How to use summer’s in-season foods to make exciting family meals

Have you noticed that the produce section of your supermarket suddenly has gotten more colorful? From indigo blueberries to bright red tomatoes, June launches summer produce season. So buy those juicy fruits and tender vegetables that you were dreaming about all winter or be brave and try something new! Now is the perfect time to break up your menu monotony with delicious, multi-colored meals. You can even up their nutritional value with a little Carotino Red Palm & Canola Oil. Here are a few fresh foods that you can use to your advantage:

Wild Arugula: Rich in vitamins A and K

• Change up those traditional salads by using arugula instead of lettuce. Dress with a homemade dressing, perhaps a vinaigrette made with Carotino.

• Arugula’s peppery, nutty flavor and crisp texture make it an almost rugged green. Combine it with lettuce or spinach for a multi-dimensional salad base.

Berries: High in vitamin C and antioxidants

• Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries or strawberries? Toss your family’s favorites into a summer salad that will please even picky eaters.

• Combine with other seasonal fruits, such as cantaloupe or watermelon for a colorful chilled salad, ideal for hot summer days.

 Peaches: Low in cholesterol and high in fiber

• Cut peaches in half, remove the pit, brush with Carotino and then wrap them in foil. Throw them on the grill for a delicious dessert after a barbeque. Serve the still-warm peaches alone or with a side of ice cream.

Corn: High in Pantothenic acid and Thiamin

• What summer barbeque is complete without corn on the cob? For a healthy alternative to butter, brush each cob with Carotino before grilling.

• If your family likes food with a spicy or zesty kick, create a mixture of salt, pepper, Carotino and their other favorite seasoning before applying to the corn.

Tomatoes: Support weight loss and high in vitamin A

• Tomatoes are in season and won’t be in short supply, which is great news because they can be incorporated into many recipes. Toss raw tomatoes into a salad or sauté them in Carotino to make the base for a healthful homemade pasta sauce.

• Combine with other vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant and bell peppers that are also in season for a vitamin-rich ratatouille. Replace olive oil with Carotino for added nutrition.

Okra: High in fiber and vitamin C

• Okra tastes like a hybrid of eggplant and asparagus. For a traditional Southern dish, fry it in Carotino and serve over a leafy salad.

• Grill it and serve with a tangy or spicy dipping sauce to accommodate any vegetarians at your barbeque.

Rhubarb: Contains potassium and manganese

• This versatile vegetable makes delicious pies. You’ll feel less guilty about that second slice if you make it from scratch using Carotino instead of butter.

• Cook rhubarb with a little honey or sugar, even if you’re planning on serving it alongside a meat or in a salad, because of its natural tartness.

Zucchini: Low in calories and cholesterol

• Slice, then grill or sauté zucchini for a healthy addition to any meal.

• Surprise your family by incorporating another seasonal food, bananas, into basic zucchini bread.

Exploring your local farmer’s market helps you save on grocery bills and find the freshest produce available. Experiment with recipes and expand your repertoire. Farmer’s markets are full of organic foods from local growers so you can support your community while keeping your family healthy.