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.

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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.

Baking in a solar oven is one easy way to cook outdoors |

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.

Summer Seasonal Recipes

Use these recipes for inspiration in making the most of summer produce and eat in harmony with the season.

Zucchini Lasagna {it's not about going low carb}

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Zucchini tends to be more than a little productive, this lasagna is a great and hearty way to make use of it in a way the whole family will enjoy.

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Fermented Cherry Tomato Bombs

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Cherry tomato plants tend to be productive, ferment them for a delicious and different side dish instead of just munching or putting them on salads.

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Cucumber Salsa is an Unexpected Flavor Delight!

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Use those cucumbers for something other than salad topping or pickles with this unusual sauce.

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Quick sauteed green beans and peas with mint and basil

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Toss those beans and peas together with some fresh herbs for a quick and delightful side dish.

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Peach Salsa Recipe

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Salsa can be more than just tomatoes and hot peppers, try this peachy version for a cooling and delicious twist.

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Easy Tomato Tart with Puff Pastry

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Use all those gorgeous fresh tomatoes for a fresh tart instead of pizza night on summer weekends.

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Mustard Dill Potato Salad (No Mayo)

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Those backyard BBQs and potlucks often need a potato salad, this one skips the mayo making it easier to avoid spoiling in the heat.

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Campfire Cooking: Rob Roy Cookies

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Make cookies directly on the campfire using a cast iron skillet or by wrapping them in leaves for a fun outdoor treat for kids & adults alike.

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Healthy Blueberry Popsicles With Just 3 Ingredients

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Make cooling treats you can feel good about serving with popsicles made from local fruit.

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Nectarine Cake

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Fresh fruit always makes for delightful pies, but it also goes great in many cakes and this nectarine cake is most and flavorful.

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Basket of fresh vegetables with text overlay.

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Kathie is a writer, gardener, and teacher living with her soulmate, Jeff, in northwestern Montana. As a fiercely D.I.Y. individual, she is dedicated to living a life made of her own hands as much as possible.

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