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In the Kitchen
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By Katie Goodman
Summer has most certainly arrived here in New Mexico. Not only has the weather embraced it, but the produce section of the grocery store has too.
I couldn’t be happier to see regular sales on some of my favorite produce. In my opinion, spring produce is merely a prelude to the finest offerings of the year that are available during summer. Big, beautiful peaches for under a dollar a pound? Don’t mind if I do!
Your supermarket’s produce section may display many of the same fruits and vegetables year-round, but it’s important to learn what is in season where you live.


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Finding and Using Seasonal Ingredients

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Saving money in the kitchen starts with knowing when to purchase prime produce. Seasonal fruits and vegetables offer the highest nutritional value and typically cost less. Tomatoes are cheap in the summer because the weather is just right to grow quality tomatoes in abundance, and prices reflect that. Out-of-season produce is expensive and deficient in flavor.
In addition to your local grocery store, you can find delicious deals on seasonal produce at the summer farmer’s markets and U-Pick farms. If you’ve got a green thumb, you might like to experiment with growing your own produce. A trip to your local nursery will help you discover which fruits and vegetables grow best in your area, as well as advice for planting times.
When you know what produce is available during summer, you can not only take advantage of lower prices, you can plan easy meals and menus. It doesn’t take much cooking to make fresh summer produce taste great. You can also enjoy summer produce all year long by freezing it at its peak.

What’s in Season Now

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Fruits

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Honeydew melon
  • Mangoes
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon

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Vegetables
Looking for ways to serve up summer’s best vegetables? Check out my article on how to Spruce Up Vegetable Side Dishes.

  • Avocado
  • Bell peppers
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Green beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

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Herbs

  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Lavender
  • Lemon verbena
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary

Summer Recipes to Try

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I like to keep summer recipes simple so the quality ingredients have the opportunity to shine through. Here are a few summer produce recipes featured on Craft:
Basil Peach Sangria
Berry Smoothies
Blackberry Lime Spritzer
Flank Steak with Balsamic Basil Vinaigrette
Fresh Garden Salsa
Grilled Corn Salad
How to Grill Corn
Lemon Cloud Tart with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
Mexican Pizza with Bell Pepper and Cilantro
Chocolate Cupcakes With Raspberry Buttercream
Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini and Tomatoes
Watermelon Lemonade

About the Author:
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Katie Goodman blogs at goodLife {eats} where she shares what she finds good in the kitchen and in life through recipes, family memories, and yummy photography. She also works as a freelance food writer and photographer for various sites. Outside of cooking, Katie loves reading, gardening, visiting family, and attending the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she resides with her husband and two children.


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