For much of the country, June is the start of the summer season and brings with it an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month has been observed in June since 1991, originally as a way to promote growers and the grilling season. The details of how it originated are unclear, but it seems obvious why the month of June would be perfect. Supermarkets overflow with colorful choices not available in winter, farmers’ markets spring up offering fresh local produce, and for those who have the space, there is nothing better than fresh produce straight from your garden.
Eye appeal aside, there is no denying the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, and fresh ones have lost nothing in the processing. Some of the important nutrients they provide are calcium, fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Use the handy chart here, as well as other links on this page, to see exactly which fruits and vegetable provide these nutrients
Not a fan of fruit and especially vegetables? Maybe you have not tried the right ones or fixed them the right way, or maybe you are just bored with the usual choices. Make a point of trying new fruits and vegetables this month, ones you don’t see in the market year round, and fix the ordinary ones in new ways. Grilling isn’t just for meat anymore; try grilling peppers, sweet corn, summer squash, peaches, pineapple, even watermelon. Think beyond tomato and lettuce when making sandwiches, wraps, and salads, freeze into popsicles, or just enjoy the crunch of a raw vegetable or the juiciness of fresh fruit. Before long, you might even find you actually like them!
Here are a few recipes to get you started:
California Avocado Super Summer Wraps – Fresh California avocado doubles for dressing and filling complementing blueberries, carrots, arugula and chicken in this appetizing summer wrap.
Rainbow Bell Pepper Boats with Garbanzo Beans and Kale – Red, orange and yellow greenhouse grown bell peppers stuffed with garbanzo beans, kale, walnuts and brown rice make a delicious Mediterranean-influenced vegetarian dish.
Roasted Pepper & Mozzarella Ciabatta – Italian-inspired sandwich with nutrient packed sun-dried tomato spread, kale, roasted red peppers, and mozzarella.
Seared Beef Sirloin and Grilled Peaches with Feta Cheese and Basil – Not only are the grilled or broiled peach halves served on a bed of arugula with the sirloin a beauty to behold when serving, the sweetness of the fruit complements the meatiness of the beef.
18 Smoky, Delicious Ways to Grill Fruit – The intense heat of the grill—whether gas or charcoal—adds a fantastic, smoky-sweet flavor and caramelized texture to most fruits.
Grilled Vegetables – These grilled vegetables are an assortment of colorful veggies bathed in a flavorful garlic and herb marinade, then cooked to perfection on the grill.
More information can be found here:
Add Color with Fruits and Vegetable – Booklet from the America heart Association with information about serving size, benefits, storage, preparation, tips, a few recipes, and more.
Storing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for Best Flavor – Detailed storage sheet for fresh fruit and veggies as well as tips for cleaning fresh produce, from Fruits & Veggies–More Matters.
June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month – Focuses on a few of the many fresh fruits and vegetables available in the summer.
Omaha Farmers Markets – Changes to schedule, locations, and guidelines due to Covid-19
Bellevue Farmers’ Market – Changes to schedule and guidelines due to Covid-19