The summer season is the best time for backyard BBQs, cookouts and entertaining family, friends and neighbors. Summer is also the best time to explore your local farmers markets. Take a look to see what fresh produce is in season for the summer months ahead and stock up on these foods the next time you visit your community’s local farmers market.
When selecting farmers market fresh blueberries, choose berries that are dusty blue in color dry, firm, plump and uniform in size. Small blueberries tend to be tart in flavor while damp and wet blueberries squish easily, so look for these characteristics to ensure you select the freshest blueberries possible. If you happen to find a few softer blueberries in your batch, re-purpose them into a smoothie or transform them into a homemade blueberry compote or jam.
When choosing cantaloupes, choose melons that are heavy in size with no visible bruises and are cream in color with yellow undertones. Cantaloupe can be left uncut at room temperature for one week, while cut cantaloupes can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days.
Nothing says summertime than a bag of fresh farmers market cherries. Choose cherries that are red in color and firm with the stems still attached. Avoid selecting cherries that are blemished, soft or shriveled. Cherries can be refrigerated for up to 10 days.
Corn on the cob is the quintessential side dish for all of your summertime cookouts. If grilling corn on the cob, remove the first layer of husks then place corn on the grill for 30-45 minutes while rotating every 10-15 minutes until outer husks are charred and golden brown in color.
#5 Green Beans
Also known as string beans, these bright green and crunchy beans are the perfect side dish for any summertime meal. Choose green beans that are bright green in color, fresh and that snap easily when bent.
Peaches are a wonderful summertime snack. Choose peaches that are firm with a fuzzy skin and yield to gentle pressure. Unripe peaches should be stored in a paper bag and once peaches are ripe, they can be stored at room temperature, but should be eaten within 1-2 days.
When choosing summer strawberries, choose berries that are bright red in color, firm and shiny. It’s important to not wash strawberries until you are ready to eat them as the moisture can cause the strawberries to spoil quickly. If storing, pack in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for 1-3 days.
#8 Summer Squash
Also known as zucchini, summer squash makes a great addition to summertime kabobs or can be grilled on their own. When selecting, choose zucchinis with a shiny skin.
Garden fresh tomatoes are perfect for summertime dishes including flatbread, fresh bruschetta, handcrafted sandwiches and salads. When selecting tomatoes, pick ones that are bright red in color and firm. If you find a few softer tomatoes in your bunch, re-purpose them into a homemade salsa or spaghetti sauce.
Watermelon is a summertime favorite. It’s cool, crispy and refreshing, especially on a hot, humid day. Pick a watermelon that is symmetrical and heavy. Store uncut at room temperature or cut and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Here are some other favorite fruits and vegetables that are in season during the summer months:
Stock up on these summertime staples while they are in season and enjoy the taste of summer with each and every bite.
Wondering what other foods are in season in your area of the country? Check out this seasonal food guide.