One of the enormous benefits of summertime is all of the fresh produce that is now available and ready for eating. You may have noticed that tomatoes taste a little fresher in July, and that corn is sweeter in August. Learn how you can determine which summer vegetables to use and the best way to utilize them in season.

Know the Season

Buying fruits and vegetables outside of their high season is one sure-fire way to kill an otherwise great meal. Strawberry Shortcake, at any other time of year, can be tart and stale… less than a sweet treat. But by mid-June, it’s the most decadent dessert you could possibly create. Though harvest differs by region, generally it’s the same time of year for each crop, give or take a few months. Learn the crop schedule for your region, and insist on only cooking with in season veggies around that time.

Salads, Salads, Salads

If you’ve ever gone and picked a fresh tomato or a string bean right off the stalk, you know that veggies have never tasted better than when you pick them right out of the garden. If you benefit from having a garden, plan your meals out of the crops available, and make a ton of salads. Change it up and be versatile with how you dress up each salad, just don’t let any of your produce go unused.

You Can Roast Anything

Roasted veggies are probably one of the tastiest ways to utilize fresh summer vegetables, and the easiest. Whether you’re cooking with peppers, onions, tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, or any other veggie, consider drizzling a little olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper, and roast in the oven at 250 degrees for about 30 minutes. Your tastebuds will be delighted with this simple method of getting your veggie quota for the day.

cooking summer vegetables

Soups

Who doesn’t love a great soup? Vegetable beef, brunswick, potato and leek, and broccoli soup are all hearty soups that require summer vegetables. The longer you cook them, the softer they’ll be, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. If you prefer a little crunch in your veggies, cook them on high heat to scorch the stew and set it aside. For a thicker consistency stew with softer veggies, try using a slow cooker.

Snacks

There’s nothing better than snacking on good summer veggies. You can find or make a hummus or a dressing that you love, and go to town eating fresh vegetables dipped in the dressing of your choice. The possibilities are endless with the combinations you can use!

Get excited that summer is here, and that fresh vegetables mean great healthy meals for families all over! Whether you’re eating your vegetables in a snack, soup, salad, or roasting them, you’ll love how many options you have for tasty treats.

What are some of your favorite summer vegetables?