With Memorial Day around the corner, thoughts are shifting toward summer. And why not – summer means sunshine, swimming, vacations and amazing food! Produce is fresh (and often more affordable), parties are plenty and the opportunity to enjoy more plant-strong foods than ever is ripe.
Be sure to take advantage of the amazing plant goodness that awaits you this summer. To help get you started, here are three favorite summer foods (as voted on by the Engine 2 team):
* Watermelon. Is there a more perfect dessert in the summertime? I can’t think of a more refreshing or nutritious way to dig into some sweetness. Watermelon is loaded with vitamins A, B6 and C, plus tons of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids – and that’s just the start! Whether you cut it up fresh or throw it into a tasty summertime salad (hint: We have a delicious one coming in our new Summertime Guide – keep an eye on your email or our social profiles for news on its launch), there are countless ways to enjoy watermelon this summer. Dig in!
* Salads. There’s a negative stereotype that salads can be so “ho hum.” Nothing could be further from the truth! Salads are typically easy to put together, are easy to share, and allow you to mix and match flavors you never thought of putting together. And don’t just think about your basic salad with lettuce, greens and veggies (although those are amazing too). Consider roasted potatoes, corn, onions or cauliflower for an added flavor boost. Get creative – cold pasta salads are a great option during the summertime. Or something simple, yet flavor packed, like a simple salad with farro, garlic, fresh basil, cherry tomatoes and black pepper, drizzled with some balsamic vinegar. Use your imagination and build amazing summer salads that tantalize your tastebuds.
* Heirloom Tomatoes. Few things beat the amazing texture and flavor of a freshly grown tomato. Whether in your backyard or at the farmer’s market, heirloom tomatoes are available in many parts of the US during summer, and I know the Engine 2 team will be scooping them up all season long. Loaded with Vitamin C, folate, potassium and antioxidants, they are a nutritional powerhouse. Layer them on a grilled pizza, use in your homemade pasta sauce, make some fresh salsa or just slice them up and top with black pepper.
These three are just the tip of the sandcastle iceberg. Summertime means LOADS of fresh, amazing plants ready for you to dig in and enjoy. Our Summer Gatherings Guide has some tasty ways for you to use these and other popular summer foods – check it out and share pictures of your creations with us on social media, using the hasthtag #plantstrongsummer.