It may be the unofficial end of summer but I’m not ready to give up the sun or fun! Buying fruits and vegetables in season is a great way to eat healthy on a budget. Also produce are said to have higher nutritional content and better flavor when they are in season. Here are my top five favorite summer season vegetables.

5. Broccoli

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These green little trees tend to be favorites among my  toddler patients at work. Broccoli is a good source of vitamin C, which is known to help boost immune system function.Broccoli can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, grilled, pretty much any way your culinary imagination can take you. If boiling it be careful not to over cook it. When over cooked broccoli turns into mush and also loses some of its nutrients. I love to eat broccoli lightly sautΓ©ed with garlic and corn, to make a crunchy side dish.

4. Beets

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Growing up I used to hate beets! However, all it took was one cosmic, mouth-watering culinary experience to change my views on beets FOREVER. On the inside beets have a deep reddish-purple hue to it and this pigment is VERY STRONG! Beets can be used as natural food coloring. If you eat a lot of beets it can turn your urine or poo red!! Beets can be put into salads or used to put into super green juices. They are a good source of folate. Folate helps your body  make blood. It also helps with the development of the brain and spinal cord of the baby in pregnant woman. So mommies-to-be eat up on beets! I like to eat beets in salads with balsamic vinaigrette.

3. Eggplant

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This vegetable is a summer/fall plant. It’s season actually starts from August and ends around October. Eggplants like tomatoes are a part of the nightshade plant family. They are a deep purple color and can be oval and skinny or oval and fat in shape. They are usually a deep purple color but I’ve seen white eggplants once. Eggplants have a chewy/meaty texture and can be a great addition to a veggie dish that is missing that mouthfeel that you can get from meat. Eggplants are a good source of copper. Copper plays many different roles in the body, including producing energy in our cells. I like to eat eggplants in vegetable lasagna.

2. Tomatoes

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Although popular in Italian cooking, tomatoes are actually originally from the “New World”. Technically they are fruits but in the US they’re legally vegetables.  They come in many different colors; red, yellow, green, and even purple. Tomatoes contain lycopene which is an antioxidant that helps the body prevent and fight cancer. Tomatoes also calcium and potassium. There are so many different types of tomatoes and the possibilities of how you can eat them are endless! You can eat them in a salad or in a sandwich, with pasta or mozzarella, or even raw!

  1. Arugula

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Arugula is my favorite green leaf vegetable. It’s a small leaf with a strong and peppery flavor. It’s packed with vitamin K and iron. Vitamin K plays an important role in our bodies ability to clot blood. Iron helps carry the oxygen in our blood to the other parts in our body. Arugula is commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine. I love to pair it with oranges, cranberries, and blue cheese to make a flavorful salad.

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My All Time Favorite Salad From the Local Supermarket: Arugula, walnuts, cranberries, and feta cheese. 

How many of these vegetables have you tried?

Summer isn’t over yet!

Hurry up and try some of these vegetables during their season for a flavorful Meatless Monday!

 

Until next time,

Salut!

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