summer produce

What to Buy at the Farmers’ Market: Cherries

To us, there are a  number of thing that signal the beginning of summer. The smell of the grill, the sound of the Mister Softee ice cream truck, and the sight of beautiful, vibrant cherries. The are the earliest tone fruit to reach harvest and although they are perfect eaten as a snack, we love to add them into sweet and savory dishes all summer long.  While you’re shopping at the farmers’ market this weekend, look for full, glossy cherries with a deep color and green stems. They’ll last in your fridge for 4 to 5 days, which will give you plenty of time to make all of our favorite cherry recipes!

 

Perfect for a dinner party appetizer: Cherry-Mozzarella Crisps

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What to Buy at the Farmers’ Market: Squash

You may associate squash with winter, but the summer season has its very own category of squash, too! Summer squash have rinds that are more delicate, so you can eat the entire thing, raw or cooked! They’re a great addition to any meal, chilled, grilled, baked or fried, and their bright colors remind us why we love summer. So while you’re shopping for produce this weekend, pick up a pattypan, zucchini or yellow summer squash! Then throw them into one of these delectable summer recipes:

 

Broiled: Squash & Ricotta Pizzette

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What to Make This Weekend: Mixed Berry Lattice Cobbler

A summer dessert that’s just as beautiful to look at as it is to eat? Easy. A beautiful and delicious summer dessert that’s also healthy? Not so much. But have no fear! Our Guilt-Free Summer Fruit Dessert Booklet from our July/August issue is here to save the day. While many of the desserts require just a few ingredients and minutes to put together, this show-stopping dessert is worth a weekend in the kitchen: Mixed Berry Lattice Cobbler.

 

 

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What to Buy at the Farmers’ Market: Peaches

A sunny day at the farmers’ market isn’t complete without the purchase of one thing: succulent, juicy, fragrant peaches. Peaches and nectarines are best in the high heat of summer, when you can shamelessly let the juices run down your chin. But when you’re not biting into one of these golden balls of sunshine, there are plenty of ways to cook with them while staying true to the season. So pick up a bag of your favorite peaches and try some of these recipes at home:

No-Cook Peach Gazpacho

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What to Buy at the Farmers’ Market: Strawberries

It’s strawberry season, ya’ll! And that means plenty of pies, trifles and parfaits are in order, but did you know there are lots of savory recipes that contain strawberries, too? While you’re at the farmers’ market this weekend, pick up a carton or two of fresh berries… you’ll need the extras to snack on while you’re cooking!

 

Look for berries that are bright, firm and shiny with fresh green caps still in tact. Take a whiff to make sure they smell, well, like strawberries! Opposed to other produce, you do not want to wash or cut strawberries before you are ready to use them. A wet strawberry turns into a spoiled strawberry very quickly!

 

Although strawberries are available year round, unless you’re in California or Florida, they aren’t going to be as fresh before June or after August, so buy your local strawberries while you still can!

 

Here are some recipes that utilize strawberries, from main ingredient to accent note, and from dinner and drinks to dessert!

 

Grilled Halibut with Strawberry Salad

Strawberry Salsa

Angel-Berry Parfaits

Strawberry Margarita

Related Links

Asparagus at the Farmers’ Market

Ramps at the Farmers’ Market

Radishes at the Farmers’ Market

#Trending Now: Watermelon!

You know it’s officially summer when one of Yahoo‘s trending topics is watermelon. Users are making all kinds of watermelon-related searches, from salad and margarita recipes to nutrition facts and preparation tips. So whether you’re buying a whole 15-lb melon or just a small wedge, here are some ideas that capture the essence of summer:
 

Watermelon Cups with Feta and Mint make an adorable appetizer or party starter

 
 

One way to upgrade your Mini Fruit Kebabs: grill ‘em!

 
 

Watermelon-Tomato Gazpacho with Shrimp provides a sweet and fresh twist on this traditional summer soup

 
 

We can’t forget about cocktail time! Our Melon Patch is sweet and refreshing, with a hint of rosemary

 
 
 

Related Links

Farmers’ Market Ideas: Ramps

#zucchini

#barbecue

What is Skyr?

Now that the Greek yogurt bandwagon is overflowing with foodies, fitness junkies and just about everyone else, we’ve decided to try a ride on a new train: the skyr train. Never heard of skyr? Neither had we.

 

Skyr is the traditional yogurt of Iceland, and what differentiates it from traditional yogurt is not only what it’s made of but also how it’s made. To make skyr, skim milk is incubated with live active cultures. Then, the whey, or natural water found in milk, is completely strained out, yielding an incredibly thick yogurt. To make one cup of skyr, you need 3-4 times the amount of milk as you would to make a regular cup of yogurt. If you can believe it, skyr is even thicker than Greek yogurt!

 

Where can you find such a luscious cup of skyr, you ask? At your local grocery store, in the form of siggi’s, a New York-based yogurt company that was launched in 2004 due to one man’s homesickness for a childhood staple snack.

 

Photo courtesy of siggi’s

 
Besides being high in protein, low in sugar and downright delicious, siggi’s is becoming one of our new favorite yogurts because of their unique flavors and dedication to simplicity. At the beginning of May, siggi’s introduced their newest flavor, Strawberry & Basil. Perfect for spring, this flavor represents two things we love about the warm weather: sun-sweet berries and intoxicatingly fresh-smelling herbs. The berries and basil are blended gently with plain skyr, and each flavor is poignant enough without being overpowering. Great on its own, the yogurt also pairs perfectly with almond granola or a sprinkling of flax or chia seeds.

 

Photo courtesy of siggi’s

 
Just like us, siggi’s is dedicated to green living, healthy tips and DIY crafts. They have purposely created a label that is easy to pull off so you can recycle or reuse each yogurt cup once you have devoured its contents. After enjoying our siggi’s breakfast, we thought, what better way to recycle our strawberry & basil yogurt cup than to plant some basil leaves in it? Talk about full circle.

 

 

 

You can find siggi’s in grocery stores across the country, but be sure to grab a strawberry & basil while you can! It will only be available at Whole Foods through August 2014.

 

 

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Products We Love: Kettlehead Popcorn

Chocolate-Covered Jalapenos

DIY Trail Mix

Meatless Monday: A Souper Summer

Usually we think of soup as being warm and comforting, and perfect for a cold winter night. But summer produce has its place in the soup world, too! And there’s no better way to use the last of your farmer’s market goodies than in chilled soups. These meatless bowls of flavor and nutrients are the perfect pick-me-up during the week day, or great for a light lunch during a busy weekend. Make a batch on Sunday, eat for lunch on Meatless Monday, and savor the rest throughout the week. They’re one pot wonders you won’t want to miss out on! Here are some of our favorites:

Chilled Leek and Yellow Squash Soup

Corn Avocado Soup with Cheesy Toasts

Hot or Cold Carrot Soup

Chilled Asparagus Soup

We hope you have a souper Monday!

Related links:

Healthy Soups

On Hand: Summer Soup

Turn Frozen Vegetables into Easy Soups