Cooking with Summer Fruits and Vegetables

June 20, 2024

Summer brings more than just sunshine and long days—it’s also one of the year's best fruit and veggie seasons. Whether you're anxiously awaiting the blush of strawberries in your garden or supporting your local farmers' market with a weekly haul, it’s the ideal time to incorporate seasonal produce into your cooking. 

So, what fruits and vegetables are in season during the summer months? There’s no shortage of options this time of year. No matter if you’re shopping on the very first day of summer, midway through the sunshine season, or when the first leaves burst into fall colors, there’s always something ready to be plucked, picked, or harvested. 

watermelon slices on a plate

The Stars of Summer

Summer squash and zucchini are among the vegetables that take center stage every summer. These colorful gourds are ideal for various culinary applications, from salads and stir-fries to grilling and blending into soups.

On the fruit front, watermelon is a summer classic, typically available throughout most of the season. Additionally, peaches and cherries are in their prime, ready to be enjoyed in snacks, desserts, or even savory dishes like strawberry salads and blackberry-sage chicken.

Summer Fruits:

  • Avocados
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries 
  • Cherries
  • Lemons
  • Raspberries
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon

Summer Veggies:

  • Beets
  • Bell peppers
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Summer Squash
  • Zucchini

As for which months summer fruits and vegetables are available at your farmers’ market, that depends on several factors, including your climate and the growing conditions. For example, Florida watermelon peaks in June and July while it grows from late summer through October in the San Joaquin Valley area of California.

Young woman buying produce at the market

The Importance of Seasonal Cooking

Cooking with seasonal produce is more than just a culinary trend—it’s one of nature’s most enjoyable experiences. The freshness of seasonal fruits and vegetables is unparalleled. When produce is harvested at peak ripeness, it is the most flavorful and nutritious it will ever be. Seasonal fruits and veggies can also be more affordable than off-season picks, especially when purchasing locally grown items.

Environmentally, choosing seasonal produce often means supporting local farmers and reducing the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation. Local produce doesn’t have to travel far to reach your plate, resulting in fewer emissions and a lower environmental impact. This practice supports sustainable agriculture and helps preserve the planet for future generations.

Embracing seasonal eating is a prime part of living a Primal lifestyle for a variety of reasons. Incorporating a variety of seasonal produce into your diet adds nutritional diversity. Different fruits and vegetables provide unique sets of nutrients, ensuring that your diet remains balanced and varied throughout the year. This diversity not only enhances the taste and appeal of your meals but can also contribute to overall health and well-being. 

Culinary Inspiration with Summer Produce

Now, let’s dive into some delicious summer recipes you can make with your sunshine season harvest. Here are 10 of our favorite dishes that include at least one fruit or veggie that’s at peak ripeness in summer.  

turkey avocado sandwich on a plate

Main Dishes

Turkey Avocado Sandwich

Our fiery Buffalo Mayo balances the creamy, earthy flavor of ripe avocado. Use whichever tomatoes are in season locally for a double punch of seasonally available nutrients.  

Lemon Chicken Piccata

The classic Italian dish gets an elevated update with tangy Dijon mustard, capers, and a bright burst of flavor from fresh summer lemons.

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Peaches

The sweet tang of balsamic vinegar elevates the sweetness of fresh, ripe peaches. Put this scrumptious summer recipe on repeat!

watermelon feta salad close-up

Sensational Salads

Watermelon Feta Salad

Crisp, sweet, salty, and tangy—this picnic-ready salad has it all, pulled together with a drizzle of buttery olive oil. 

Strawberry Spinach Salad

This trendy summer recipe is our copycat version of a popular restaurant salad, made with savory-sweet Primal Kitchen Poppyseed Dressing and vibrant berries.

Creamy Cucumber Salad

One of our most popular recipes, this crisp, refreshing summer salad gets its creaminess from avocado oil mayo made with premium, cage-free organic eggs. 

veggie skewers

Veggie Sides & Snacks

Veggie Skewers

One of our favorite summer squash recipes, fresh veggies like zucchini and bell pepper are splashed with teriyaki for an explosion of color and flavor.   

Grilled Corn Ribs

Put away those old-school corn cob holders your mom gave you and pick up (literally!) these delightful mayo-slathered “ribs” with a chipotle lime kick.

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Even picky kiddos will love the crunch of this easy-bake veggie covered in unsweetened pizza sauce, gooey cheese, and zesty pepperoni.

Blueberry muffin smoothie

Sweet Surprise

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie

While you can make this morning bev year-round with imported or frozen fruit, a handful of fresh jumbo blues on top amps up the natural sweetness. A scoop of our collagen powder adds skin, hair, and nail support in every sip.    

Embrace the Season

This summer, take full advantage of the incredible fruits and vegetables at their peak. By selecting fresh, local produce, you’re elevating your meals and making choices that are good for your body, your budget, and the planet. So, gather your favorite Primal Kitchen sauces and condiments, unleash your culinary creativity, and celebrate the amazing flavors of summer!

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