Summer Produce Guide

Summer is officially one week away! One of my favorite lazy weekend activities is finding my way to a farmer’s market and picking the most delicious produce. Check out what you may find this summer and what to do with it.

summer produce

What’s in Season?

  • Arugula – Look for leaves that are uniformly dark green. Larger leaves are more spicy than smaller leaves. Keep packaged arugula in its original container. Don’t wash arugula until immediately before use. Use in salads or on top of grilled fish.
  • Avocados – If you want to eat avocados immediately look for ones that are a bit soft to the touch. Otherwise, buy avocados that are firm and allow them to ripen at room temperature. Use raw on salads, with eggs, as a snack, or make guacamole!
  • Beets – Choose beets that are firm and smooth. Look for beet greens that are bright and not wilted. Don’t throw out the beet greens! They’re tasty too. Don’t wash beets until immediately before use. Store beet roots in the crisper. Beets are great roasted as a side or in salads. Use gloves when working with beets to prevent staining.
  • Berries – Look for brightly colored, plump berries. Don’t wash berries until immediately before eating. Rinse in cold water and pat dry. Eat as a snack or over yogurt.
  • Chard – Find crisp looking stalks without wilting. Store chard in the crisper. Wash chard in cold water and pat dry. Use in salads or sauteed as a side.
  • Cherries – Choose bright and shiny fruit with the stems still attached. Rinse the cherries and remove the pit before using in dishes. Eat them as a snack or pitted and chopped in a salad.
  • Corn – Look for fresh corn that has plump, bright kernels and tight husks. Cook corn the same day you buy it or store in the fridge for a couple days. Remove the husks and silks before cooking. Grill or boil corn or cut kernels off the cob and add to salads and salsas.
  • Eggplant – Pick eggplants that are firm, smooth, and heavy for their size. Cook eggplant within a few days of buying them. Peel large eggplants as the skin is not very edible. Use them for a vegetarian main dish or chopped in a side dish.
  • Figs – I love figs! Choose fragrant, smooth figs. They can be stored in the fridge for up to five days. Eat them whole, slice for salads, or over yogurt.
  • Melons – Look for melons that are heavy for their size and give a little with pressure. Ripe melons can be stored at room temperature. Melons that have been cut should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Slice melon and scoop out the seeds. Use in salads, for appetizers, or as a snack.
  • Potatoes – Choose potatoes that are firm with no dark spots, cuts, or sprouts. Store in a cool, dry place away from onions. Scrub potatoes before using and use within a few days of buying them. I don’t think I need to tell you how to use potatoes!
  • Spinach – Find leaves that are dark green and smooth. Remove any wilted leaves from the bunch and store in the crisper. Rinse spinach and spin dry. Use as the base of a salad or saute as a side.
  • Stone fruits – Peaches, nectarines, and plums. Look for fruit that is smooth and firm. They generally smell just as good as they taste! Once they are tender to the touch store in the crisper. Use in salads, as a dessert with ice cream, or as a snack.
  • Summer squash – Choose medium sized squash with brightly colored skin. Store in the crisper. Lightly scrub summer squash before cooking. Saute, bake, fry, or grill as a side.
  • Sweet peppers – Pick peppers with smooth, firm skin. Store peppers in the crisper. Green bell peppers last a few days longer than yellow, orange, and red bell peppers. Wash peppers and remove ribs and seeds before cooking. Roast peppers, eat them raw, or stuff for a vegetarian main dish.
  • Tomatoes – Look for plump tomatoes with firm skin. Tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes come in various colors so don’t be afraid to try them! Store tomatoes at room temperate. Gently rinse tomatoes before use. Use in salads, on sandwiches and wraps, in salsas, or in side dishes.
  • Watermelon – Find smooth, round melons that produce a dull sound when tapped. Store watermelon in the refrigerator. Wrap sliced melon in plastic wrap before storing in the fridge. Use watermelon as a snack or a sweet, fruit dessert.


Grilled Avocado with Toasted Walnuts

One of my favorite snacks with loads of healthy fats is half an avocado with a tablespoon of sunflower seeds and a drizzle of honey. So I decided to upgrade my snack a bit! Thanks to some fresh California avocados picked off the tree and flown to me via my boyfriend and California walnuts this snack is taken up a few notches. I love eating multiple snacks throughout the day. If I need to add some more healthy fats then an afternoon snack like this works perfectly. Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and avocados are loaded with unsaturated fats. California walnuts are delish toasted! They’re one of my favorite types of nuts along with almonds and pecans.

