Thursday, July 29, 2010

Eating for Summer: What's Fresh Now?

It's summer, which means lots of fresh fruits and veggies are in season. Whether you grow your own or go to your local farmer's market every Saturday, it's a great time to eat fresh (and can fresh so that you have yummy fruits and veggies year-round).

Canning and cooking at home are not only great ways to save money, they can also provide great family time and fun activities to share with friends. Plus, you know what you're eating! You can pick all your favorite seasonal items and herbs, and grill them or eat them raw or make delicious salads ... or, or, or however makes you feel healthy and satisfied.

But, how to know what's in season now? The Mother Earth News website has taken the guesswork out of eating for summer. Here's a summary of what's in season by category from their article "Summer Recipes: Fresh, Easy and Healthy":

Herbs: basil, borage, chives, cilantro, dill, garlic, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, summer savory, thyme

Salad Greens: arugula, beet greens, lettuce, mizuna, radish greens, sorrel, spinach, tatsoi

Cooking Greens: bok choy, chrysanthemum greens, collard greens, kale, mustard, turnip greens, Swiss chard

Garden Veggies: artichokes, avocados, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, Chinese cabbage, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, kohlrabi, leeks, okra, onions, peas (field, snow and snap), peppers, potatoes, radishes, tomatillos, tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini

Sea Veggies: dulse, Irish moss, various kelps, nori (laver), sea palm, wrack

Fruits: apricots, berries (blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, mulberries, raspberries, strawberries), cherries, figs, grapes, lemons, melons, nectarines, oranges, peaches, plums

Ephemeral Garden Treats: edible flowers (the blossoms of arugula, basil, calendula, chives, cilantro, lavender, marjoram, nasturtium, oregano, roses, rosemary, sage, thyme and violets), squash blossoms

Wild Edibles: beach peas, burdock, cat brier, lamb’s quarters, purslane, red clover, wild berries, yellow dock

Animal Products: Eggs and milk from animals eating summer’s bright green grasses are highly nutritious. Summer is prime chicken season, and lamb is most tender in early summer.

Fish: bass, bluegill, catfish, crappie, trout, walleye

Nuts & Seeds: almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts

Mushrooms: bearded tooth, bolete, cauliflower, chanterelle, coral fungi, fairy ring, maitake, lobster, matsutake, mousseron, oyster, porcini, puffball, shaggy mane, shiitake, sulfur shelf, wood blewit (Note: Before you go out harvesting mushrooms, get a good field guide and be sure you know what you’re doing. Learn to identify various mushroom species with absolute certainty, so that you won’t pick anything poisonous!)

Are you interested in exchanging recipes? We're collecting healthy, holistic recipes on ACHS Facebook for exchange. Get some new ideas, share some new ideas here:

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