It’s summertime! With the warmer weather comes an abundance of local fruits and vegetables in many states across the country including New Jersey. Find fresh produce at your grocery store, farmer’s market, farm stand or even your favorite local restaurant! Read on to see the seven ways to enjoy your summer fruits and vegetables.
Eating by the Seasons
Eating locally is good for you, your family and friends, farmers, the local economy, and the environment. Get a taste of summer’s bounty by venturing out into your local community to explore farmer’s markets, produce stands, and community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs.
“Farmers put their heart and soul into growing the most delicious fruits and vegetables possible, to bring produce from the field to your kitchen table” (1). As a CSA member, I am supporting my local farmer, contributing to the local economy, getting fresh produce, and trying new fruits and vegetables. Looking for a different season? Check out the spring, fall or winter seasonal posts.
What’s in Season in Summer?
The produce bounty from Spring continues into Summer. Look out for more fruits and vegetables but especially Jersey corn and tomatoes!
In Season Summer Fruits and Vegetables
Summer brings the following fruits: Apricots, Asian pears, cherries, black currants, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, elderberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, honeydew melon, key limes, limes, Loganberries, loquat, lychee, nectarines, passion fruit, peaches, plums, raspberries, strawberries, and watermelon (2).
The following vegetables are in season in the summer: Beets, bell peppers, butter lettuce, corn, crookneck squash, cucumbers, edamame, eggplant, French beans, grape tomatoes, green beans, jalapeno peppers, lima beans, okra, spinach, peas, radishes, shallots, sugar snap peas, summer squash, tomatillo, tomatoes, Yukon gold potatoes and zucchini (2).
Summer Fruits & Vegetables List in New Jersey
June is nearing the end of strawberry season but the beginning of cherry and blackberry season in Jersey.
July brings in apples, blackberries, peaches, nectarines, and plums. Lastly, August starts pear and grape season.
Summer brings the following vegetables to the Garden State: Beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, lima beans, okra, peppers, potatoes, squash, sweet corn, and tomatoes.
Heirloom tomatoes are available late summer into fall. New Jersey is ranked 9th in the nation in sweet corn AND tomato production in the United States (3).
Seven Ways to Enjoy Your Summer Fruits and Vegetables
- Toss ‘Em. Use kale or spinach as the base of your salad. Toss with cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, or sugar snap peas. This corn and tomato salad combines Jersey’s best produce: corn and tomatoes!
- Grill ‘Em. Elevate your meals by grilling your fruits and vegetables for a different taste, texture, and look. Brush vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with some seasonings before grilling.
- Stuff ‘Em! Stuff eggplant, peppers, potatoes, squash or zucchini with protein, vegetables, dairy, or grains, then bake and enjoy.
- Stack ‘Em. For extra crunch, color, flavor and added nutrition add cut, sliced or shaved carrots, cabbage, bell peppers or sugar snap peas to a sandwich or wrap.
- Sauce ‘Em! Puree raspberries, blackberries, peaches, cherries, or pears to sweeten up yogurt, cereal, waffles, pancakes, or oatmeal. Feeling adventurous? Try a blackberry sauce on grilled chicken or pork.
- Dip ‘Em! Eat cucumbers, bell peppers, edamame with dip, guacamole, or salsa. Dunk sliced fruit or fruit kebabs in a cream cheese or yogurt dip.
- Drink ‘Em! Mix grapefruit juice with sparkling water or seltzer for a refreshing beverage. Try different combinations of fruit juice with sparkling water, club soda, or seltzer. My personal favorite is cranberry juice with lime sparkling water. Another option is a fruit smoothie!
Enjoy Your Summer Fruits & Veggies
Fresh fruits and vegetables are in abundance during the Summer. Whether you visit a produce stand, farmer’s market, grocery store or Pick Your Own farm there are many ways to get your hands on the freshest summer produce. Served as a side dish, entrée, snack, or drink, there are many ways to enjoy your summer produce! What fruits and vegetables are on your summer list?