Eating foods in their season is a great way to eat local, save money, and take advantage of the most delicious produce. Eating seasonally in summer is probably the easiest of all the seasons merely because of the sheer volume of fresh foods.
When to Find Summer Seasonal Foods?
When summer begins and ends is more of a location based idea rather than a calendar driven time frame. Summer may begin in June for some but for those in the deep south it might begin in May, for those in the north it might not start until August.
All that to say let the local climate (not the ‘summer solstice’) determine what foods to eat and when.
Use the garden as the best sign of what’s in season. Don’t have a large garden? Visit local farms and farmer’s markets to find local and in-season foods. This is always the easiest and best way to determine seasonal foods. Get to know your local farmers and don’t be afraid to ask for deals on large quantities for preserving. Many orchards will also offer deals on bruised fruits in quantity for preserving.
Common Summer Produce
Summer tends to be the season of abundance. There is rarely a shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables and the variety tends to be huge.
Summer vegetables include things like summer squash, beans, tomatoes, peppers, corn, and cucumbers.
Fruits available in summer usually include things like cherries, peaches, nectarines, and melons.
While most of those foods preserve well and easily be sure to gorge on them in season. This is the joy of seasonal eating – eating everything fresh and then missing it in the off-season once the preserves are gone.
Cooking in Summer
Summer tends to be hot and not the time of year many of us want to spend over a hot stove. Use this season to keep meals simple and cool.
Eat salads and raw veggies with crackers and cheese. Skip the long-cooked roasts in favor of pan-fried meats along side quick stir fried veggies on the side.
Don’t forget to cook outdoors – use the grill, a campfire, experiment with solar cooking and more. Take advantage of the season and be outside as often as is comfortable. Heck even that cast iron can be used on the grill and help keep the house cooler.