As I write this, I’m savoring each final chew of a superbly juicy watermelon that I mixed with mint and feta for maybe the simplest salad ever. This time of 12 months in Texas, melons are out of this world, so it appears like a becoming strategy to set the scene for an article about consuming with the seasons. I discover that heading to the market understanding precisely what’s in season in August makes for the right procuring expertise.
Prior to now, I by no means understood the purpose of obsessing over seasonal produce. Let’s be sincere: given the worldwide attain of most grocery shops, you will discover nearly any widespread fruit or vegetable at any time of the 12 months as of late. Squash, tomatoes, berries, citrus, and asparagus… the checklist goes on. And, if what you’re trying to find isn’t within the produce part, likelihood is you will discover a high-quality frozen possibility.
However, because it seems, there are precise well being advantages to consuming seasonally, to not point out it additionally tastes higher at its designated time of 12 months. Now that I do know what fruit is in season in August, not solely am I having fun with completely scrumptious locally-grown components, however I get such a kick out of going to my native farmers market and selecting out the freshest seasonal produce.
Benefits of Eating In-Season Produce
So why should you put forth the extra effort to eat seasonally? Well, there are a few reasons. But let’s start with the most straightforward one: produce tastes better when it’s in season. It’s as simple as that.
If you want incredibly flavorful food, you should start with produce that’s in season and not kept frozen as it travels across continents or hemispheres.
But there are a couple of other good reasons to focus on seasonally appropriate produce. When fruits and vegetables are in season, they’re able to fully ripen and develop in the sun without any unnatural assistance. That means more flavor and higher quality. And finally, it’s important to eat produce harvested in its prime because it retains more of its inherent nutritive value.
A Really Helpful Chart
Right now, we’re in the final month of summer. There are still a good number of typical summer foods in season, but we can also expect to see some foods typically associated with fall on the shelves.
What vegetables and fruit are in season in August?
- Acorn squash
- butternut squash
- inexperienced beans
- summers squash
- swiss chard
- winter squash
That mentioned, it’s necessary to understand that seasonal produce varies based mostly in your location. As an illustration, tomatoes had been at their prime for us in Austin on the finish of June, however appear to be at their prime proper now for extra northern (and temperate) cities corresponding to New York and Oregon.
Recipes to Cook This Month
Okay, so it’s easy to know the right information, but it’s a whole different matter to actually put it into practice. So to give you a nudge, we’ve rounded up some of the tastiest recipes that use the prettiest fruits and veggies in season right now.
Scroll on, and we’d love to hear what seasonal recipes you’re cooking up this month.
How to buy strawberries
A fresh strawberry has a strong fragrant taste and vibrant color. Look for the berries that are firm to touch, medium-sized, and free of bruises.
What to cook with strawberries
Why we adore it: There’s nothing fairly like this flavorful mixture, it’s earthy, brilliant, and tangy—a complete feast for the senses. It’s a restaurant-quality recipe we will’t get sufficient of.
Hero ingredient: Creamy goat cheese enhances the wealthy flavors of this salad.
How to buy butternut squash
When it comes to finding what vegetables are in season in August, you might be surprised to see butternut squash on the list. Keep your eyes peeled for a squash that feels heavy for its size. You’ll want one with a fat neck and a small bulb since those yield the most meat.
What to cook with butternut squash
Why we adore it: Not solely is that this recipe out of this world tasty, nevertheless it’s excellent for these of us who detest the bodily labor of getting to peel and chop butternut squash. It’s as stunning as it’s scrumptious and simple to make.
Hero ingredient: One other August ingredient—figs!
How to buy apricots
Ideally, we’d pick our apricots right off a tree. But in lieu of that, try to find plump, firm apricots with just a little softness to them. Avoid ones that are pale orange or yellow, they should have a deep orange-gold color.
What to cook with apricots
Why we adore it: You received’t remorse turning in your oven for these recent, heat apricots. As soon as the sugars caramelize it creates a deep sweetness that’s juxtaposed completely with creamy vanilla bean mascarpone. They’re so easy and fantastically spotlight the very best of summer time produce.
Hero ingredient: Pistachios and toasted coconut give this deal with a scrumptious nutty crunch.
How to buy eggplant
Be on the lookout for eggplants with smooth, shiny skin. Test for ripeness by pressing a finger lightly against the skin—if it leaves an imprint, the eggplant is ripe. Smaller eggplants tend to be sweeter, less bitter, have thinner skin, and have fewer seeds.
