The Best Summer Vegetables in Season in San Diego: A Guide to Fresh and Flavorful Produce
As the summer sun graces San Diego, the local farms and gardens come alive. And so it does with a bounty of fresh and flavorful summer vegetables. This season is a delight for food enthusiasts who appreciate crisp and fresh flavors. The taste only locally grown, in-season produce can provide. This blog will explore the best summer vegetables that are in season in San Diego. We will also share some inspiring tips to make the most of these nutritious gems.
The Importance of Seasonal Eating
Eating seasonally is not just a trend. It’s a lifestyle choice that can profoundly impact your health and the environment. When seasonal veggies get harvested at their top levels, they’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. All the elements that are vital for preserving appropriate health. Moreover, seasonal eating supports local farmers and contributes to a sustainable food system. How? By reducing the carbon footprint of transporting food over long distances.
The Summer Bounty
Summer is a fascinating time for food lovers! Next, we share some seasonal produce to enjoy during the summer. Each seasonal gem brings unique flavor and texture, adding a special touch to our meals. Their rich nutritional profiles make them tasty and beneficial for our health. Let’s dive into summer vegetables and discover our delicious options.
Summer is the prime time for tomatoes in San Diego. The variety is remarkable, from the juicy Beefsteak to the sweet Cherry tomatoes. Tomatoes are a rich source of vitamins A and C. They also are famous for their high lycopene content, a powerful antioxidant.
Tip: Try creating a refreshing tomato salad with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a handful of fresh basil leaves. This dish’s simplicity allows the tomatoes’ natural flavors to shine.
Like tomatoes, eggplants reach their height of sweet, creamy flavor and texture in the late summer months. Eggplant is a versatile veggie— fried, stuffed, layered and baked, smoked, and even pureed. Look for shiny eggplants with tight, firm skin and avoid any that have shriveling.
Tip: Before cooking, salt the slices and let them sit for a few minutes. This process draws out moisture and reduces bitterness, enhancing the taste.
You’ll locate fresh, crisp, vibrantly green string beans throughout summer and early fall at every grocery store and farmer’s marketplace in San Diego. Packed with vitamins A, C, and K, fiber, and folate, they are as nutritious as scrumptious. Whether eaten raw, steamed, boiled, or sautéed, green beans add a fresh touch to any meal.
Tip: Briefly blanch them in boiling water. Then plunge them into ice water to keep their vibrant color and crunch. Dry and keep the airtight bag in the fridge for up to 10 months! They are perfect for salads or as a side dish.
It is in season from July to October in San Diego. Nonetheless, this versatile yellow veggie reaches its peak ripeness in August. It’s high in vitamins A and C and fiber, making it a wholesome choice. Its shiny hues, from deep green to vibrant yellow, add a visual appeal to dishes. Its delicate flavor makes it a perfect partner for diverse dishes.
Tip: Grill squash slices with olive oil, salt, and pepper for a simple, flavorful dish. Or, cut it into thin pieces and sauté with tomatoes, green beans, garlic, and herbs. These make a healthful, fast side dish that pairs well with any meal. Remember, it’s best eaten while still slightly firm.
Zucchini is an adaptable summer squash. It’s ideal for grilling, sautéing, or even baking into tasty zucchini bread. It’s low in calories and high in fiber, making it an excellent choice for anyone watching their weight.
Tip: For a speedy and nutritious summer snack, slice zucchini into thin circles, toss with olive oil, and drizzle with your favorite spices. Then, bake until crispy. You’ll have homemade zucchini chips that are both tasty and nutritious.
Bell peppers are a summer season favorite with their vibrant colors and sweet, crisp texture. They are perfect for stuffing, grilling, or including a crunch in your salads. Bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamins C and A and incorporate proper fiber.
Tip: Try roasting bell peppers on the grill for a smoky taste. They make an excellent addition to sandwiches, salads, or a side dish.
There’s just something about the taste of fresh corn on the cob that screams summer. San Diego’s summer corn is sweet, juicy, and perfect for a backyard barbecue. Corn is a good source of fiber and contains several B vitamins.
Tip: For a twist on traditional corn on the cob, try grilling it. The heat caramelizes the natural sugars in the corn, giving it a unique and delicious flavor.
Tomatillos are crucial in many Latin American dishes, especially salsas and sauces. They are wealthy in vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium, providing a nutritious boost to your summer season meals.
Tip: Before use, cast off the husk and rinse to remove any sticky residue. Roast or boil the tomatillos to get out the whole flavor; that’s perfect for salsas and sauces.
Whip up a simple, mouth-watering homemade salsa verde! Husk a pound of tomatillos, place in a pot with water, bring it to a boil, then let simmer for five minutes. Place the tomatillos in a blender with chopped onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and jalapeños, and pulse until mixed.
Cucumbers are a refreshing and hydrating veggie. They are perfect for those hot San Diego summers. Cucumbers comprise about 95% water, making them an excellent hydration booster.
Tip: Make a quick pickling solution with vinegar, sugar, and spices to create your own homemade pickles. They’re a great addition to sandwiches or as a tangy snack.
Sure, San Diego enjoys avocados year-round. But during the summer season and early fall months, you may find that avocados here ripen faster and are an awful lot creamier than at some other times. It’s the ideal chance to feature this delectable, wholesome fat in your summer salads, snacks, and entrees!
Tip: For a quick, nutritious breakfast, slice an avocado, remove the pit, and crack an egg into each half. Bake until the egg cooks to your taste. To keep leftover avocado fresh, sprinkle it with a bit of lemon or lime juice.
Basil and oregano
Fresh herbs like basil and oregano thrive under the warm summer sun. To save money, you can easily pot your herb plants at home. Place them in a primarily sunny spot outdoors and water a few times a week. Simply tear off the leaves and sprinkle them over your favorite summer veggies, pasta, or salads. It will add a burst of flavor that will round out any meal!
Tip: Add them towards the end of cooking to preserve their aroma. For easy storage, freeze chopped basil and oregano in olive oil using an ice cube tray. Use these herb-infused oil cubes directly in your cooking.
*If you’re looking for ways to inspire your kids to try these delicious and nutritious summer vegetables, follow these tips!
San Diego offers a beautiful array of fresh, flavorful summer vegetables. All the options available are delicious and packed with nutrients. You’re getting the best taste and nutritional value by choosing locally grown, in-season produce. You’re also supporting local farmers and contributing to a more sustainable food system.
Curious about the health benefits of seasonal vegetables? Our healthcare professionals are prepared to assist you! Check our Doctor Directory to connect with a doctor for personalized advice. Also, explore our Healthy Lifestyles articles to learn more about the nutritional power of fresh produce. Start your journey to better health with nature’s bounty today!