Hey LIV Fam: We’re feeling kind of fresh—and eating that way, too. Summer is almost here, farmers markets are popping up once again, and there are so many reasons to feel good about spending your Saturday browsing the stalls. One upside to shopping locally? Your food travels fewer miles, decreasing the environmental impact of truck transport. Less time in transit means the food you’re getting is super fresh. Plus, you’re supporting local farms and small businesses in the process. The best part: produce is usually less expensive when you buy at the farmers market instead of the grocery story. Here’s our list of our favorite food finds for each of the summer months, so you always have something in-season on your shopping list.
Your Menu for June
Asparagus: Low in calories but packed with fiber, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K, asparagus is amazing right off the grill or simply sprinkled with lemon juice and salt.
Avocado: It’s guac season, y’all—and good news: this superfood is packed with fiber, potassium, and vitamins, too. To pick the right avocado, give it a gentle squeeze: it should yield slightly to the pressure without making a deep dent.
Blueberries: Bursting with flavor, blueberries are called the King of Antioxidant Foods for the vitamins and nutrients they pack into a very small space. Snack on a handful or toss them into your next salad, smoothie, or protein pancake.
Cantaloupe: Summer days mean eating this juicy melon by the slice, so pick yours right. Take a sniff of the blossom end—you should smell a sweet fragrance.
Garlic Scapes: The green, tangled stems that grow from garlic bulbs can be harvested before they flower for maximum flavor. You can add garlic scapes to almost everything, raw or cooked. Think: eggs, soup, burgers, or even just grilled as a side dish. Buy them now and pickle some for winter.
Strawberries: Fun fact: These smoothie staples are packed with more vitamin C than the average orange. Look for berries that are glossy and red right up to the stem—white “shoulders” won’t ripen once picked.
Watermelon: This quintessential summer fruit will make you feel more full thanks to high water and fiber contents, and it’s versatile, too: Add a little salt to bring out its sweetness, or blend it with lemon juice and freeze it for a healthy treat all summer long.
Zucchini: High in antioxidants and vitamin A, smaller zucchinis are the best pick for slicing and grilling, while larger squashes work best for stuffing. Or, try spiralized zucchini as a substitute for pasta in your favorite dish.
Best Picks for July
Blackberries: These sweet, lush fruits are best bought locally, as you can ask growers about their farming and ensure there’s no use of pesticides that could permeate their thin skins.
Corn: It’s corn season. Remarkably low-priced by the ear, you can eat them by the cob with a bit of salt or sprinkled into your salad. Look for ears that are plump and unblemished—no need to strip them, just give them a slight squeeze to check underneath their husk for bald spots.
Cucumbers: These fruits (yes, fruits) consist of 96% water, so once they become mushy, they deteriorate quickly. Choose firm cucumbers with even coloring.
Plums: These smart stone fruits are good for reducing inflammation and protecting against free radicals. Plus, they’re super portable for your next picnic. To ripen your fruit quickly, store it in a brown paper bag in a cool, dry place.
Tomatoes: This is the time of year when the humble tomato shines brightest. Rich in antioxidants and a great source of minerals, they are packed with summer flavor. Choose heavier tomatoes and when shopping the heirloom variety remember that scarring is normal (but tears are not).
All About August
Eggplant: You love them smothered in parmesan, but these beauties deserve top billing all on their own. Brush them with oil and salt and add a few slices to your grill for a truly delicious summertime side dish that’s rich in digestion-aiding fiber.
Figs: A great source of calcium and potassium, figs are known to improve digestion and can reduce constipation. They taste delicious, too. Eat them as-is or split and spread onto your favorite crusty bread topped with a mature cheese.
Okra: This diabetes-friendly superfood has a rep for being hard to work with, but these tips go a long way. We suggest soaking it in vinegar for 30 minutes prior to cooking to avoid any sliminess. Okra is delicious when paired with other summer favorites like eggplant, onions, peppers, and tomatoes.
Raspberries: When they’re in season, it’s hard to stop eating these sweet berries by the handful. And why would you want to? Choose berries that are firm to the touch—the softer they are, the faster they go bad.
Peppers: Did you know that the carotenoids in yellow and orange peppers may protect eye health? Now that’s what we love to see. Pro tip: Choose peppers with glossy skin and no nicks.
See You In September
Acorn Squash: The first of the fall flavors to arrive, acorn squash can be stored for up to two months, or until you’re ready to make your first fiber-rich winter soup.
Apples: These heart-healthy favorites make their first debut in August. Rich in antioxidants, some studies show they’re good for gut health, too. Eat them by hand or core and quarter them, sprinkle with cinnamon, and pop them in the oven until soft for a simple, healthy baked treat.
Pomegranate: Native to the Middle East, pomegranates get their name from the Latin word for “apple with many seeds.” Their sweet, edible seeds are called arils, which are rich in vitamins, fiber, minerals, and bioactive plant compounds. Give pomegranate seeds the mocktail treatment with the recipe below.
LIV & Soda
4 Passion Fruit Hydration Multiplier ice cubes (mix 1 stick in ½ cup water, freeze)
1 cup sparkling water Pomegranate seeds to taste
optional: 2 sage leaves
(Directions: Combine ingredients and enjoy.)