July Produce Guide

Your July produce guide is here! Find out what’s in season in this month, along with tips on how to pick and store the produce. Get some recipe ideas, too!

Find out what's in season in this July Produce Guide! You'll find tips on how to pick and store the produce as well as recipe ideas!

In my opinion, summer is the best time for produce because so many fruits and vegetables are now in season! I find myself eating my weight in fruit this time of the year and I do so with no regrets. Soft, leafy herbs are also in season, and I always keep several bunches around my house for salads and stir fries.

Without further ado, here’s the July produce guide!

AVOCADOS

Cajun Spiced Baked Salmon with Avocado Lime Sauce - a healthy, gluten-free meal ready in under 30 minutes! by @healthynibs

Even though we can find avocados in the supermarket year-round (usually from Mexico or South America), California avocados are in season now. Unless you are planning to use the avocado right after you buy it, you’re better off buying an avocado that’s slightly firm and letting it ripen on your counter for a few days. Ripe avocados turn brown or black quite quickly, so you should eat them within a day.

Besides using avocados for guacamole and salads, I love mixing 1/4 or 1/2 of an avocado in my smoothies to make the more smooth and filling.

BEANS

Summer Beans

When you’re picking green beans or any other type of string beans, pick the ones that look crisp and do not have a lot of brown spots on them. Store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Condensation tends to build up in plastic bags in the refrigerator. If you are not going to eat the beans in a few days, slip a sheet of paper towel in the bag to absorb extra moisture.

BLUEBERRIES

Easy homemade blueberry frozen yogurt that requires 4 ingredients only! by @healthynibs

Pick blueberries that are vibrant blue. Try not to pick the ones that have wrinkled skin. Store the blueberries in a sealed container that’s lined with a sheet of paper towel. Be sure to sift through the berries and throw out any that have moldy or mushy bits.

I love eating blueberries because they are high in fiber and Vitamins C and K!

CHERRIES

Steak Tacos Cherry Pico de Gallo from The Kitchen PaperPhoto Credit: Mary Warren from The Kitchen Paper

When buying red cherries, such as Bing cherries, pick ones that have a deep red color. It’s generally a sign that the cherries are ripe.If you are buying Rainier cherries (the yellow cherries), choose ones that look shiny and smooth without too many brown spots on them. Also, try picking cherries with green stems—it’s an indication of freshness. The stems will turn brown and woody over time. Store cherries in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. If you have a lot of cherries to go through, rinse and remove the cherry pits and freeze the cherries for smoothies. I usually line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and lay the fruit on top.

KITCHEN TIP: HOW TO PIT CHERRIES WITHOUT A PITTER

CORN

Slow Cooker Corn and Potato Soup with Roasted Chickpeas - a healthy, hearty soup to help you stay warm!

When you are picking ears of corn, squeeze the tip to see if it is filled with corn kernels. I like picking smaller ears of corn because the kernels tend to be much more tender and juicy. I don’t shuck the corn before refrigerating them because the husks help prevent the kernels from drying out. Once I cut off the kernels from the corn, I collect the corn cobs and freeze them in a bag to make vegetable broth (along with other vegetable scraps).

CUCUMBERS

Sesame Ginger Miso Cucumber Salad from Snixy KitchenPhoto Credit: Sarah Menanix of Snixy Kitchen

Pick cucumbers that look vibrant green (or yellow, if you’re picking lemon cucumbers) and don’t have much wrinkled skin. I typically buy Persian or English cucumbers because their skin and seeds are quite tender. I usually store cucumbers in a paper bag and then place that bag into a plastic bag. The paper bag helps absorb moisture from condensation. Cucumbers should be consumed within 4 to 5 days.

EGGPLANT

Roasted Eggplant with Garlic Yogurt and Za'atar from Foolproof LivingPhoto Credit: Aysegul D. Sanford from Foolproof Living

Choose eggplant that are firm with little or no brown spots on the outside. Also, check the tops of the eggplant. If the eggplant is still fresh, the tops will not be dried and shriveled. You can actually store eggplant at room temperature for a day or two. If you still haven’t used the eggplant yet, store them in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.