What to cook with eggplant
Why we adore it: It’s the right different once you’re craving the scrumptious flavors of an eggplant parmesan however wish to skip the carby filling. It additionally couldn’t be simpler to make, simply throw it on the grill and stuff with traditional Caprese fillings.
Hero ingredient: Toasted pine nuts add a tasty little bit of crunch.
How to buy mangoes
Surprisingly, color is not the best indicator of ripeness when it comes to picking a mango. You’ll want to gently squeeze the mango, and pick ones that have a slight give. They become softer as they ripen and sometimes have a fruity aroma at the stem.
What to cook with mangoes
Why we adore it: Should you’re craving Thai flavors like lime, peanuts, and herbs, then try this superb soba noodle salad. You may grill up a steak and toss it into the salad or preserve it veggie and lightweight and high with a creamy avocado for a touch of richness.
Hero ingredient: Crunchy coconut takes this salad excessive.
How to buy watermelon
When it comes to picking the perfect watermelon, its coloring helps to indicate how ripe it is. Pick a melon with a strong, consistent pattern. The green stripes should be a deep, dark green, and the pale stripes a ceamy, light yellow. You should also give it a bit of a thump. Tap the watermelon—if you hear a deep, hollow sound, then it indicates that it’s juicy and ripe.
What to cook with watermelon
Why we adore it: It’s a refreshing, traditional, ultra-summery salad that’s excellent for these sizzling, lengthy August evenings. The delicate style of the cucumber and creaminess of the feta enhances the salad with out overpowering these candy, light flavors.
Hero ingredient: A shallot provides a little bit of crunch, sharpness, and aroma.
How to buy figs
You’re going to want to give your figs a whiff. Ripe figs should smell fresh, not funky or fermented. Pick soft figs but avoid any squishy ones.
What to cook with figs
Why we adore it: This salad is perfection on a plate, when you ask me! Creamy burrata and candy, pretty figs make for a easy, but extremely refined dish. Contemporary mint provides a little bit of herby brightness and ties the entire thing collectively. I’ll be consuming this one on repeat!
Hero ingredient: Candied nuts add a little bit of crunchy sweetness that may’t be overwhelmed.
How to buy peaches
Give your peach a gentle squeeze, you’ll want to feel a bit of softness. Avoid peaches that are shriveled, and make sure to sniff it to ascertain that it has a pleasant, classically peachy scent.
What to cook with peaches
Why we adore it: It doesn’t get a lot simpler (or extra delicious) than these honey-grilled peaches and cream. Camille recommends shopping for them on the firmer aspect in order that they maintain their form and don’t collapse once they hit the new grates.
Hero ingredient: Give your peaches a sprinkle of flaky sea salt to actually elevate the entire dish.
How to buy tomatoes
Look for a tomato that feels firm but with a slight give. It should be very aromatic near the stem and have a good hefty weight for its size. Make sure you avoid any tomatoes with blemishes, dark spots, or bruises.
What to cook with tomatoes
Why we adore it: It doesn’t get a lot better than this pitch-perfect tart. It has a base combo of cream cheese and goat cheese, so it’s ultra-creamy and tangy. It highlights the candy, sunny high quality of the tomatoes fantastically, and makes for a scrumptious summer time dish.
Hero ingredient: Every thing Bagel seasoning offers it slightly particular one thing.
How to buy zucchini
Keep a watch for small, firm zucchini with bright green skin. The smaller the better since zucchini gets bitter as they grow larger.
What to cook with zucchini
Why we adore it: Should you’re a carbonara lover, then you definitely’ll positively wish to do that twist on the traditional pasta dish. It’s a creamy dream that’s packed stuffed with veggies, texture, and taste.
Hero ingredient: Frozen peas are Camille’s favourite shortcut veggie for pasta, they add coloration, vitamins, and youngsters love them.
How to buy blueberries
Assess your blueberries to ensure they’re even in size, smooth, dry, plump, and firm. A reddish tint could mean they aren’t fully ripe, so make sure they’re a deep purple or nearly black shade.
What to cook with blueberries
Why we adore it: There’s no higher strategy to begin off the morning than with some scrumptious oatmeal, and this baked reicpe is straightforward, wholesome, and scrumptious. It’s principally a cross between bread pudding and banana bread—best!
Hero ingredient: Seeds and nuts assist to provide you tons of power to energy by means of the morning.
This publish was initially printed on August 8, 2020, and has since been up to date.