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Food

Your August Produce Guide: Eating Seasonally This Month

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As we enter the last full month of summer, we’re presented with some of the prime time for summer produce. Whether we’re looking for berries, melons, or even the annual herbaceous mallows, this is one of the last months to get these produce items while they’re fully in season and freshest.

What’s in season now?

Across the country, varying climates may cause a differentiation in what produce is available from region to region. This month, we’re sharing some options for seasonal eating to provide some inspiration in the month of August. Here’s a list of some of the fruits and vegetables in season this month, along with some recipe ideas to test out using these seasonal fresh ingredients. 

Raspberries

The prime season for raspberries ends in August, granting one last seasonal month of the soft, sour berry. While raspberries may be bite-sized and small, they’re packed with nutrition. These berries provide potassium to aid heart function and keep our blood pressure low. They also provide omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent health issues including heart disease and stroke, and manganese, a mineral that assists in regulating our blood sugar and keeping our bones and skin healthy.

Looking for more inspiration? Raspberries are welcome in any fruit salad to add a bit of tang. Whether they’re fresh or frozen for longevity, add them into the mix for your next smoothie or smoothie bowl. For a more savory approach, try your hand at a raspberry salsa or add them into a bed of greens with a handful of nuts and a crumbly cheese for another take on a berry salad. When it comes to sweets, there are dozens upon dozens of options, but you can start with a raspberry compote or raspberry crumble bars and adjust to your dietary needs.

Cantaloupe

You’ll find cantaloupe in season generally from June through August, making this month the last prime time to get this melon this year. In addition to being an all-around refreshing fruit to have on hand in the sweltering heat to fend off dehydration (along with the necessary water intake), cantaloupes contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to aid our body. This melon contains antioxidants, including vitamin C, which help reduce free radicals in our bodies and prevent oxidative stress. Cantaloupes also contain potassium and vitamin A to help with our body’s tissues, skin, hair, and fiber to aid digestion.

Were you looking for more inspiration? Whip up a cantaloupe sorbet to keep you cool on a warm day, or get a bit more creative and try out a spiced cantaloupe tea loaf for a dash of sweetness. Cantaloupe can also be served grilled, either marinated to be sweet or spicy (or a combination of both), added to a salad with your favorite greens and other veggies and crumbled feta, or even wrapped with a piece of prosciutto for a sweet and savory blend.

Corn

Corn is an absolute summer staple, especially for the quintessential summer barbecue. This starchy vegetable also contains the antioxidant vitamin C and lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that aid our eye health and prevent damage that can lead to cataracts. Corn also has a small amount of vitamins B, E, and K, magnesium, and potassium. One risk to consider with corn is that it contains antinutrients, which can prevent our body from successfully absorbing nutrients. A quick soak of your corn can help remove these antinutrients so that you can absorb all the nutrients your body needs.

Are you looking for more inspiration? Whether your corn is boiled, grilled, or roasted, there are plenty of ways to integrate this starchy vegetable into your meals without just eating it straight off the cob. When removed from the cob, roast the kernels to add to a salad or salsa for an extra crunch. Or, create a creamy chowder with corn, summer squash, and any other vegetables or proteins your heart desires. If you’re looking for a delicious side dish that can be the perfect addition to any table, combine corn, mayonnaise, and cotija cheese with lime and spices like cayenne and chili powder.

Okra

Okra remains in season for all of your comfort food enjoyment during the summer through early fall—fun fact: okra is technically a fruit, not a vegetable, by definition. Fruits develop from the flower of a plant and contain seeds, while vegetables have roots, stems, and leaves and are any part of a plant grown for food. Okra is another produce item rich in vitamin C to aid in immune function, but it also contains vitamin K to help the blood in our body successfully clot.

Looking for more inspiration? Okra can be roasted with oil and seasonings, battered and fried, or stewed with tomatoes depending on your preference. For a heartier meal, you can also try your hand at seafood and okra gumbo, using the ingredient to add both flavor and thickness.

Heirloom tomatoes

What separates regular tomatoes from heirloom tomatoes? Their seeds. From season to season, the seeds are passed down and taken from the best tomato plants that year to select specific tastes and give access to a wider variety of tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes also contain a natural antioxidant called lycopene, which can help protect our skin from UV rays and reduce oxidative stress, especially in individuals with diabetes.

Are you looking for more inspiration? You’ll see people eating heirloom tomatoes by themselves, taking a slice and adding a hint of salt and pepper to enjoy its flavor. They’re the perfect addition to any sandwich, including a Caprese sandwich with fresh mozzarella with pesto and a drizzle of balsamic. Chop the tomatoes into pieces and combine with your vinaigrette of choice and some feta cheese or burrata for an heirloom tomato salad to dress up your meal time. For warmth, bake the tomatoes with garlic and cheese into a flaky crust for a savory galette.

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