Nutrition Articles

What to Eat This Summer

Enjoy the Season's Freshest Foods

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No one wants to spend hours planning menus, making countless trips to the grocery store and slaving in the kitchen, only to endure dull and tasteless food. If you want to eat healthy, home-cooked meals without all the fuss, try a seasonal pantry makeover. To do it, stock up on locally-grown foods, and simply create meals based on what's in season in your region. Eating locally is delicious, nutritious, interesting and, believe it or not, easy. Local food tastes better because it really is fresh (not shipped-from-across-the-country-yet-still-bearing-a-label-that-says-fresh).

It's healthier for you because you get the higher nutrient levels from just-picked produce. It's healthier for the environment because local food uses less fossil fuel for transport. Seasonal food is also interesting, as each season brings a new crop of foods that you haven't had for an entire year. Before you've had a chance to tire of its bounty, the season changes to bring new, flavorful foods. And shopping for seasonal foods is easy—a fun trip to your local farmer's market will yield the majority of the ingredients you need.

In the US, we enjoy practically unlimited access to any food any time of the year. Although it's nice to have watermelon in February and asparagus in August, many people don't even know that foods have a season, let alone what foods are in season at any given time of year. A quick scan of the offerings at the farmer's market will clear this up in a few seconds, but you may want to start brainstorming recipes beforehand. Availability will vary from region to region, but here's a list of foods that make summer their season, along with tips on how to incorporate the new-to-you ingredients into your meals.
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About The Author

Liza Barnes Liza Barnes
Liza has two bachelor's degrees: one in health promotion and education and a second in nursing. A registered nurse and mother, regular exercise and cooking are top priorities for her. See all of Liza's articles.

Member Comments

  • Love my veggies!!! Fruits, too.
    Peeled cucumber for dinner today - 12 yr. old grandson loves them
    Also put tomato wedges and celery sticks on plate.
    We eat lots of both vegetables and fruits! - 6/15/2014 10:25:51 PM
    No one that I know EVER would be "wowed" by lousy cucumber or celery, fresh from the garden or whatever, just saying their names brings cold chills to the tummy............
    ... - 5/16/2014 2:00:36 PM
  • I agree: where is the watermelon?! And where are the BLUEBERRIES????!!
    !!!!! I thought blueberries would be front and center on a list of healthy summer fruit & veggies.... Maybe I just live in a heavy blueberry area. - 7/21/2013 10:11:16 AM
  • Watermelon...not on the list? - 7/21/2013 9:01:17 AM
  • Loved the article. Great things. - 5/20/2013 10:00:29 AM
  • My mother used to go the farmer's market every Saturday morning and then come home and boil up the beets. We'd eat them as soon as they were cool enough! Fond memories of a wonderful mother and healthy food! Those were simple pleasures. She passed August 1, 2010, and every time I do something she used to do with us, I honor her by remembering her to others around me! She was a evangelical Christian woman who fought to the last day of her life for people to know that Jesus Christ loves each person and died for you all! God bless you! - 6/21/2011 3:01:31 PM
  • RHONDA167
    I need to hurry up and get to me a farmers market. My brothers are farmers and they grow veggies, but I always have to wait until mid August before the garden is ready. - 6/21/2011 2:11:39 PM
  • great idea! I need to go back to my local farmer's market ;) - 6/21/2011 1:56:13 PM
  • I remember having to eat seasonally growing up since we didn't have the luxury of shipping foods from other countries. That was the way it was until about the 80's. So it's funny how now we are going back to eating that way. - 6/21/2011 10:28:06 AM
  • Great ideas! I was needing some "fresh" ones! - 6/21/2011 8:55:32 AM
  • I love summer foods. Thanks for this quick reference and ideas - 9/11/2009 12:33:05 PM
  • Great Article. I love fresh summer produce, blueberries, strawberries, corn on the cob, fresh zucchini and summer squash. - 6/22/2009 9:27:44 PM
    thank you this was very good to remind us all to support our farms in the area.. and to eat healthier. - 6/22/2009 11:07:02 AM
  • Very helpful! Thank you for the great summer suggestions. New to shopping for the family and aiming to guide them to healthier food finds. :) Love the ideas for the fruits and veggies. - 6/7/2009 2:53:30 AM
  • Great article. Do give us more! - 8/30/2008 3:19:07 AM

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