June is the month when the weather really begins to warm up and we start thinking about barbeques, eating outside and fresh, local produce.
It’s still too early to find corn and tomatoes at the side of the road, but asparagus is still in full swing and now we can add some other delicious fruits and vegetables to our dinner tables. SO EXCITING!
Remember, eating local isn’t just good for you and your family. It’s good for farmers, the local economy and the environment. You can’t lose when eating local!
I’ve provided a sample of the fresh foods you can find starting in June. There will always be more options when you start looking but you’ll definitely find the following at your next trip to the local farmer’s market (and some at your grocery store!).
Are you a cherry fan? Cherry pie? Cherry jam? Cherry tarts? Or do you just like eating them right out of the bowl? I introduced cherries to my kids this year (they’re 6, 5 and 4…the fear of them choking on a pit has passed) and 2 out of 3 liked them! Not bad. They asked for them in their lunch…no problem.
Strawberries start to come out on some farms in June. You MIGHT even be able to pick some yourself. Just remember, as fun as it is to eat some berries while you’re picking, they should be washed…just to be safe! They are #1 on the Dirty Dozen list.
Did you buy too many but don’t want to let a single bite go to waste? Make my Raw Homemade Strawberry Jam (with only three ingredients) and make them last another week!
Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart! And your eyes, your digestive system, bones, blood sugar levels, the list goes on. Get your beans!
Don’t forget about the stalks! If you cut off the woody outer edge, the inside can be eaten raw in a veggie tray or steamed up with the rest of the broccoli. It’s delicious. Look for broccoli with tight tops and a dark green or purple colour. Take a pass on any broccoli that is starting to yellow.
Wondering what to make with your broccoli? This farro dish will keep everyone happy! It’s one of my personal favourites.
OH CABBAGE. I know there are a lot of people that don’t like cabbage. But I say, you just haven’t found a recipe you like yet! You can eat cabbage in so many different ways and it is so amazingly good for you. Roast it on the BBQ, chop it up in a coleslaw or ferment it for sauerkraut (you’ve got to get your probiotics!). You can even throw it into a stirfry. No matter how you use cabbage, your body will thank you for not only the fibre, but the cancer preventing benefits.
Cucumbers don’t last too long in my house. If I put out a tray of cucumber with some hummus for my kids, it’s gone. I love cucumber on sandwiches or in a salad. No matter how you eat them, until you cut into it, they can stay out on your counter-no refrigeration required.
Does any good meal start without onions? I don’t know…
I wasn’t always a fan of onions but now, I honestly start sautéing them before I know what I’m going to make! They’re so delicious and versatile. Make sure you get some local onions in your grocery bag. Start your day off right with the sweet smell of onions in the air. Make this diner style breakfast dish next weekend and be happy.
Green Peas and Snow Peas
There are many varieties of peas grown in Ontario but snow peas are one of my favourites. They are mild, delicate and sweet and amazing in stirfries. But I have to say, I love all peas…and they tend to be a favourite with the kids too. Is there anything more fun than pushing peas around a plate?
Summer squash comes in many varieties that range in colours from yellow to orange and bright to dark green. This vegetable is wonderful grilled on the BBQ or roasted, stuffed, sauted, or baked. The mild flavor is wonderfully paired with peppers or eggplant in a ratatouille or even in a soup.
Not to be confused with rutabaga, these small, mild and white and purple turnips don’t have to be peeled and can be roasted or sautéed with ease. They are so good for you-full of fibre, potassium and vitamin C. They’re available NOW so pick up a few and experiment!
See something at the market but don’t know what it is? Send me a picture and I’ll give you all the info! I love finding new and exciting foods at the market. You never know what your new favourite will be. Have fun out there!