Summertime is officially here and that means lots of new, fresh, bright produce options for our kitchen counters!
Did you know that seasonal fruit is picked at the peak of freshness? You can probably tell, since fruits and vegetables are extraordinarily juicy tasty and fresh when they're in season. It's the same reason you don't buy fresh pumpkin in July or fresh watermelon in December! If they're not growing at a particular time, that means the versions they have in the store have been manipulated to stay fresh as long as possible - for months, even - depleting the natural nutrient stores that makes them good for you.
Well, lucky for you, each season brings with it a wealth of new fruits and vegetables that you can Blast in a snap. Summer has lots to offer, so get your grocery list ready and let's go!
What are YOU Blasting with?
Arugula grows best from the spring through the early summer, so now is an excellent time to load up on this peppery green. Aside from its fresh, zippy flavor, arugula offers a hearty dose folate, as well as vitamins A, C, and K.
With its bold flavor, arugula pairs nicely with strong, sweet fruits like pineapple and mango in NutriBlasts.
This aromatic herb adds a fresh bite to any dish, and a surprising, sophisticated twist to your NutriBlasts. Though basil is available throughout the year, this plant flourishes in warm, sunny months, and pairs beautifully with other summer stunners like tomato, watermelon, and summer berries.
Basil also ranks high on the health charts, providing vitamin K, flavonoids, and special volatile oils found to have antibacterial properties!
3. Summer squashes (zucchini, yellow squash, etc.)
As their name specifies, summer squashes flourish in the hottest months of the year, providing a light, delicate presence amidst the powerful flavors of the season. Summer squashes contain powerful carotenoid antioxidants and should be eaten with their outer skin to reap the most of these benefits.
Summer squashes add bulk to NutriBlasts without adding much distinctive flavor, so they mix well with most flavors. To prepare for blasting, simply rinse and dry the squash, cut off the woodsy stem, and cut into chunks for easy distribution. If you prefer to cook your squash, opt for steaming over boiling, roasting, or sautéing; it will better preserve the nutrients contained within.
4. Bell Peppers
These bright, punchy veggies hit their prime from July through November, making them an excellent addition to your late summer diet. Filled with vitamin C, beta carotene, and lycopene, bell peppers are also excellent in savory NutriBlasts, pairing nicely with greens and spices like turmeric and cumin.
Though new farming methods make them available year-round, berries flourish during the warmer months of the year, providing exceptional nutritional value in tiny, delicious packages. While different types of berries have unique nutritional profiles, all are high in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, and contain relatively low amounts of sugar.
Blackberries: June-October; Peak: August
Blueberries: May-September; Peak: late June/early July
Raspberries: June-October; Peaks: June-July and September
Strawberries: May – September; Peak: late June/early July
6. Stone fruits (apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries)
Named for the hard pit at the center of their tender flesh, stone fruits hit their peak during the summer. Loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and nutrients like vitamin C and K, these hot weather favorites bring nourishment and hydration along with their delicious flavor. As with berries, their harvest season varies depending on fruit type, variety, and region, but their prime availability generally ranges as follows:
Cool, sweet, and juicy melon is one of summer’s star produce players. Read on for a more in-depth look at your favorite varieties:
This silky-sweet melon is high in vitamins A & C, and helpful in fighting chronic inflammation. Cantaloupe is available year-round, but the sweetest, juiciest melons can be found in the summer months, from June through September.
Load up on fiber and water with the sweet, delicate honeydew melon. Like cantaloupe, honeydew is available year-round, but is best served from June through September.
Aside from its distinctive crispness and juicy finish, watermelon is known for its exceptional lycopene content—an antioxidant found to play a role in cardiovascular, bone, and prostate health. Peak watermelon season lasts from late May through early September.
Filled with lycopene, vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber, succulent tomatoes make an excellent addition to your summertime diet. While some tomato varieties are available year round, summer brings the best and brightest varieties out to play—from massive lumpy heirlooms to jewel-sized grape tomatoes.
Enjoy their powerful flavor by making a Bloody Mary-inspired NutriBlast! Mix your favorite tomato variety with romaine, celery, carrot, a sliver of avocado, lemon juice, and a little pinch of sea salt in the NutriBullet and enjoy a savory and oh-so-healthy summertime treat.