*Sponsored post

Grilled Avocado with Toasted Walnuts


  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup California walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tbsp honey


Preheat a grill pan on medium heat. Preheat oven (I use the toaster oven) to 350 degrees F. Spray grill pan with nonstick cooking spray. Cut avocados in half and remove the pits. Place avocados meat side down on the grill pan for 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile place walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in oven for 5-8 minutes. Use your nose to tell when they are done! They will burn quickly if you aren’t careful. While the avocados are still warm add toasted walnuts on top and drizzle with honey.

Number of servings: 4 | Serving size: 1/2 an avocado
Calories: 164, total fat: 15 g, total carbohydrates: 14 g, dietary fiber: 4 g, sugars: 9 g, protein: 2 g

Avocado Walnuts 1

What’s your favorite way to snack on avocados? Tell me below!


I received free samples of California walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Walnut Commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Get Glowing

The sun is starting to shine brighter and it’s time to start showing some skin and healthy hair is always in season. Vitamin E and biotin are both keys to get glowing. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant. It protects cells against damage caused by free radicals and boosts our immune system against viruses and bacteria, as well as plays a role in red blood cell formation. Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for growth and also assists with metabolism. Biotin is found in foods that are good sources of B vitamins. While you can get both of these as supplements I prefer to get my vitamins and minerals from real food! Check out how you can get plenty of both below.


Vitamin E Sources

  • Almonds – the perfect snack or salad and oatmeal topper
  • Avocados – a creamy addition to salads, sandwiches, and sides
  • Spinach, kale, broccoli aka green leafy vegetables – take your pick as a side or salad
  • Sunflower seeds – sprinkle on salads or as a snack
  • Vegetable oils, such as sunflower, safflower, corn, and soybean oils – cook with these on occasion

My favorite vitamin E-rich snack: half an avocado drizzled with one teaspoon of honey and topped with one tablespoon of sunflower seeds.

Biotin Sources

  • Avocados – rich in vitamin E and biotin so the perfect excuse for guacamole
  • Chocolate – a one ounce snack with some added antioxidants
  • Eggs – breakfast (duh) or hardboiled for a snack
  • Legumes – beans and lentils as a side or on a salad
  • Milk – drink 8 ounces with breakfast or use in a smoothie
  • Nuts – a handful is always a perfect snack
  • Nutritional yeast – sprinkle on oats, granola, yogurt, salads, or in a smoothie
  • Pork and salmon – both can be the star of your dinner


Three Things


1. Many weight loss tips can be extreme or unacheiveable. These five tips are top notch! Have positive thoughts towards yourself and your body. Take each small goal met as as achievement. Don’t focus on what you think you can’t eat and instead focus on all the delicious things you can eat. Menu planning, grocery lists, and meal prep really do make all the difference. You will be more likely to stick to your plan if you are organized. Make specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals that will help you reach your overall goal. Lastly, eat fresh, whole foods. This will never change! Fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains will always be in style. Don’t fall for packaged diet food that can lead you to overeat.

2. Healthy fats were highlighted in my Mediterranean Pesto Bowl this week. Here are five more recipes showcasing healthy fats. Total fat intake should be between 20-35% of your daily calories. Great sources of unsaturated fats include olive oil, avocados, nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts), seeds (pumpkin, sesame, flax seed), and fish. Specifically, flax seeds, walnuts, and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids. This type of fat has been linked to heart disease, stroke, and cancer prevention.

3. What do you eat when you’re stressed? I tend to go for a cupcake. But, I also go for them as a celebration or needed pick me up. A new poll shows the top five most comforting foods are pizza, chocolate, ice cream, mac and cheese, and chips… Duh. Cravings aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Learning how to work around them and indulge on occasion is key. An ounce of chocolate never hurt anyone – right?!


Three Things


1. Childhood obesity rates in Philadelphia have declined from 21.7% to 20.3% over the past seven years and are continuing a downward trend. The Philadelphia school district is making strides to create healthier school lunches and offer more healthful snacks. It’s great to see this city heading in the right direction. Childhood obesity increases the immediate risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems, such as poor self-esteem. Long-term children that are obese are likely to be obese as adults. {New York Times}

2. How weird are your eating habits? I would choose french fries, cake, and Guy Fieri over home fries, pie, and Bobby Flay any day! {BuzzFeed}

3. Here are 12 ways to eat more avocados! Yes. Please. Avocados are loaded with healthy fats that help your body absorb fat-soluble nutrients, like vitamin E and potassium. Vitamin E is key for a healthy immune system and glowing skin. One avocado gives us about 1/3 of the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin E. {Bon Appetit}