The Freshest Fruits and Vegetables Available in August
The Best Produce Picks for August
We’re in the midst of summer, which means one thing: Some of the most beloved produce is at its peak—and that's something to celebrate, for sure. After all, what is summer without juicy watermelon, fresh corn, and bright tomatoes? Get your taste buds revved up for these 10 produce picks that taste the best right now. (Summer fruits tastes amazing on the barbecue too! Try these Fruit-Centric Grill Recipes for a Sweeter Cookout.)
As its name suggests, watermelon is composed of 92 percent water, which can help keep you uber-hydrated during hot, hot summer days. (We have 18 Watermelon Recipes for a Slice of Summer.)
Storage tip: Although whole watermelon can be stored at room temperature, once sliced, the open surface should be covered with plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
Fresh tomatoes come in all shapes and sizes. Many farmers market regulars love scouting for heirloom varieties, which can come in colors like black, purple, and even striped!
Regardless of the size and shape, in order to get the best flavor, store at room temp—not in the refrigerator. The cold temperatures destroy the flavor and make those luscious tomatoes taste mealy.
This starchy vegetable contains 130 calories per each cooked cup. It’s an excellent source of energy boosting B-vitamins, and a good source of protein, fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. Corn is also filled with numerous phytochemicals, including lutein, saponins, and maizenic acid, shown to help prevent cancer and promote heart health. (There are more ways to eat corn than on the cob. Try these 9 Off-the-Cob Corn Recipes.)
This stone fruit is native to China, and made its way to the U.S. through Persia. We're glad it did! One medium peach contains 60 calories and vitamins A and C. And while there’s nothing better than a fresh juicy peach to cool you down, if you have the opportunity to buy a few extra, they make a mean jam or salsa.
This member of the nightshade family grows on vines (like tomatoes) and comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Purple, white, and black are some of the more popular hues you'll find at the market.
Fun fact: The flavor of an eggplant depends on its gender. Male eggplant have fewer seeds and are sweeter compared to female eggplant, which tend to be more bitter. To tell which gender your eggplant is, check the bottom. A male eggplant has a shallow, round indentation, while a female eggplant has a deep indentation shaped like a dash. (And if you're not sure what to do with this fruit, we have 10 New Ways to Cook Eggplant.)
There are thousands of varieties of grapes. The seedless purple and green ones are what you’ll find at your local supermarket. Concord grapes, used to make juice and jam, are distinct from other grapes because of their thick, dark purple skin and crunchy seeds. The Concord variety is tough to find as it has a super short harvest season (only six weeks) and it’s grown in very specific regions of the country.
Shopping and storage tip: Choose grapes that are firmly attached to their stem, bright in color, and plump. Store unwashed in a resealable bag inside the refrigerator for up to seven days.
The bright orange color is a dead giveaway that this fruit is overflowing with the antioxidant beta-carotene. One cup contains over 100 percent of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C. (Psst: It's also one of the Top 50 Summer Diet Foods for Weight Loss.)
Shopping tip: Choose melons that are round and firm, and heavy for their size. Give them a whiff—sweet smelling melons are ready for you to munch!
This breathy veggie is the cousin of leeks, shallots, onions, and chives. Garlic is a perfect way to add tremendous flavor to dishes, for few calories too. One clove contains close to five calories, several B-vitamins, and calcium. Garlic also contains the phytochemical allicin, shown to have antibacterial properties.
This herb is part of the mint family and is a popular ingredient in Italian dishes (like pizza). Although 1/4 cup chopped basil contains only one calorie, it contains over 30 percent the recommended daily amount of vitamin K.
To store fresh basil, wrap in a damp paper towel and place in the refrigerator for up to five days. (Did you know that you can add basil into your water? Check out these 8 Infused Water Recipes to Upgrade Your H2O.)
One cup of these berries contains about 60 calories and 8 grams of fiber. And these gems are high in vitamins C and K, along with manganese. Blackberries have the phytochemical quercetin too, an antioxidant linked to a decreased risk of heart disease.
Preparation tip: To avoid mold growth, wash blackberries immediately before eating.