We’re lastly within the scorching summer season months up North, and I’ve heard that it’s been a reasonably scorching summer season in most elements of the nation this yr. Fortunately, the lengthy summer season days mixed with the warmth helps farmers and gardeners alike reap the advantages of what they sowed with now bountiful crops of greens showing at farmer’s markets, road-side stands and on the shop cabinets. These greens aren’t solely lovely and scrumptious, they’re full of important vitamins essential for good well being, muscle power, wholesome pores and skin and wholesome eyes. And, they style particularly good this time of yr. However in case you want a number of extra good causes to get pleasure from scrumptious in-season greens for his or her well being advantages, listed here are a number of of my favorites together with data on how to decide on, retailer and serve them.

Zucchini, recent from the backyard, are legendary this time of yr. Not solely do they develop monumental once you inadvertently depart one on the vine too lengthy, additionally they present up on porches throughout the nation as if magical…effectively, it might be your neighbor attempting to “share” their plentiful crop with you. However don’t have any concern, there are good causes so as to add zucchini to your plate as a result of they solely have about 20 energy per cup and supply fiber, vitamin C, folate and potassium.

How to decide on, retailer and use zucchini: Select zucchini that really feel heavy for his or her measurement. The pores and skin must be freed from cuts and bruises. Retailer zucchini in a plastic bag within the fridge and wash previous to utilizing. Use by slicing off the ends after which slice, grate or chop on your recipe. Small zucchini are nice for steaming and sauteing, whereas very giant zucchini are good for baking. You may simply grate additional zucchini and freeze for later use in breads, muffins or casseroles. Merely thaw earlier than use. There isn’t any must peel or de-seed zucchini earlier than utilizing.

Tomatoes are plentiful this time of yr and far more flavorful than the blander tomatoes you get throughout winter. Tomatoes present beta-carotene, vitamin C and a very good dose of lycopene, which might help assist wholesome eyesight. Curiously, cooked tomatoes may very well present extra lycopene than recent tomatoes. Tomatoes are additionally excessive in water content material, serving to you retain effectively hydrated throughout your exercises and scorching summer season days. Don’t simply accept pink tomatoes although, there are an abundance of heirloom varieties from zesty inexperienced, candy yellow and nearly black – and people completely different colours equate to quite a lot of micronutrients.

How to decide on, retailer and use tomatoes: Decide tomatoes which might be freed from mould and comfortable spots. Ripe tomatoes can have a candy aroma and yield to slight strain. Retailer tomatoes at room temperature and use inside a number of days as a result of refrigeration can change the feel of tomatoes and make them much less flavorful. Tomatoes can be utilized in lots of recipes for salads, dips, casseroles and on sandwiches. You can even get pleasure from them sliced with a little bit salt, pepper or sugar.

Cucumbers are additionally plentiful this time of yr. And whether or not you pickle them or add them to a salad, you must undoubtedly make them a part of your nutritious diet as a result of their excessive water and fiber content material make them a really satisfying meals. Cucumbers are additionally a very good supply of potassium, magnesium and a few B nutritional vitamins, making them wholesome on your coronary heart. Cucumbers might be peeled, or eaten with the peels on – which gives much more fiber and vitamins.

How to decide on, retailer and use cucumbers: select cucumbers with vivid pores and skin and no yellowing or blemishes. Keep away from cucumbers that look wilted or have spoiled areas. Smaller cucumbers are usually crisper and have smaller seeds, making them a favourite for teenagers. Use them in salads, make pickles or add to smoothies such because the pineapple cucumber lime smoothie beneath.
Curiously, in accordance with the UC Davis Submit Harvest Expertise web site, you must retailer cucumbers at room temperature and hold them away from bananas, melons, and tomatoes, which give off ethylene, inflicting accelerated yellowing and decay. Cucumbers are delicate to the chilly and may solely be saved for 1 to three days within the fridge, if wanted.

Candy Corn is plentiful this time of yr and might make a budget-friendly nutritious addition to summer season meals. The candy, juicy kernels are gluten-free and are wealthy in fiber, folate and antioxidants. One ear of candy corn has about 100 energy. I guess you didn’t know that every ear of candy corn usually has 800 kernels organized in 16 rows, with one strand of silk for every kernel…did you?

How to decide on, retailer and use candy corn: Select candy corn with fresh-looking husks and plump kernels which might be effectively developed. Keep away from corn that’s dented in or has dry wanting kernels. Retailer candy corn with the husks on in a sealed container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Use candy corn inside a number of days after buying for the perfect taste. Candy corn might be steamed, boiled, grilled, baked and even microwaved.

The truth is, the simplest solution to prepare dinner candy corn is to husk it, then wrap in a moist paper towel and microwave for 2-3 minutes, or till desired doneness.

Now that you simply’ve realized a bit about summer season greens and their well being advantages, why not attempt a few of these nice recipes?

Candy Corn and Bean Salad

2 cups cooked candy corn
1 (15.5 oz.) can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
½ cup chopped pink onion
½ cup chopped pink bell pepper
¾ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup honey
2 Tbsp. chopped recent cilantro
½ tsp. minced garlic
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. floor black pepper

In a big bowl, mix the primary 4 substances. In a small bowl, whisk collectively remaining substances; mix with corn combination and stir till effectively blended. Chill at the very least two hours to permit flavors to mix.

Pineapple Cucumber Lime Smoothie

1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 banana
1 cup pineapple, recent, frozen or canned, drained
1 handful spinach leaves
Juice of ½ lime
Orange juice, for mixing
Ice cubes for mixing

Add first 6 substances to a blender container. Mix till clean including orange juice and ice till desired consistency. Serve chilly.

Freeze-ahead Cucumber Pickles (sure, you may freeze pickles!)

6 or 7 cups sliced cucumbers
2 cups sugar
1 cup diced inexperienced peppers
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup diced onions
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. floor black pepper

In a big bowl, combine all substances and stir till sugar dissolves. Refrigerate in a single day to permit flavors to mix. Fill freezer containers, label, date and freeze till prepared to make use of. Use inside 6 months for the highest quality.