Health & Wellness: Here’s what’s in season — and why it matters
We’re used to walking into the grocery store at any time of year and seeing apples, bananas, lettuce and broccoli — winter, summer, fall, spring, doesn’t matter. Those staples are always there! But not too long ago, you could only access produce that was in season. Are we missing out on the benefits of that lifestyle?
“Eating seasonally helps promote nutritious meals and supports a healthy environment,” according to Dan Brennan, MD, at WebMD.com. “For example, strawberries grown in the summer time — their natural season — are more nutritious and flavorful than strawberries grown in the winter time.”
Seasonal eating also encourages you to vary your diet, so you get vitamins and minerals you wouldn’t get if you just ate the same small group of fruits and vegetables year-round. And since seasonal produce tastes better, you’re more likely to keep up your healthy habits of eating fresh produce.
Keep reading to learn what’s about to be in season in Utah, some recipes you can make with these ingredients and where to find them. Enjoy all the seasonal produce Utah County has to offer!
What’s in season in late summer in Utah?
According to thespruceeats.com, there are lots of delicious fruits, vegetables and legumes in season in late summer in Utah. Here are a few:
- Apricots, mid-August through mid-September.
- Blackberries, August and September.
- Green beans, mid-July through September.
- Peaches, August and September.
- Peppers (sweet), August into October.
- Shelling beans, September.
What can I make with these ingredients?
The internet is filled with recipes your family will love making together using these fruits and vegetables. Here are two dinner recipes and a dessert to consider:
Apricot Chicken with Green Beans
Gather the following ingredients:
- 1 ½ pound apricots with the pits removed and cut into ¾-inch pieces
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
- 1 onion, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco or other hot sauce (or more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- A few pantry staples (see the full recipe for the list)
You’ll follow these basic steps to put the recipe together:
1. Marinate the apricots.
2. Brown the chicken in butter and olive oil.
3. Sauté the onions and add the chicken stock.
4. Purée a portion of the apricots to add to the sauce.
5. Simmer the sauce and add the chicken for five minutes.
6. Serve the dish with rice or egg noodles and a side of green beans prepared to your liking.
Head over to Simply Recipes for more details!
Shelling Beans and Roasted Peppers
To prepare the beans, combine 1 cup of shelled beans, 1 quart of water, two garlic cloves, your favorite herbs and a pinch of baking soda. Simmer over low heat until the beans are tender (about 30 minutes). Drain and set aside.
To prepare the peppers, place a whole pepper directly on your gas burner or grill set to high. Turn the pepper continually until the skin is charred. Set aside while it cools. Remove the charred skin, open it up and remove the seeds, then slice into strips.
Add the peppers, some sautéed onions and sausage or chicken to the beans to complete the meal.
Visit Darthia Farm for more ideas.
Peach and Blackberry Cobbler
Combine the following ingredients and set aside:
- 4 cups peeled and sliced peaches
- 1 cup blackberries
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Coat the bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch glass baking dish with a ½ cup of melted butter.
Combine these ingredients (dry ingredients first) and pour batter into prepared baking dish:
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
Spread the fruit mixture over the batter and bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until the cobbler is golden brown.
Visit allrecipes for more details.
Where can I find high-quality, seasonal produce?
Now that you know Utah’s late-summer seasonal produce, where can you go to get it? If you can, take advantage of our local farmers markets, which are only open this time of year. Besides getting delicious, fresh products, you can feel good about the impact you’ll have on the community, too.
As the Sunset Farmers Market missions statement says, “Our mission is to bring together local farmers, food artisans, and small businesses with the community to encourage a healthy lifestyle while boosting the local economy by supplying access to local produce, bread, eggs, honey, natural products, art, and more.”
Sunset Farmers Market has three locations:
- 200 N. State St.
- Thursdays, 5-9 p.m., July through September
- Thursdays, 5-8 p.m., October (until Oct. 7)
- 110 S. Main St.
- Mondays, 5-9 p.m., July through September
- Mondays, 5-8 p.m., October (until Oct. 25)
- 293 E. Center St.
- Wednesdays, 5-9 p.m., July through September
- Wednesdays, 5-8 p.m., October (until Oct. 27)
If you’re not located near the Sunset Farmers Markets, there are several other great markets throughout the valley for you to check out:
Midway Farmers Market
- 140 W. Main St., Midway
- Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., June 4 through Oct. 29
Provo Farmers Market
- 600 W. Center St., Provo
- Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., June 4 through Oct. 29
Spanish Fork Farmers Market
- 775 W. Center St., Spanish Fork
- Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., July 30 through Oct. 29
Eagle Mountain Farmers Market
- 806 N. Pony Express Parkway, Eagle Mountain
- Saturdays, 9 a.m to 1 p.m., June 4 through Sept. 24
West Mountain Farmers Market
- 10104 S. 6000 West, Payson
- Second Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., April through November
Late summer is a beautiful season for fresh, Utah-grown produce. Consider heading to a local farmers market if you can, or simply add a few of these seasonal fruits and vegetables to your list next time you head to the store! Then enjoy homemade meals using these fresh ingredients. Happy seasonal eating!