It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Summer is the best time of year to purchase local produce. Fresh fruits and vegetables are easy to find, and so are local farmers markets!
Historically, we’ve only been able to eat what we can hunt and gather on our own. Up until recent decades, we have only had access to what was seasonally available. Luckily, today we have access to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables - tropical fruits, berries year-round, etc.
However, eating locally does more than just support your local economy and farmer. These fruits and vegetables will be highest in nutrients as they haven’t had to travel as far! Did you know that the longer fruits and vegetables sit, the more nutrients they lose?
Here are a few to keep in stock through the summer months:
Kale is seriously king, alongside most other green, leafy vegetables. Try to buy these organic when possible, and even better if it is from your local farmers market! These are wonderful if you are trying to boost your body’s detoxification processes as it can increase bile flow!
Broccoli contains high amounts of Vitamin C, which is a precursor to collagen (the stuff that keeps your skin looking supple and your hair long and lustrous). In the summer, we’re regularly exposed to sun, which can break down collagen. So stockpiling on vitamin C-rich foods, like broccoli is essential.
Did you know that wild blackberries can be found all over the lower mainland? Save yourself some money and pick some wild blackberries on your own, or call up a friend and head to your local berry patch. Instagram pic, and organic berries? Why not!?
It seems this past year, there have been quite a few issues around romaine lettuce. So if you weren’t buying it through the year, now is your chance! Hydration is key during summer months, and lettuce leaves are full of good ‘ole H2O.
Stone fruit include nectarines, apricots, peaches, plumbs, etc. These are actually some of the fruits that we don’t see year-round (unlike apples, bananas, oranges and pears). And, when you do see them in grocery stores during the winter months, they’re usually grainy, dry, or just plain “yuck”.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, which is known to help us balance our hormone levels. Buying these from farmers markets during the summer is a great way to reduce your plastic waste as well!
We can’t stress this enough: hydration is key during summer months! Cucumbers contain a lot of H2O, and can make a great addition to any summer cocktail, or just to flavour the two or more litres of water you should be consuming daily.
Along with hydration, cucumbers are also known as a “cooling” food, along with fruits and vegetables like watermelon, berries, apples, cauliflower, celery, and broccoli, just to name a few. These can help us to beat the heat on hot summer days.
Have you tried tomatoes from your own garden vs. those purchased at your grocery store? This is definitely one food to try purchasing from a local farmers market this time of year. Not only does it taste better, but it also contains a higher nutritional value. This is because local or organic tomatoes are usually picked when ripe, while conventional tomatoes can be ripened during shipping.