Make it a Yummy Summer
Summer is upon us, which means plenty of in-season fruits and vegetables to enjoy on those hot summer days. Farmer’s markets are in full swing, bringing local produce to your table. We have tips for buying, storing and preparing the best of the season.
The abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables this season makes it easy to eat your way to better health. Upping the amount of produce on your plate can help you slim down, and according to one study, people who ate 8 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day were 30 percent less likely to have a stroke or heart attack.
Here are a few ideas to put more fruits and veggies in your diet
- Try crunchy veggies with hummus instead of chips or crackers.
- Put more vegetables on your pizza.
- Cut up your favorite fruit and freeze to make smoothies.
- Create fruit kabobs; raw or grilled.
- Make fruit sauces for chicken, pancakes, yogurt, oatmeal, and seafood.
- Stock freezer with frozen vegetables to have sides for dinner.
- Add veggies to your egg white omelet.
- Make fruit your dessert.
Plan ahead to stay on track
What veggies and fruits do you want to eat this week? Buy only what you will eat to avoid waste. Try these simple ideas.
- Put vegetables in your smoothies.
- Cut up veggies. Pack in individual baggies so they’re ready to grab and go.
- Add fruit to your breakfast in oatmeal, cereal or yogurt.
- Put ripe fruit in a bowl so it’s easy to grab and go.
- Freeze grapes to use as ice cubes, then eat them as a snack.
- Stir extra veggies into soups.
- Keep dried fruit in your car or purse for busy days when a breather is just not an option.
- Add more veggies and less meat on your pizza.
- Add veggies on your sandwiches.
- Add peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms or onions to your eggs for a delicious omelet, or pile the whole scramble on your favorite bread, tortilla, or bagel for a booster breakfast sandwich.
Eat Your Fruits and Veggies!
Fresh fruits and vegetables are essential to a healthy diet. Watch as Allison Walters, clinical nutrition specialist, talks about the importance of eating healthy.
Tastes of the Season
Summer is a great time of year to be a cook. Markets and gardens are bursting with gorgeous fruits and vegetables in their prime; sweet corn, juicy ripe tomatoes, jewel-like berries, and much more.
Storing Your Produce
Now that you know how to work more fruits and vegetables into your diet, learn the best way to store your produce for maximum freshness.
Berries are delicate, so handle with care. Only wash the portion you plan on using/eating.
Broccoli will maintain its moisture if stored between lightly moistened paper towels in the refrigerator. Do NOT put in an air tight container.
To freeze: blanch broccoli, drain thoroughly and store in freezer bags for up to a year.
Once cabbage is cut, it should be wrapped tightly in plastic and put in the refrigerator to use within a few days.
Freshly cut carrots can be put in plastic bags in the refrigerator. To prevent drying, wrap carrots in a moist paper towel.
To freeze: blanch carrots, drain thoroughly and store in freezer bags for up to a year.
Same as carrots, but if frozen and thawed, celery loses its crisp texture.
Like broccoli, cauliflower will maintain its moisture if stored between lightly moistened paper towels in the refrigerator. Do NOT put in an air tight container
To freeze: blanch cauliflower, drain thoroughly and store in freezer bags for up to a year.
Cauliflower loses flavor quickly once cut and is prone to absorb other flavors in the refrigerator.
Store in plastic bags in the refrigerator. Wash only the portion you plan to eat in cold water immediately before consuming.
Store in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight, or store in the refrigerator in a mesh or perforated plastic bag.
Wrap cut cucumbers in an airtight bag or tightly with plastic wrap. Store in crisper for up to 3 days. It is not recommended to freeze cucumbers.
Do not cut okra in advance, as it gets messy and starts to ooze. Cut okra close to the time you’ll be using it.
Place cut onions in an airtight container and store for 3-5 days.
Store unripe fruit on the counter. Once ripe, move them to the fridge.
Store cut peppers in plastic wrap for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. To keep them from getting slimy, wrap in a paper towel.
Place cut pineapple in a tightly covered container. Do not use aluminum foil—it will change the flavor.
Cut tomatoes do not refrigerate well. If you have a cut portion of a tomato, put cut side down on a plate and cover loosely. It will keep at cool room temperature for up to a day.