Summer is starting to wind down and so are our gardens, but there is some great produce that is still in abundance. Produce that is in season is picked at the peak of ripeness, meaning it often tastes better and its nutrient content is at its highest. Consuming adequate amounts of produce can also help your body get more of the essential nutrients that it needs to stay healthy. One of the best ways to make sure you are getting a good mix of important nutrients is to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs of all different colors. Dietitians are here to help you do that this late summer season by sharing their top three favorite end-of-summer produce picks.
Top 3 dietitian favorite end-of-summer produce:
- Bell Peppers: All colors of bell peppers offer great nutritional value, including being great sources of vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid and even fiber. However, red bell peppers that are picked later in the season will have more vitamin A and C. You can wash, chop up and use the pepper fresh in any dish or freeze the chopped-up peppers and save for another time. Chopped bell pepper goes great in eggs, salads, pasta sauces, chilis and more.
- Peaches: Peaches are a fun late-summer fruit that can provide the body with good amounts of vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, potassium and fiber. This means that peaches can help keep your bones, cells and eyes healthy. Peaches are also a great fruit for grilling – so wash, cut in half, remove the pit, and throw it on the grill with your protein at your next cookout. You can also chop up peaches and freeze them. Then you can toss them in a blender with your other favorite fruits and vegetables for a nutrient-packed smoothie.
- Rosemary: Rosemary is a tasty and hardy herb that goes well in many late-summer, fall and even winter dishes. Rosemary is also a great source of vitamins A, C and B6, as well as iron and calcium. Rosemary can easily be grown in the ground or in a pot and even purchased in a pot from the store. Bring your rosemary pot inside as it gets colder or preserve your rosemary by air drying or freezing in ice cube trays filled with olive oil for use in cooking later.
Eating fruits and vegetables daily is an important part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Eating in season can not only give you an extra nutrient boost but can also put a little savings back in your pocket, as produce that is in season often costs less.
Grilled Peaches and Chicken
All you need:
- ½ cup peach preserves
- 2 tbsp Gustare Vita olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, plus additional sprigs for garnish
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 5 medium peaches, pitted and halved
- 4 (4- to-5-oz each) boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Ground black pepper
- ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
All you do:
- Preheat a charcoal or gas grill with a greased grill rack for direct grilling over medium-high heat.
- Combine preserves, oil, orange juice, thyme and ginger in a small microwave-safe bowl for glaze. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds. Add the halves of two peaches to glaze mixture in bowl. Transfer glaze to a food processor. Pulse glaze mixture until slightly pureed, leaving some peach chunks.
- Cut remaining peach halves into wedges. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill chicken for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is done (165 degrees), turning and brushing with glaze every 5 minutes. Add peach wedges to grill during the last 5 to 6 minutes of grilling. Brush with remaining glaze and grill until peaches are lightly charred. Serve chicken and peaches with goat cheese. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.
Recipe source: Hy-vee.com
Written by Sarah Peterson, LCHC’s Registered Dietitian
This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.