And in addition to the tasty goodness that comes from the powerful produce, they are also packed with vitamins and antioxidants that will keep your body (and that of your family!) growing strong.
If you’re looking for a way to add a variety of veggies to your diet in a tasty and nutritious way, a trip to your local farmer’s market or corner grocery store is all that’s needed — read on for six vegetables you MUST try this summer!
From the tender strings of spaghetti squash to the crisp snap of a freshly grown summer squash, this tasty vegetable grown on the vine can be prepared sautéed, steamed, grilled, baked, or served raw for fresh salads and easy dipping veggie trays.
Readily available by the plentiful pound, there’s nothing like fresh, crispy beans for a healthy snack, mixed in with a vegetable medley, or grilled for a tasty twist. From simple green to waxed yellow, you’ll find a variety of beans that offer different textures and flavors to suit your palate. You can also choose to pickle them in jars to enjoy well into the year!
Okra, a traditionally southern U.S. plant, is rich in vitamin A and low in calories, which makes it a great addition to any diet. It has a mild taste and a unique texture, with peach-like fuzz on the outside. Use it for soups, stews, sautéed and even pickled! If you have too much, you can put the uncut/uncooked pods into freezer bags and keep them frozen until ready to eat.
Pepper varieties can be divided largely into three categories: sweet, hot, and chilies. From the sweet taste of a red bell pepper, to the mild to hot sting of a jalapeño and habanero, there are dozens of different varieties to suit everyone’s tastes (and levels of heat!). Eat them raw, grill them as a main dish, stuff them with cheese, sneak them in sauces, or can them to enjoy throughout the year.
A well-known cold snack, one cup of cucumber with its peel is a mere 16 calories, and accounts for about 4%of daily potassium, 3% of daily fiber and 4% of daily vitamin C. A favorite of both young and young at heart, eat it mixed in cold salads, cut lengthwise and salted, pickled for an easy snack, or even added to mojitos for a refreshing summer drink.
Got a hankering for corn on the cob? Put the kids to work shucking these sweet veggies and cook them on the grill or boil them on the stove. Add butter and salt, or try traditional Mexican Street Corn with crema, mayonnaise, cotija cheese, fresh lime, and ground chipotle pepper.
Loaded Peppers with Corn, Black Beans and Pepper Jack Cheese (yields 4)
4 medium-sized bell peppers, tops cut off and cleaned of seeds
1 can of black beans, rinsed
2 ears of corn, kernels striped off
1 cup of grated Pepper Jack Cheese
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tsp. chili powder
A few dashes of hot sauce (to taste)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and steam peppers until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and let cool. Once cool, arrange in a large glass baking dish.
To prepare your stuffing, combine black beans, corn, 1/2 cup Pepper Jack cheese, 2 green onions, chili powder, and hot sauce in a large bowl, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon black bean mixture into bell peppers and sprinkle with more cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, and mixture is warmed through, approximately 7 to 10 minutes, and sprinkle with the remaining green onion. Enjoy a delicious meal with friends and family!