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How to Use Up All Your Height-of-Summer Produce

How to Use Up All Your Height-of-Summer Produce

The garden is exploding, your CSA is at its peak, and you can’t seem to help yourself from stopping at the local farmers market. It’s the best time of year to be a local food junkie! Here are some tips and recipes to help use up your seasonal bounty.

Cucumber

Low-calorie cukes are easy to munch and have an irresistibly fresh aroma. They also have a high water content, which means they will help keep you hydrated.

 

Recipes to try:

Cubed Watermelon, Cucumber and Feta Salad (pictured above)

Cucumber Mint Iced Tea

Cucumber Salad

Make Your Own Pickles

Herbs

Use herbs as an ingredient, not a garnish. Fresh herbs play a starring role in recipes for chimichurri, salad dressing and pesto (which can be frozen and enjoyed for months). Instead of lettuce, use combo of various fresh herbs and arugula in salad.

 

Recipes to try:

Chimichurri Sauce

Pesto 

Herb Salad

Tomatoes

Nothing says summer like a colorful, sweet and juicy tomato. Use copious amounts in recipes like salads and grilled kebabs. Also try cooked recipes like fresh tomato sauce and slow simmered jam. Whole, clean tomatoes can also be frozen. To defrost, blanche in boiling water then peel and use in any cooked tomato recipe.

 

Recipes to try:

Grilled Tomato Kebabs

Cherry Tomato Salad with Buttermilk Basil Dressing

Tomato Jam

Corn

Corn gets a bad reputation for being unhealthy, but it actually has plenty of nutrients to offer, including fiber, magnesium, potassium and the antioxidant lutein. Toss whole cobs on the grill for a charred flavor, or add the kernels to salsa.

 

Recipes to try:

Summer Corn Salad

Corn Salsa

Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob

Melon

It’s the best time of year for watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew. Explore the farmers’ market for unique varieties like sun jewel or casaba melons. Use the flesh and juice in salads, drinks and frozen treats. Don’t forget the rind – it’s wondrous when pickled.

 

Recipes to Try:

Watermelon Chili and Basil Ice Pops

Honeydew and Arugula Salad

Pickled Watermelon Rinds

Stone Fruit

If you’ve ever gone peach picking you know what a challenge it can be to use a peck of ripe peaches before they begin to rot! Get more mileage out of stone fruit by making jam (try an easy freezer recipe) or a batch of fruit leather. Grill and top with frozen yogurt for dessert or chop and add to rice for a spectacular side dish.

 

Recipes to Try

Freezer Jam

Pear and Plum Fruit Leather

Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Sugar Butter

Spiced Rice with Nectarines

 

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.

Check out these fresh ways to use an abundance of summer produce.

Dana Angelo WhiteFood Network FeedAugust 15, 2017