Selecting Fresh Warm-Weather Vegetables
Summer is the best time to preserve or ferment warm-weather vegetables. However, it requires knowing what is in season because climate conditions vary drastically. When choosing the right plants to grow, it gives you the opportunity to use the right combinations of fresh vegetables for your meals.
When you know what foods are in season, it benefits you in many ways. For instance, your vegetables are more likely to taste best when you harvest them at the right time. Usually, they are most flavorful and are nutritionally at their peak when harvested just as they ripen. Choosing foods picked from your garden at the right time also sends a pleasant aroma through your home, and it can relax you.
Examples of summer plants include corn, eggplant, green beans, okra, peas and peppers. Potatoes, shallots, spinach, tomatoes and squash are a few more. This not only is the best time to harvest them, but it also is the ideal period for canning, preserving, or fermenting them.
Cooking summer produce doesn’t usually require much effort to cook, either. It typically just involves steaming with your favorite spices and a little bit of butter. Just let the pot you are preparing them in simmer on a medium-low heat with a little bit of water until they are to the desired softness. Just check them periodically to make sure they are done.
Of course, many of the summer vegetables you cook also taste good fresh in salads or sautéed in stir fry dishes. You can find many ways to season them with natural spices, too. In fact, fresh onion and garlic are two that give your dishes the natural taste you need without adding too much fat or salt.
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