Summer is the best time of year to explore your local farmer’s market. Many fruits and veggies that we love grow well in Washington state and are at their peak during the summer months. Produce from the farmer’s market is fresh, organic, and usually tastes better. Our health partner, Community Health Plan of Washington, recently put the spotlight on a few summer favorites.
Here are a few items that are currently in season:
Strawberries: the ultimate, sweet symbol of summertime – bursting with flavor yet completely guilt-free! Locally grown berries are at the farmers market throughout June and July.
- Nutrition: bursting with vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants to boost your immune health and keep you regular
- Meal ideas: add them to your morning cereal, oatmeal, or plain yogurt. They work great in salads too – try a spinach salad with toasted pecans or walnuts and sliced strawberries with a vinaigrette dressing.
Tomatoes: so many varieties, so little time! Be adventurous this summer and try Sun Gold cherry tomatoes or heirloom varieties such as Red Brandywine. Tomatoes are in season at your local market from now until October.
- Nutrition: contains an antioxidant called lycopene whose health-promoting effects increase when tomatoes are cooked
- Meal idea: homemade pasta sauce with ripe Roma tomatoes and basil
Summer Squash: possibly the most versatile and dependable vegetable on the planet; the farmers market will offer unique varieties – sporting stripes and fun shapes. Perhaps this will tempt the children to eat their vegetables? Summer squash grows well in Washington, peak season is June through October.
- Nutrition: contains a wide variety of nutrients and is a good source of potassium, Vitamin C and many antioxidants; it’s also low in calories and low on the glycemic index
- Meal idea: try Zoodles (zucchini noodles) in place of spaghetti for an Italian meal lower in carbs and calories; you can make them with a spiralizer, a mandolin or even a vegetable peeler.
You can read the full article on CHPW’s website.
Your local Bellingham farmer’s markets happen on Saturdays and Wednesday. For more information, check out our resource page.