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Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month: Summer Veggie Edition

Sliced Watermelon Radishes on a dark background with sprigs of dill and parsley nearby.

June marks the celebration of
National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, and with summer just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to revitalize your meal plan with fresh, seasonal produce. This summer, challenge yourself to try new vegetables and expand your menu with nutrient-dense options. 

We've curated a list of veggies that might be new to your plate, bringing exciting flavors and health benefits to your meals!  

Pic 1: Kohlrabi Pic 2: Pattypan Squash Pic 3: Purple Carrots

  1. Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi, often called the “German turnip,” is a cruciferous vegetable in the same family as cabbage, broccoli, and kale. Its unique, bulbous shape and crisp texture make it a versatile addition to summer meals.

Health Benefits:

Kohlrabi is a powerhouse of nutrients, including vitamins C and B6, potassium, and fiber. It's known for its antioxidant properties, which help reduce inflammation and support immune function. The fiber content aids digestion and promotes a healthy gut, while potassium contributes to heart health by regulating blood pressure.

Serving Suggestions:

Kohlrabi can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Slice it thinly for a refreshing addition to salads or coleslaw, roast it with a drizzle of olive oil and your favorite spices, or blend it into a creamy soup. Its mild, slightly sweet flavor pairs well with a variety of dishes.

  1. Pattypan Squash

Pattypan squash, also known as scallop squash, is a summer vegetable with unique, scalloped edges and bright colors ranging from pale green to vibrant yellow.

Health Benefits:

Rich in vitamins A and C, pattypan squash supports eye health and boosts the immune system. It’s also a good source of manganese and fiber, which aid digestion and help maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Serving Suggestions:

Grill pattypan squash slices with a sprinkle of salt and pepper for a simple yet delicious side dish. It can also be stuffed with grains, vegetables, and cheese for a hearty meal or added to stir-fries and casseroles for an extra nutritional boost.

  1. Purple Carrots

Purple carrots are not only visually stunning but also packed with nutrients. They have a sweet, earthy flavor that adds depth to a variety of dishes.

Health Benefits:

These vibrant carrots are rich in anthocyanins, the antioxidants that give them their purple hue. Anthocyanins have anti-inflammatory properties and support heart health. Purple carrots also provide a substantial amount of vitamin A, essential for vision and immune function.

Serving Suggestions:

Enjoy purple carrots raw as a colorful addition to salads or crudité platters. Roast them with a mix of other root vegetables, blend them into smoothies for a nutrient boost, or use them to make a visually appealing carrot soup. 

Pic 1: Chinese Long Beans Pic 2: Romanesco Pic 3: Fennel

  1. Chinese Long Beans

Chinese long beans, or yardlong beans, are a staple in many Asian cuisines. They are characterized by their impressive length and tender, slightly sweet flavor.

Health Benefits:

Chinese long beans are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, folate, and dietary fiber. These nutrients support overall health, from boosting the immune system to promoting healthy skin and aiding digestion.

Serving Suggestions:

Stir-fry Chinese long beans with garlic and soy sauce for a quick and flavorful side dish. They can also be steamed and served with a light dressing or added to soups and stews for extra texture and nutrition.

  1. Romanesco

Romanesco is a striking vegetable known for its intricate, fractal-like appearance and bright green color. It belongs to the same family as broccoli and cauliflower.

Health Benefits:

Rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, and dietary fiber, Romanesco supports immune function, bone health, and digestive wellness. Its unique compounds, such as glucosinolates, have been shown to possess cancer-fighting properties.

Serving Suggestions:

Steam or roast Romanesco florets with herbs for a nutritious side dish. It can also be used in place of cauliflower in recipes, added to pasta dishes, or blended into soups for a creamy texture.

  1. Fennel

Fennel, with its distinct licorice-like flavor, is a versatile vegetable that can be used from bulb to fronds. Its crisp texture and aromatic qualities make it a standout in summer dishes.

