine with some mushrooms, red onion, red bell pepper, and pineapple with a little soy sauce and Worcestershire. You can grill or roast in the oven.
I hope some of my tips are useful for the summer bounty. I asked my mom for advice on a couple of the items and she said “when in doubt, cut it up and put sugar on it, or fry it”. I think she pretty much nailed it.
For info on recommended organic produce, check out this post.
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