Summer has arrived, and living here in New England, it’s the perfect opportunity for fruit and vegetable picking at local farms. Unsurprisingly, fruits like blueberries and strawberries are at their peak for picking in June, but there are also a few other delicious foods to get your hands on. Below, I’ve compiled a few of my favorites.
Blueberry picking with my mom is one of my fondest summer memories as a child. It’s such a versatile food that I love to include in breakfast or desserts, and it’s also a treat that my dog can enjoy in small amounts. Not only are blueberries delicious, they’re also extremely high in antioxidants and low in calories. Like kale and avocados, blueberries are often referred to as a “superfood” for their nutritious benefits. There are the obvious ways to incorporate blueberries into meals, like blueberry pancakes and muffins, but you could also step it up and make a gorgeous vegan blueberry lime cheesecake. I’m dying to make it myself, and I’ll leave the link at the bottom of the page if you’re interested in making it, too.
Strawberries are also a perfect fruit-picking option in June, and personally, they are my absolute favorite fruit. Almost every fruit-flavored item I buy is of the strawberry variety- cereal, pop tarts, granola bars, seltzer water, etc. Not only is it super sweet and delicious, but they also help with blood sugar regulation. As someone who has suffered from quite a few blood sugar spikes, I personally love eating strawberries for this health reason now. One easy way I like to get in strawberries is by topping them on my overnight oats, which is one of my favorite quick breakfasts. I’ll include a link to a basic overnight oats recipe at the bottom, and from there, it’s really easy to customize with your favorite fruits. Even though the serving size may look small, it actually keeps me full for up to four hours.
On the topic of sweet fruits, mangoes are also in season in June! You may not be able to hand-pick them at your local farm stand, but you can still take solace in the fact that they are at their flavor peak. Surprisingly, mango contains a lot of iron, and 80 grams of mango only have 53 calories! If you’re looking for a guilt-free and easy-to-make dessert, I found this vegan mango ice cream recipe on a blog called Jessica in the Kitchen. With summer now here, it’s never the wrong time for a cold dessert, and this ice cream only contains three ingredients! I’ll leave the link at the bottom of the page so you can check it out as well.
Rhubarb, as I’ve mentioned before, is another one of my favorite plants for cooking. Although rhubarb is usually incorporated into sweet, fruity dishes, it is actually a vegetable- similar in appearance to celery. Rhubarb was originally used for medicinal purposes, and although it can be consumed raw, I prefer to eat it cooked and paired with strawberries (big surprise!). One of the medicinal purposes of rhubarb is as a laxative or purgative, so if you do choose to consume it, make sure you don’t eat too much. (Unless you want to have the big poops). Strawberry rhubarb pie is a delightful treat, and I found a delicious recipe on allrecipes. If desired, you can easily make it vegan by subbing the eggs for applesauce, and using a vegan butter instead of regular butter.
We all remember the iconic video of the Jamaican man singing about how wonderful cucumbers are. At least, I do. Cucumbers are so versatile and can be used for a variety of different things- not just cooking! As we’ve all seen from movies and cartoons, cucumbers can be placed on the eyes as a refreshing beauty regime, and it can also be used to relieve sunburn. Cucumber is mostly made up of water, so it’s a great summer snack to help combat dehydration. I always love to add a little bit of cucumber to my water when possible, because it somehow manages to make water taste even fresher. One website in particular that I visited states that cucumber makes water a more “attractive” drink, and honestly, I agree.
Did you know that there are over 130 different varieties of green beans? Me neither. Like many of the other fruits and veggies I have covered, green beans are low in calories and high in nutritional value, making them a healthy snack and addition to your favorite dishes. Interestingly, green beans have also been shown to combat depression, because they block interference with feel-good chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. Green beans are also a great snack for aiding in weight loss and increased energy, so if you live an active lifestyle, you may want to consider eating more of your healthy greens! I found a recipe for a five-star rated vegan green bean casserole, so if you’re interested in that recipe, I’ll leave it down below with the others!
Thanks so much for tuning into my June produce guide! I’m looking forward to doing some fruit picking this summer with my friends and family, and incorporating that fresh produce into some new dishes. Which ones are you excited to try? Let me know in the comments!
Recipes to try:
Vegan blueberry lime cheesecake: https://prettypies.com/recipe/blueberry-lime-cheesecake-vegangfpaleo/
Easy overnight oats: https://feelgoodfoodie.net/recipe/overnight-oats/
Vegan mango ice cream: https://jessicainthekitchen.com/vegan-mango-ice-cream-3-ingredients/
Strawberry rhubarb pie: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/12612/rhubarb-and-strawberry-pie/
Vegan green bean casserole: https://minimalistbaker.com/vegan-green-bean-casserole/
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