By Contributing Author: Sharon A. See
Early season crops are winding down. We’ve just about made up for the slow start to the season and peak season hot weather crops are making a big showing. So here is some of what’s hot and what’s not at the market.
Tomatoes are plentiful right now. They love the hot weather and many varieties are available. Take some time to ask some of the farmers what varieties they are offering and learn which are best for what you are planning. There’s a big difference between the tomato that’s best in your salad and the one that will give you the best spaghetti sauce.
The eggplants love this hot weather too. Eggplant is not just for parmigiana. Try grilling eggplant slices along with slices of fresh tomato, or cut into thick strips coat with oil and seasoning and toss them on the grill. Or, one of my favorites is roasted eggplant soup. You can find the recipe for this gem at the end of this article.
Sweet corn is everywhere now too. Again, talk to the farmers and find out what they are offering. There are also different varieties of corn and some may be better than others for different dishes. And, experiment a bit with cooking and preparing. We grill our corn on the cob instead of boiling it. This changes the taste and texture a bit giving it a heartier flavor.
Watermelon is hot right now. And, there are different variations of watermelon too! Have you tried yellow watermelon yet? I hear it’s very tasty. I’ve been trying to get my hands on one, but they sell out very quickly. And, if you can, avoid seedless watermelon of any color. Seedless watermelon comes from GMO seeds.
Peaches and other pitted tree fruits are at peak now too. Peaches are great for snacking, but you can also make some really tasty summer desserts with peaches. Here’s a little baking tip for you. Peaches are naturally very sweet and flavorful. You can safely cut the amount of sugar in just about any recipe in half and not miss it at all. The natural flavor and sweetness of the peaches will come through and be delicious.
Lettuces have had a tough few weeks. They don’t care much for the really hot mid-summer temps. You can find a few smaller heads around. But, if you wait until the temperatures cools down a bit next month, the lettuces will be back in a big way before fall.
Berries and cherries are just about gone now. Blueberries are on a day to day basis at this point. So, if you can still find a pint or two around, grab them. Blueberries freeze well if you clean and dry them first. See my post from a couple weeks ago for some cleaning and storing tips.
Roasted Eggplant Soup
About Sharon A. See
I hope you are enjoying my articles. If you’d like some customized strategies and support with healthy eating for you and your family, please reach out to me. I’m happy to help!
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Sharon A. See
Certified Holistic Health Coach
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The Monroe Farmers' Market is open June–October and offers fresh, locally-grown produce, baked goods, prepared foods and hand-crafted specialty foods to Connecticut locals.