Ode to Summer Produce! | Veggiecation© a Culinary-Nutrition Education Program About Vegetables
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Thursday, 02 July 2015 22:19

Ode to Summer Produce!

Summer is the best if you can stand the heat but you know what they say, “if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen!” While we won’t throw you out of our kitchen, we will try and persuade you into appreciating at least one aspect of summer – the food!

 

From summer produce to the specific act of summer time cooking, a.k.a BBQs, this is the season for delicious food and fun times eating in the sun. So grab some sunscreen and enjoy!

First things first, let’s talk about all of our summer favorites. Here are some fun facts about your favorite warm weather veggies!

Beets – We love this veggie because it keeps you on your toes! Can you believe that Beets are a summer vegetable? Neither could we…at first. But we soon learned that even though this veggie is usually considered a winter veggie, it peaks during the summer!

Cucumbers – Cucumbers have a very real and much needed power to lower the temperature of your body. Be cool as a cucumber this summer by enjoying more cukes!

Bell Peppers – All peppers start off as green!  The different colors of the peppers represent the stage at which the pepper was picked. Green peppers are the first to get picked and therefore the least mature, then comes yellow, orange, and finally, red, which is a fully ripe bell pepper. The scale of sweetness works in the same way with green peppers being the least and red peppers being the most.

Tomato – When debating whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable, most people use the argument that tomatoes have seeds and anything with seeds is technically a fruit. This is true, HOWEVER, an 1893 U.S. Supreme Court case ruled that tomatoes are legally considered vegetables.

Zucchini – The world record for the largest zucchini ever is 69.5 inches long, clocking in at 65 lbs! But don’t worry, you’re not missing out because small-medium sized zucchinis have the most flavor.  Side note: the blossoms on the zucchini plant are edible so don’t let the beautiful flowers go to waste. Click here for recipes ideas!

We’ll be the first to admit, we’re a little biased...there is also a ton of summer friendly fruit, but we really do love our veggies. If you’re interested in know what’s in season, click here! A majority of fruits grow best in summer – just another reason to bask in sun!

As far as summer specific recipes, here are a few ideas that will add some color to your BBQ spreads. Follow the links for recipes!

Almost American Salad – Not quite red, white and blue but you can’t go wrong with this sort-of patriotic salad.

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CousCous with Peas, Kale, and Artichokes – Heart healthy and heartwarming, this is the epitome of summer comfort food.

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Sunshine Salad – Bring a little sunshine in your life with this great chopped salad!

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Sweet and Spicy Avocado Salad – Fruits and veggies comes together for a sweet and spicy mixture that is hugely satisfying!

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