GREENS

Green Shakshuka - a healthy breakfast dish filled with kale, collard greens and sunny side up eggs. An easy gluten-free meal!

Pick the bundles of greens that are still vibrant—if you see yellowness in the greens, it’s an indication that they are beyond their prime. When I buy bunches of kale or collard greens, I typically strip the leaves off the stems, rinse and spin the leaves in a salad spinner. I then lay the leaves on a baking sheet lined with a tea towel and let them dry for about 30 minutes. I’ll then refrigerate them in plastic bags. This tiny bit of prep work usually makes cooking much more pleasant throughout the week.

SOFT HERBS

Basil

Many tutorials I’ve seen online recommend sticking herbs into a glass jar or cup filled with water and covering everything with a plastic bag. Some websites will say to store the covered herbs on your kitchen counter or the refrigerator. The problem with storing them in the counter, I’ve found, is that you’ll attract a lot of fruit flies (especially basil). On the other hand, the problem with storing them in the fridge is that I don’t usually have the space. That’s why I wrap a damp paper towel around the stem of the herbs and wrap everything in a plastic bag. I’ll tie the opening of the bag with a rubber band and refrigerate the herbs.

KOHLRABI

Kohlrabi

Usually, kohlrabi are sold in supermarkets without their greens. Pick the ones that still look green (or purple) on the outside without much brown spots. Wrap them in a plastic bag and store them in the refrigerator for up to a week or two. If you are lucky enough to find kohlrabi with their greens still in tact, don’t throw the greens away! You can cook them like collard greens!

PEAS (SUGAR, SNOW)

Kung Pao Tofu Stir Fry - easy and healthy stir fry that takes only 30 minutes to make!

Pick sugar peas or snow peas that are vibrant green with smooth skin. Store them in a plastic bag and keep them in your crisper drawer. I always string my sugar peas and snow peas before cooking them. It’s a habit I picked up from Mama Lin!

STONE FRUIT

Peach Baked Muesli from Heartbeet KitchenPhoto Credit: Amanda Paa from Heartbeet Kitchen

When you’re picking peaches or nectarines, choose the ones that have some red skin around the neck. If the skin around the stem looks completely yellow or white, it’s an indication that they were picked off the tree before the optimal time. Ripe peaches and nectarines will have some give when you squeeze them and the skin should be deep red. Ripe plums, pluots or apricots will also have some give and fell quite soft on the top. I usually buy stone fruit with varying degrees of ripeness. That way, I’ll have some ready to eat and can leave the rest to ripen over the next few days.

STRAWBERRIES

VEGAN Teriyaki Tofu Spring Rolls - simple, fresh spring rolls filled with vegetables, tofu and strawberries! Perfect party appetizer!

When I’m picking strawberries, I always go for the basket that have the least mount of whiteness around the stem. It’s an indication that the strawberries are ready to eat. Store strawberries in a sealed container lined with paper towels. Do not rinse the berries before you store them—this can cause the berries to turn mushy. I usually hull my strawberries and throw away the tops. After reading this article, I’m going to save them for my smoothies!

SUMMER SQUASH

Zucchini Corn Tomato Salad with Avocado Lime DressingPhoto Credit: Traci York from Vanilla and Bean

Pick summer squash that are shiny and have vibrant color on the outside. They can be stored at room temperature for a day or two. After that, store them in plastic bag inside the crisper drawer in your refrigerator.

TOMATOES

Greek Salad with Chickpeas - a healthy salad that is great as a side or main dish!

Pick tomatoes that have a vibrant color and taut skin. Store them at room temperature. If you notice that mushy spots are starting to form at the bottom of the tomatoes, eat them immediately or store them in the refrigerator for another day or two.

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