With the unofficial start of summer behind us, farmers markets abound. So we asked registered dietitian (and future Westchesterite) Jessica Fishman Levinson what super foods are in season right now at area markets.
Jessica, the founder of Nutritioulicious, a nutrition counseling practice, and the co-author of “We Can Cook: Introduce Your Child to the Joy of Cooking with 75 Simple Recipes and Activities,” a cookbook for children ages 3 to 6, is moving to New Rochelle this summer with her husband, twin daughters, and dog. Not only did she tell us what super foods we should all be eating this summer — she offered up tips on how to prepare each one. Keep this list somewhere handy!
From late June through early August you’ll see this fruit at your local farm stand. Their deep red color is indicative of their powerful antioxidant content, specifically anthocyanins, which can help improve arthritis and memory loss. Enjoy them on their own or make a cherry chutney – it goes great on fish and chicken!
While you can find this delicious member of the perennial family in supermarkets all year round, the season for asparagus is actually only from May to June. Asparagus has an anti-inflammatory effect and is rich in antioxidants including vitamins C and E. Add them to a frittata or simply toss with some olive oil and roast for 8-10 minutes, depending on their thickness. To bring out the best flavor, sprinkle with some Kosher salt when you take them right out of the oven!
Another vegetable that’s always available, but it is actually harvested from June to July (and available at local farmers markets until November). A member of the allium family, garlic has very strong antioxidant properties that can aid in heart health. Here’s a tip – to increase the health benefits, crush or chop garlic cloves and let them sit at room temperature for a couple of minutes before cooking.
Sugar Snap Peas
A good source of vitamin C, sugar snap peas are not to be confused with their more starchy relative English peas (the ones your kids love mixed with carrots!). Blanch them to bring out their sweetness, pack them in a resealable bag, and throw them in your diaper bag or purse for a quick and healthy snack!
Nothing beats freshly picked strawberries! In season from June to August, they’re the perfect topping for a scoop of ice cream or a small cup of the very popular tangy frozen yogurts. Another delicious dessert – drizzle some aged balsamic over halved strawberries.