Plump tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and juicy peaches are the signs of summer that we crave all year long. And when the produce is this undeniably flavorful it’s really time to let those summer veggies shine! From the store to the grill, learn how to best utilize this season’s produce at your family’s next cookout.
When possible, try and go to a nearby farm stand or market. Not only does it help support your local farmers and community, but the produce is usually higher in nutrients and tastes better since it is picked at its peak. Try making the trip to the market a family outing, as it allows children to talk with real farmers, and learn about where their food comes from!
This month, make sure you pile your basket high with a variety of produce. Here are a few of our personal favorites that are currently at their peak:
- Beans (peas, green beans, snap peas, lima)
The vegetables this time of year are bursting with flavor and freshness! When it comes to prepping your produce, you only need a light hand with the oil, as too much can make veggies soggy and muddle that fresh taste you’re craving. Unlike their meat counterparts, veggies don’t have strict cooking time, so it is the perfect opportunity to let the kids help with the cooking: simply throw them on the grill, sit back, and enjoy them at your leisure!
Below are some recipes that the whole family will love!
Rainbow Vegetable Kebabs (serves 6):
1 orange bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 large red onion
½ a bunch of fresh mint
1 Tbsp. olive oil
- Soak and prepare 6 wooden skewers.
- Carefully cut bell peppers in 2 cm pieces, zucchini into ½ moon slices, and slice tomatoes in half. Peel and cut the onion into wedges. Add them all to a large mixing bowl.
- Finely chop mint and add to bowl.
- Grate lemon zest to taste and add to bowl, along with olive oil. Toss to combine.
- Prepare and preheat grill to high heat.
- Thread the tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and onion onto skewers in a “rainbow”.
- Grill about 10-12 minutes, turning halfway through
Grilled Corn Salad (serves 6):
5-6 sweet corn
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
½ a red onion, minced (optional)
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 limes, juiced
Salt and pepper
- Shuck and clean he corn. Place the corn directly over a very hot fire, and grill, turning occasionally until it’s charred and cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Set aside and allow to cool.
- Slice tomatoes into bite size pieces and add to a large serving bowl.
- Add chopped cilantro, minced red onion, and black beans to bowl.
- Once corn is cool, slice kernels off of the cob and add to the mixing bowl.
- Toss to combine. Then add lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Toss again until well coated.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Amanda Buthmann MS, RD is a pediatric and family nutritionist at Lara Metz Nutrition in NYC. For more information contact her at Amanda@larametznutrition.com, or visit www.larametznutrition.com