As we celebrate the start of summer here in Terre Haute, Indiana, the weather is heating up and local gardens are bursting with produce.
With June marking National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable month, let’s support our farmers and our own health with fun and delicious ways to enjoy the season's rich bounty. Put some of these ideas to work in the country kitchen.
1. Frozen Delights
Chop a mixture of berries and fruits into a traditional fruit salad, then freeze. These bite-sized pieces become a sweet way to cool down on hot days. For an even simpler version, toss a few cups of seedless grapes in a plastic bowl before placing them in the freezer.
Mini-blenders have made it easy to create fruit smoothies, but don't stop with just enjoying them in a glass. Take your favorite recipes and freeze them in Popsicle or ice-cube trays to transform a breakfast classic into a cold afternoon snack.
2. Don't Skip the Chocolate
For a truly tantalizing treat, melt a small bar of unsweetened dark chocolate in the microwave and drizzle it over banana, strawberry or pineapple slices. Dark chocolate boasts a low glycemic index and is rich in antioxidants, making it a surprisingly healthy topping for fresh fruits when you keep it in moderation.
3. Stuffed with Flavor
Highly customizable, stuffed veggies let you enjoy favorite flavors. Though traditionally prepared in an oven or on a stove top, the recipes below are cooked in a microwave so you can enjoy the summer treat with only minutes of prep time.
- Pesto-Stuffed Tomatoes
- How to Cook Stuffed Peppers in a Microwave
Expand the stuffed goodness into after-dinner desserts with the use of a slow cooker and crisp apples.
- Pecan-Stuffed Baked Apples
4. Dipped in Fun
What better way to enjoy veggie sticks and fruit slices than to create an irresistible and fast dip?
The possibilities are endless, and the internet is filled with recipes both sweet and savory. Healthy versions made from yogurt, peanut butter or unsalted cottage cheese let seniors mix up their spread and keep snacks exciting as they try new flavors and combinations while still managing their calorie and sodium intake.
- Extra-Easy Hummus
- Healthy Peanut Butter Fruit Dip
5. Pasta and Salads with a Twist
Whether made with a knife, peeler or spiralizer, veggie noodles and spirals add an interesting element to traditional pasta or salads and are perfect for gluten-free diets.
These clever ribbons can also be made out of firm fruits like apples and pears, which add an intriguing texture and appearance to deserts.
- How to Make Zucchini Noodles
- Carrot Raisin Salad
- Spiralized Cinnamon Apples with Greek Yogurt
6. All Wrapped Up
Tortilla shells are a great way to enjoy fresh vegetables. Whether you opt for only veggies or include grains, nuts and legumes, veggie burritos are a delicious way to add the bounty of summer gardens to your diet.
But have you considered adding a sweet spin to these classics? With fruit and yogurt in place of lettuce and cheese, this recipe provides a quick, fun dessert at the end of a hot day.
7. Think Outside the Rind
Few things are more iconic to summer than cold, crisp watermelon, but one of the greatest things about this melon is the creative ways that have been invented to eat it. With these imaginative recipes, watermelon can be used in desserts, sides and main courses.
- Watermelon Cake
- Watermelon Pizza
- Fresh Watermelon Cupcakes
- Arugula and Watermelon Salad
- Watermelon Feta Guacamole
- Watermelon and Cucumber Gazpacho
Posted on Fri, June 22, 2018
by Shawn Deane