Health Benefits:

Fennel is packed with vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. It aids digestion, supports a healthy immune system, and helps regulate blood pressure. The essential oils in fennel have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

Serving Suggestions:

Thinly slice fennel bulb for a refreshing addition to salads or slaws. It can also be roasted with olive oil and Parmesan for a savory side dish or sautéed and added to pasta or grain bowls for added flavor and crunch. 

Pic 1: Chayote Pic 2: Mizuna Pic 3: Watermelon Radish Pic 4: Okra

  1. Chayote

Chayote, also known as vegetable pear, is a light green, pear-shaped vegetable with a mild flavor and crisp texture. It's commonly used in Latin American cuisine.

Health Benefits:

Chayote is low in calories but high in vitamins C and B6, potassium, and fiber. It supports immune health, aids in digestion, and helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Its antioxidant properties also help protect cells from damage.

Serving Suggestions:

Add chayote to salads for a crunchy texture, sauté it with garlic and onions as a side dish, or use it in soups, stews, and stir-fries. It can also be stuffed with grains and vegetables for a hearty meal.

  1. Mizuna

Mizuna, also known as Japanese mustard greens, is a leafy green with a mildly spicy flavor. Its delicate, feathery leaves add a unique touch to summer salads.

Health Benefits:

Mizuna is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, folate, and antioxidants. These nutrients support immune function, bone health, and overall wellness. The high fiber content aids in digestion and helps maintain a healthy weight.

Serving Suggestions:

Use mizuna as a base for salads, or mix it with other greens for added variety. It can also be lightly sautéed and added to pasta dishes, soups, or stir-fries or used as a topping for pizzas and sandwiches.

  1. Watermelon Radish

Watermelon radish, with its vibrant pink interior and mild flavor, is a visually striking vegetable that adds a pop of color to any dish.

Health Benefits:

Rich in vitamins C and B6, potassium, and fiber, watermelon radish supports immune health, aids in digestion, and helps regulate blood pressure. Its antioxidants help reduce inflammation and protect against chronic diseases.

Serving Suggestions:

Slice watermelon radish thinly and add it to salads or crudité platters for a burst of color and crunch. It can also be pickled for a tangy snack, or used as a garnish for tacos, sandwiches, and grain bowls.

  1. Okra

Okra, also known as lady’s finger, is a popular summer vegetable in many cuisines. Its mild flavor and unique texture make it a versatile ingredient in a variety of dishes.

Health Benefits:

Okra is a good source of vitamins C and K, folate, and fiber. It supports immune health, aids in digestion, and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. The mucilaginous (slimy) texture of okra is beneficial for gut health, acting as a natural laxative.

Serving Suggestions:

Okra can be grilled, roasted, or sautéed with spices for a flavorful side dish or used in salads and pickles. Add it to casseroles or stir-fry for a unique twist! 

A picture of a produce stand with varies farm fresh veggies.

Produce Stands & Farmers Market Section

Support local agriculture and enjoy the freshest produce by visiting your local farmer's markets and produce stands. Not only will you get the best-tasting vegetables, but you'll also be helping local farmers and contributing to a sustainable food system. Stroll through a farmers market this summer and discover your community's bounty of seasonal vegetables. 

Looking for a Farmers Market near you? Try this handy directory

A dark background with various fruit and veggies on the right-most corner of the image with a text overlay that reads: Summer just better.

Make Your Summer just better.®!

Upgrade your summer recipes with just better.® Prebiotic Fiber. It’s simple to cook and bake with just better.® because it’s 100% dissolvable and flavorless. Simply add it to the food and drinks you already love, and enjoy the benefits of improved gut and heart health, better cholesterol levels, blood sugar management, and healthy weight management support.

This summer, challenge yourself to try new-to-you vegetables! Add them to your seasonal meal plan, and enjoy the health benefits and flavors they bring. Happy National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, and here’s to a season of delicious and nutritious meal planning! 

Live just better.®! 

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