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5 Easy Dishes to Make with Summer Produce

  • Category: LiveSmart
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Baldwin

fresh produce in a basket

You can't go wrong with these simple, flavorful meals made with seasonal fruits and veggies.

There's nothing like the freshness of summer produce. Juicy melons, bright tomatoes and loads of other fruits and vegetables are ripe for the picking at this time of year. And even if you don't have a garden or live near a farm, you'll usually find there's no shortage of vibrant, fresh produce at your local market.

If you're someone who already loves to eat fruits and vegetables, you probably don't need any arm twisting to eat more produce at this time of year. But even if fruits and vegetables aren't usually a big part of your diet year-round, it's hard to pass up on their goodness during the summer months. Not only are stores full of glorious-looking produce now, but prices are usually lowest when produce is in season so it's best to take advantage while you can.

Not sure what to do after you come home with a haul of fruits and vegetables? Here are a few easy dishes you can make to savor the flavors of the season:

  1. Grilled Vegetables – Most summer veggies hold up well on the grill and you can't beat their taste when they get just a bit of a char on them. You can grill almost any type of summer veggie, from spears of asparagus to slices of zucchini, eggplant and peppers.
  2. Kebabs – Cube up your favorite veggies and skewer them along with chunks of lean protein, such as chicken, steak or fish. Not only is this meal a crowd-pleaser because of the taste, but it's an eye-catching addition to any summer spread. Marinate the vegetables and protein for added flavor or dust with dry spices. This Grilled Chicken Kebab recipe is sure to be a hit!
  3. Stir-Fries – Another way to take advantage of an abundance of vegetables is to dice them up and throw them into a stir-fry. This quick method of cooking seals in nutrients and taste, leaving you with a bright assortment of colors and flavors on your plate. You can add any type of protein to this dish so play around with different flavor combinations.
  4. Salads – Fresh produce at the peak of flavor is just begging to be eaten raw, and what better way to do that than in a robust salad? Combine your favorite salad greens and top with an assortment of chopped veggies, such as cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, carrots and red onions. Mix some olive oil with your favorite vinegar and fresh herbs for a simple but tasty dressing.
  5. Fruit Salad – Just as you can't go wrong adding assorted veggies to a bed of salad greens, you also can't mess up a fresh fruit salad. Simply slice, dice or chop up your favorite fruit for a refreshingly sweet treat. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew make a fast fruit salad. Grapes, peaches, plums and apricots are welcome additions. Squeeze with fresh lemon or lime and add mint sprigs for more flavor.

The beauty of summer produce is that you don't even need a recipe to enjoy its appealing taste. Just grab a peach, slice up some watermelon or snack on some green beans or snap peas. They're nature's snack and will keep you satisfied while filling your body with healthy nutrients.

 For more LiveSmart articles, visit www.McKenzieHealth.org/LiveSmart.

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Date Last Reviewed: May 9, 2024

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Jane Schwartz, RDN, CLT

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