June Produce Picks: 5 Fruits and Veggies to Use Now
June is the start of summer produce season, when all our favorite fruits and veggies start being available locally. Make sure to take full advantage!
Blueberries: Aside from being incredibly delicious, it’s become common knowledge that blueberries are also among the most nutritious fruits—and actually, one of the most nutritious foods, period.Doing anything other than eating in-season blueberries out of hand seems like gilding the lily. But there are lots of great ways to use them; you’ll find some simple ideas in in A Bounty of Blueberries. And more about how good they are for you in 5 Top Health Benefits of Blueberries. Here are a few easy recipes for using blueberries:
- Mixed Greens Salad with Avocado and Blueberries
- Vegan Blueberry Cornbread
- Vegan Blueberry or Blackberry Cobbler
- Lemony Blueberry Muffins
Strawberries: By the end of June, local strawberry season is starting to wane. Though strawberries are usually available all through the summer, they won’t be at their peak of flavor. So take full advantage now! Though not as much of a nutritional powerhouse as blueberries, few fruits offer as much total sensory satisfaction as fully ripe strawberries. See our post on strawberries for a listing of easy ideas for using them, from parfaits to smoothies and simple desserts. Here are a few to whet your appetite:
- Strawberry Pancakes
- Amaretto Strawberries
- Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits
- Classic Strawberry-Banana Smoothie
Bok Choy: Don’t overlook this versatile veggie! The term “bok choy” is generally used to describe the larger kind, with the crisp white stalks and dark leaves. Baby bok choy is a smaller version of the former variety, with stems and leaves of a fairly uniform, pale green hue. Either of the common varieties of bok choy are good raw in salads or very lightly cooked in stir-fries and Asian-style soups.
6 Quick and Colorful Bok Choy Recipes is a handy place to get ideas.
Lettuce: It isn’t just for salads — especially when your garden or CSA farm leads to a fridge crisper drawer with not just one but three or four heads at once, a scenario that’s fairly common in June. Whatever variety of lettuce you prefer (though please don’t opt for the less nutritious iceberg), it’s in season now. Look for sturdy romaine, oak leaf, and the curly red and green leaf lettuces, or if you like a more tender leaf, there’s butterhead, Bibb, and Boston, to name but three. For more tips, see Lettuce: A New Spin. Aside from serving as a base for salads— you don’t need a recipe to do that— try these ideas that go beyond the salad bowl:
- Cold Coconut Cream of Lettuce Soup
- Tossed Salad Wraps
- Chinese-Style Stir-Fried Lettuce
- Blackberry Lettuce Smoothie
Asparagus: Like strawberries, the true season for asparagus is waning by June’s end, though this tasty and versatile green veggie has become a lot more year-round than it used to be. Welcome in stir-fries, salads, soups, and pilafs; delicious roasted or grilled, asparagus is truly a standout this month. Get lots of useful tips in Asparagus: Buying, Cooking, and Enjoying; and a slew of ways to prepare it in Asparagus Recipes— Easy and Versatile. Here are a few favorites to get you going: