Eating fruits and veggies when they’re in season and at their peak gets you the best bang for your buck. The vibrant reds, oranges, yellows, and greens you see at the market tell you that the produce is bursting with flavor and better nutrition, and it’s much cheaper than buying in the off-season.
By creating recipes around what’s in season, we’re more adventurous in our cooking. We get to try things that we’ve never eaten before or use familiar ingredients in new, delicious ways.
Head to your local farmers market and pick out what looks delicious that day. Take the kiddos along and let them pick out a new fruit or vegetable each week to try. Or join a CSA and let the farmers pack a box of goodies for you each week (you might even get to visit the farm!).
Here are our top five seasonal veggies and how we like to use them.
Asparagus hitting the farmers’ market tables means spring has arrived in Michigan. We ate an incredible amount of asparagus last season – in pastas, as pizza toppings, lightly steamed for 5-6 minutes, or simply roasted with a little olive oil, salt and pepper at 400F for 15 minutes. And it’s totally okay to just pick it up and eat it with your fingers.
Now, before you hate on them, just hear us out. Beets have a wonderfully sweet, savory flavor that, when prepared correctly, make amazing salads, soups, main dishes, and even desserts. Plus, their bright red color is gorgeous. They pair perfectly with other root veggies like potatoes, carrots, and parsnips (also in season!) in a roasted root veggie salad. Just be careful to not to get the juice on you when prepping them, it does stain…
Lightly spicy with an amazing crunch, these little guys are perfect to top salads, but that’s not all! Shave them very thinly to add crunch to sandwiches, add to a crudités platter with hummus, or roast them with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper at 400F for 15 minutes for a delicious side dish.
We’ve actually never tried rhubarb! Which is crazy because it’s everywhere in Michigan during the spring. But we’re going to fix that this year. We hear that its slightly sweet, slightly tart flavor lends well to both sweet and savory dishes, and that its texture when cooked lends well to chutneys and jams. [Check out the links for the recipes we want to try!]
Spinach, Swiss chard, and kale. They’re all in season right now! Salads are a great, light lunch or dinner option, but you can eat greens in many delicious ways. Tear up some spinach and stir it into a homemade soup. Or throw it into your juicer with some fruit for a refreshing juice. Roast kale in the oven at 350F with a little olive oil and salt for 10-15 minutes until crispy like chips. Sauté Swiss chard with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and lemon juice until wilted for a delicious side dish.
So there you have it! Our favorite veggies to eat during the month of June. We’ll have a great recipe for a savory asparagus tart coming up in the next couple of weeks. What’s your favorite vegetable this time of year?? Leave a comment below and let us know!