Seasonal Produce Suggestions to Enhance Your Summer Cooking

Posted By on August 1, 2021

Summer: long-lingering days, warm, refreshing breezes, and the plentiful bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s true that in today’s convenience-driven society, you can buy most fruits and vegetables year-round. But purchasing fresh, seasonal produce can be beneficial in many ways.

HarborChaseSenior Living offers independent living, assisted living, and memory care at communities throughout the United States. We are focused on promoting healthy living and healthy aging. Our elevated dining services use fresh and local ingredients whenever possible. We’re taking a look at some of the benefits of cooking with seasonal produce and sharing some ideas and inspiration for what you can make this summer!

Why Use Seasonal Produce?

Eating food that’s in season is fresher, healthier, and tastier! While strawberries are certainly delicious all year long, there’s nothing like eating a tart and juicy strawberry that has just been harvested. In addition to simply tasting better, eating seasonally can encourage you to buy locally, reduce your carbon footprint, lessen your exposure to pesticides, and support local farmers.

Summer Seasonal Produce

Florida is famous for its citrus, but the Sunshine State also produces plenty of other fruits and vegetables. Its tropical climate means that the state can cultivate fruits and vegetables year-round, but some produce does better during the summer months because of availability and growing conditions. With over 15 HarborChase communities located throughout Florida, here’s a look at some of the seasonal summer produce the state offers.

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Avocado: In Season June Through January

Avocados are loaded with nutrients and health benefits and have been referred to as a “superfood” by many health-conscious individuals. Avocados are full of potassium, fiber, heart-healthy fats, and antioxidants.

Try This!

If you’re looking for an easy, delicious, and nutritious avocado recipe, try avocado toast! Creamy mashed avocado spread over crispy toast is a quick breakfast option that you can customize with your favorite additional ingredients. Add leafy greens, a fried egg, tomato, or your favorite seasonings!

Mango: In Season May Through September

Mango is another produce item that is in season during summer and packed with nutrients. Mangos have been shown to improve digestive health, boost the immune system, enhance eye health, and support hair and skin health.

Try This!

What’s better than a juicy and refreshing mango on a hot summer day? How about juicy and refreshing (and healthy!) mango sorbet? This healthy dessert idea is easy, delicious, and only requires three ingredients. Get the recipe here

Mushrooms: In Season Year-Round

Mushrooms are cultivated year-round in Florida, but growth can boom after summer thunderstorms. Mushrooms are known for their unique flavor and nutritional value, including vitamins and nutrients like Vitamin D, zinc, and antioxidants. Incorporating mushrooms into your diet can result in lower blood pressure, weight loss, and reduce the risk of health conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.

Try This!

Mushrooms are a great addition to any summer entree, and these sauteed garlic mushrooms are an easy side dish with a lot of flavor! Throw some mushrooms on the skillet with some olive oil, soy sauce, and garlic for a nutritious side dish or snack. Get the recipe here

Oranges: In Season January Through August

While you can find oranges all year in Florida, the freshest ones can be found in early and late summer. Oranges have many qualities that contribute to healthy aging; their large amounts of Vitamin C help protect cells from damage, promote skin health, boost the immune system, and help slow down the advance of age-related macular degeneration

Try This!

While many people think of orange as a sweet ingredient, it can be used in savory meals as well! This healthy orange chicken recipe mimics the classic takeout meal without the added sodium and sugar. Get the recipe here.

Zucchini: In Season May Through September

Zucchini, also known as summer squash, is a versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. It is high in vitamins and minerals and can contribute to healthy aging in many ways, including better digestion, reduced blood sugar, heart health, and vision health.

Try This!

Zucchini can be prepared in many unique ways, including its own take on noodles! Using a spiralizer or a food processor, you can make zucchini noodles at home and prepare some unique dishes, like these easy and healthy garlic parmesan zucchini noodles.

Eating Fresh This Summer

After a long day in the summer sun, there’s nothing better than enjoying a refreshing meal, especially if it’s made with fresh, local ingredients. Summertime is rife with seasonal produce that is not only delicious but promotes wellness and healthy aging. Wherever you live, we encourage you to visit a local farmer’s market or grocery store and buy some seasonal produce to enjoy! 

HarborChase Senior Living has independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities across Florida and 14 other states. In addition to our are services, we focus on sharing information and resources about senior wellness, healthy aging, and senior living. We encourage you to contact a HarborChase community near you and experience our delicious summer dining for yourself!