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Seasonal Produce Guides

10 Easy Jícama Recipes You’ll Love

Jicama salad with oranges and watercress

Jícama is a root vegetable that’s native to the American Southwest. Pronounced HICK-a-mah, until the last decade or so it wasn’t easy to find outside that region. Now it’s more widely available well-stocked supermarkets and produce markets from west to east, primarily in the fall. Subltly sweet, crunchy, and a bit more watery than other roots (it’s actually 90% water), jicama is good sliced and eaten raw, used in salads, sautéed, or baked.

Jícama is high in fiber, and provides good amounts of vitamin C and potassium. Its characteristic mild sweetness is from oligofructose, a soluble fiber that actually functions as a prebiotic, and which helps stabilize blood sugar. Continue Reading…

VegKitchen’s 12 Best Healthy Zucchini Recipes

Zucchini Pasta with Mango and Avocado by Gena Hamshaw from Choosing Raw

Zucchini is available and economical all year round, though it’s midsummer to early fall when it’s most abundant in gardens and at farm markets. So for your enjoyment, here are VegKitchen’s 12 best healthy zucchini recipes, from “zoodles” to sweet muffins and everything in between — plus some alternates that are also among our best.

1  Zucchini “noodles”

Everyone needs a good zucchini “noodles” (or as some call them, “zoodles”) recipe or two in their repertoire, and Gena Hamshaw’s Zucchini Pasta with Mango, Avocado, and Black Bean Salsa (at top) is easy and impressive.  Continue Reading…

July Produce Picks: 5 Fruits and Vegetables to Use Now

Apricots on table

In July, produce of all kinds is at its best! Here are 5 fruits and veggies that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Apricots – with all the melons and berries bursting onto the markets, don’t forget about the stone fruits, especially apricots. These diminutive, smooth fruits often get overlooked, and there’s more to do with them aside from eating out of hand or using in fruit salads, in both sweet and savory preparations. Here are a few: Continue Reading…

Beet Recipes — Easy, Vegan, and Delicious

Nearly raw beet borscht

Tons of readers come to VegKitchen for tips on how to cook beets (or use them raw), so here’s our handy list of beet recipes that are easy, vegan, and delicious. You’ll find lots of beet salad recipes, roasted beet and root vegetable medleys, beet soups, juices and more. Red beets are dandy, but make sure to explore the other varieties, especially golden beets, which are particularly tasty. Continue Reading…

5 Unexpected Ways to Use Watermelon on the 4th of July

Watermelon "Pizza"

We’re hitting watermelon season, so now is the prime time to use plenty of this super-hydrating, vitamin-C filled summer fruit. Seedless watermelon has become more and more common, sparing you from the tedium of removing all those pesky pits. Of course, we all love watermelon chilled from the fridge and cut into wedges, but here are 5 ways to serve it that you might not think of. Continue Reading…

10 Great Recipes for Strawberry Season

Vegan Rustic Strawberry Tart

Few fruits offer as much sensory pleasure as strawberries, especially in season. Here are 10 healthy strawberry recipes for late spring and early summer. Desserts, smoothies, and salads, they’re all asy, vegan, and totally delicious. 

Be aware that strawberries consistently rank near the top of lists of foods most heavily sprayed with pesticides. Read more about that here. The only answer is to buy organic strawberries. They’re more expensive, but they’re usually also riper, sweeter, and juicier than mass-produced strawberries. That being said, let’s dig in! Above, as with all desserts that spotlight fresh fruit, the season’s best berries make Laura Samuel Meyn’s Rustic Strawberry Tart shine. Continue Reading…

Strawberries Top List of Pesticide-Laden Produce

Strawberries in a bowl

One of your kid’s favorite fruits is hiding a dirty secret. Of all the fresh fruits and vegetables available for sale in the United States, sweet, sun-kissed strawberries are the most likely to be contaminated with pesticide residues, according to the Environmental Working Group’s 2016 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Contributed by Megan Boyle. Reprinted by permission of The Environmental Working Group (EWG). Continue Reading…

Great Ways to Use Baby Spinach all Year Round

Fresh spinach in a bowl

When vegetables are rated in terms of overall nutritional value, spinach is usually among the powerhouse veggies that top the list. It’s vitamin-rich and a good source of iron and fiber. Baby spinach is convenient to use since you need not stem or chop it. Baby spinach bought at the supermarket often comes in bags or plastic boxes marked “triple washed,” meaning that sand and grit isn’t much of a worry. Yet if this convenient type of spinach isn’t organic, skip it.

