Seasonal Vegetables: What is in Season During Summer?

in Frugal Living

Seasonal Vegetables: What is in Season During Summer?

Even with the pickiest eaters, there is usually one vegetable that they will eat. Because veggies can be cooked (or eaten raw) so many ways, the types of dishes can be endless.

In our family, we just love to try new ways to eat our favorite seasonal vegetables. We are also on a budget and as most families know, that means getting the best price on food.

To cut your grocery bill, always buy produce that is in season. Go through this list and find out if you know what vegetables are in season during summer.

Seasonal Vegetables: What is in Season During Summer?

Beets

This seasonal vegetable can be bought one of two ways: in bunches or just by the roots. The tops should be attached to the beets and look fresh. They should be smooth, firm and richly colored. If you find beets that don’t have a slight stub of stem left, then it could mean that they were trimmed to get rid of the stem spoilage. Avoid ones that have rough spots.

To store beets, cut off the stems and tops. Place them either in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator or in plastic bags. The tops you need to use as soon as possible, but the beet themselves will stay good for about a week.

Bell Peppers

Pick peppers that are thick-fleshed, firm and shiny. They should be colored a medium to dark green, although when they are mature, they turn red or yellow.

Bell peppers should be stored in a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator, where they will last for up to 5 days. What I do is dice mine up and place them in the freezer, then I put them in my omelets.

Corn

This seasonal vegetable should have green husks, fresh silk and tight rows of kernels. Pass on the ears that have brown spots or that have kernels with gaps in between them.

To store this summer vegetable, place them in the refrigerator with the husks still on for 1 to 2 days. If they are unhusked, place them in a plastic bag.

Cucumbers

Go shopping for these between May and August. Select cucumbers that are firm and well-shaped. If they are dull, yellow or look puffy, then this means they are over-mature.

To store this summer vegetable, place them in the refrigerator and use within 3 to 5 days.

Eggplant

These are actually in season all year. To pick the best ones, look for eggplants that are heavy, firm, have a dark, rich purple color with a bright green cap. They should have no blemishes and avoid the ones that are wrinkled or flabby.

Store these in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.

Green Beans

You can buy green beans year-round and should pick the ones that are crisp, tender and without any scars. The best tasting beans will have well-shaped pods with small seeds. The length of green beans has no effect on quality.

Fresh green beans should be kept in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator or in plastic bags for 1 to 2 days.

Jalapeno Peppers

One of my favorite summer vegetables, jalapeno peppers should be smooth and firm. Don’t worry if they have what looks like stretch marks… it simply means that they are hotter.

To store this seasonal vegetable, wrap them in a paper towel (they should be unwashed) and then place them in a plastic bag. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Okra

In season all year, the best ones are found from May to October. Choose young, tender green pods that measure between 4 and 8 inches in length.

To store, place them in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. 

Peas

This is another vegetable that is in season all year, but you will find the best supplies between January and August. They should be colored light green, feel slightly velvety and have well-developed peas.

To store this seasonal vegetable, place them in the refrigerator and use within 2 days.

Radishes

Radishes should be free of blemishes, be firm and either have a red or white color, depending on the variety.

To store this summer vegetable, place in a plastic bag or in the crisper drawer and use within a week. If they become slimy or blackened, throw them out.

Summer Squash

This popular veggie is in season during the summer, although those that live in a warm climate get to enjoy it year-round. They should be small and young, heavy for their size and they should give with just a bit of pressure.

To store, place in the refrigerator and use within a few days.

Tomatoes

Although tomatoes are available year-round, their peak season is late summer. You want to pick tomatoes that are firm and have a good red color. They should not have any blemishes.

If they are not fully ripe, then place them upright and out of of sunlight until they turn red. After that, place them in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.

Yukon Gold Potatoes

These are a hybrid of the North American white and wild South American yellow-fleshed potatoes. They should be smooth, clean, dry and uniform in size.

They need to be stored in a cool, dark place, like a pantry (as long as its well-ventilated.) Use them within 3 to 5 weeks.

Zucchini

This seasonal vegetable should be no longer than 6 inches and 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Look for ones that are firm, shiny and slightly prickly.

To store, place them unwashed in a perforated plastic bag. Then put them in the crisper drawer for up to 5 days. If they are cooked, then keep covered and refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Which summer vegetables are your favorite and what kind of recipes do you like to make with them?

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