With summer looming in the near future, it’s almost time for fruit picking and farm stand adventures. I am fortunate enough to live in the Northeast, where rural fields and farmers markets are abundant in the summer and fall. There’s something about being surrounded by nature that makes me feel utterly at peace, especially when there are animals around me, too. I think I could be totally content to live on a large square of land with just some cows and goats to keep my company, and maybe a few chonky cats as well.
As I’ve said before, it’s always a good idea to shop in season when you can. Not only will it save you money, but it’s also good for the planet! Strawberries are in season in May, which makes me extremely happy. They are one of my favorite fruits- right up there with blueberries and raspberries. Like these other berries, strawberries are full of fiber and antioxidants, on top of just being absolutely delicious. Fresh strawberries sprinkled with sugar is a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth, if you’re looking for a healthy dessert alternative. Additionally, they’re a great sweet snack to feed your dog, especially on a hot summer day. Just don’t feed your dog too many, because they’re very high in sugar!
Another delicious fruit that’s in season is cherries, which are another great source of antioxidants and vitamin C. Additionally, cherries have a high level of melatonin, a hormone that promotes healthy sleep. There have been studies done on men and women that show drinking tart cherry juice can add up to an hour of sleep in your schedule, so if you struggle with insomnia, consider drinking up! Another fun fact: cherries can help reduce post-exercise pain, which is definitely something I’m going to utilize this summer.
When I was younger, I used to drink cans of pineapple juice constantly. Although it is very sweet, pineapple is very low in calories, and it has been shown to boost your immune system. As someone who constantly seems to be sick with something, I love boosting my immunity in as many ways as possible- especially with my diet! Thiamin is also very present in pineapple, which aids in energy production and conservation. If you’re not exactly a morning person, consider incorporating some pineapple into your breakfast to give you a zap of energy.
Moving onto vegetables, zucchini is my favorite veggie that’s currently in season. As a plant-eater, zucchini and squash are some of my favorite hearty staples to include in my diet. There are a number of dishes you can incorporate zucchini into- lasagna, casseroles, muffins, you name it. Zucchini is also packed with nutrients, like fiber and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which improves digestion and reduces constipation. And hey, who doesn’t like a little less constipation in their life? I’ll include a link to zucchini noodles at the bottom of the page, which can easily be prepared vegan.
Spring peas, or just green peas, as I call them, are one of the healthiest vegetables you can feed your body! Peas are a very low-fat food, and can even lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. I love peas because they’re very easy to prepare, and they make a great side dish with roasted potatoes or mac and cheese. One of my favorite comfort dishes to prepare is the Amy’s dairy-free mac and cheese with a veggie medley on the side, like corn or peas. Fun fact, peas are actually considered legumes, just like peanuts.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about all my favorite crops in season, and if you get the chance, stock up on some goodies at your local farmer’s market!
Zucchini noodles: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/172398/zucchini-noodles/