Unfortunately, spinach almost always appears at the top of another kind of list—the list of top ten produce items to avoid in non-organic form. Even if you buy it organic, always give it a good rinse, just to be on the safe side. No matter what, baby spinach is one of the most versatile veggies on the planet. Here are several ways to make the most of it. Continue Reading…

5 Fantastic Okra Recipes

Okra rice soup

Okra is a traditional spring vegetable, especially loved in American Southern cuisine, to which it came by way of Africa. Admittedly, it’s a love it or hate it kind of veggie, with very little in between. If you enjoy this offbeat veggie, you’ll love these five fantastic okra recipes. A true Southern classic, Okra-Rice Soup (shown above) is a wonderfully complex blend of flavors and textures—thanks mainly to the unique character of okra. Continue Reading…

Bok Choy: The Crispy, Healthy, and Versatile Vegetable

Seared baby bok choy

Of all Asian greens, bok choy is likely the most widely known and available in Western markets. Here’s a guide to how to use it lightly cooked or raw. The term “bok choy” is used to somewhat generically 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.Think of either kind as two-for-the-price-of-one item — a crisp veggie and leafy greens in one neat package. Continue Reading…

Getting to Know and Love Fennel

Quinoa, fennel, and cranberry salad

Fennel is a fall and winter vegetable that’s often overlooked — given its distinctive demeanor, that’s kind of surprising. Unlike the homely root vegetables associated with cold weather, fennel is a festive green amalgam of bulb, stalks, and feathery leaves.The stalks bring to mind celery, and the leaves call forth dill. Fennel has played its greatest culinary role in the cuisines of Italy and France, where it has long been a beloved kitchen and garden vegetable. Continue Reading…

5 Root Vegetables to Put on Your Radar

Roasted root vegetable medley

A wider variety of vegetables have become available year-round than once was the case. Fresh green leafy veggies can be had throughout the winter; decent tomatoes and asparagus are a lot easier to find in the winter than they used to be. One category of veggies seems more fitting to cold-weather meals are root vegetables, which are still more plentiful and available in the fall and winter than they are in spring and summer.  Continue Reading…

June Produce Picks: 5 Fruits and Veggies to Use Now

Blueberries in a bowl

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: Continue Reading…

How to Prepare Collard Greens Easily and Quickly

Collard greens whole leaves

Collard greens can look pretty intimidating — they range from large to gigantic, and look like they’d take hours to prep and even longer to cook. But this is totally not the case. If you know how to tame them, they’re easily prepped and very quickly cooked. They’re a boon to the plant-based diet, as they’re a fantastic source of calcium (better than kale) and rich in vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients. Forget about the old way of cooking them in a bit pot of boiling water. That way, collards lose color, flavor, and nutrients. Prepping them with this easier, more contemporary technique preserves all that is great about collards.  Continue Reading…

5 Simple Ways to Serve Potatoes

Potato oven fries

OVEN “FRIES”: Use one large or two medium potatoes per person (preferably red-skinned, Yukon gold,  or other firm-fleshed variety). Peel the potatoes and cut them into long, 1/2-inch thick fry-shaped strips. Combine them in a large mixing bowl with a modest amount of light olive oil and toss well to coat. Sprinkle with a little salt. Transfer to a nonstick baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 425º F. oven, stirring gently every 10 minutes, until the potatoes are crisp and lightly browned, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve at once. Note, this is also an excellent way to serve sweet potatoes. Continue Reading…

Tasty and Abundant Zucchini Recipes

Zucchini with mint

Zucchini, the well loved and widely available squash, is available year-round. When it’s abundant in gardens and farm markets, you can’t have too many zucchini recipes that are easy and healthy (and that happen to be vegan). Here you’ll find lots of “noodle” dishes, main dishes, side dishes, and salads to enjoy year round. Though it may not be high up on the superfood vegetable ranks, it still has a number of surprising health benefits. And as for versatility, it can’t be beat!  Continue Reading…

Pomegranates: Health Benefits and Uses

Pomegranate

Classified as a berry, the pomegranate is native to Persia and is one of the oldest known fruits. used for food as well as medicinally for centuries. Its prime season in most parts of the world is September through January. This slightly tart yet sweet berry takes some effort to prepare and eat — as basically, it’s a collection of lots of seeds, but with all of its health benefits, you may find it worth your while. Besides the whole, fresh fruit you can purchase pomegranate juice, and even pomegranate oil.  Continue Reading…

Kohlrabi Strives for a Comeback

purple kohlrabi

Contributed by Zel Allen. Kohlrabi, once the favored vegetable of European nobles and peasants alike, has fallen off the veggie pop charts. However, we predict a comeback for this neglected member of the Brassica oleracea family, more commonly called the cabbage family. Some people have mistakenly labeled kohlrabi a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. This is understandable, since both are members of the brassica family, but they are not of the same variety. Continue Reading…

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Vegan recipes by VegKitchen