Updated: Jul 27
We are in the peak of summer. Whether it be a backyard garden or your local farmers market, it seems like it's easier than ever to add fresh and healthy fruits and veggies during the summer months. Here are four vegetables to add to your table this summer that you can most likely get at your local farmer's market.
With a meaty texture, this plant is popular with vegan and vegetarians. But even if you eat meat, you can still find plenty of ways to add eggplant into your diet. Eggplants host a number of health benefits and are full of vitamins and minerals including: Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamine, Niacin, Manganese, Phosphorous, Copper, Fiber, Folic Acid, Potassium, iron, and calcium. Eggplants are also an excellent source of fiber meaning it helps aid digestion. As eggplants are a good source of the antioxidant manganese, that makes them an excellent defense against many different types of cancer. Their high levels of calcium and iron make them great defenses again osteoporosis, heart disease, and anemia. Try this one on the grill with olive oil or marinara drizzled on top. Another excellent idea is eggplant curry over brown rice for those nights when you need some comfort food.
Peppers like jalapenos or poblano pepper do more than just add a kick to your aunt's famous salsa recipe. Hot Peppers have a number of health benefits. Capsaicin, the chemical that makes hot peppers hot, is to thank for many of these health benefits including: helping migraines, relieving joint pain, psoriasis relief, reducing the risk of cancer, fighting infections, and preventing allergies. Hot pepper are also promote heart health by lowering blood serum cholesterol and reducing lipid deposits as well as dilatating blood vessels to aid in blood flow. A little apprehensive about spice? A good hot pepper for beginners is the Anaheim pepper. Just one will give you the benefits without being too overpowering. Some ways to enjoy Hot Peppers are in a taco, in a soup, or in a summer salad.
Zucchinis need no introduction. Chances are you have enjoyed this summer squash at least one (even if it was in a bread), but did you know that Zucchinis have a dense nutrient profile. Zucchinis are full of Vitamin A, Manganese, Vitamin C, Potassium, Vitamin K, Folate, Copper, Phosphorus, Vitamin B6, and Thiamine. It is also rich in water meaning it is a great way to add to your overall hydration as well as aiding in your digestive health. Also full of antioxidants, Zucchinis offer benefits to your eyes, skin, and heart as well as helping prevent certain types of cancer. Some great new ways to try Zucchinis are: sauteed with onions and mushrooms, breaded and cooked in the air fryer, spiralized into noodle (or zoodles), and served with your favorite pasta sauce.
Shallots are often overlooked, but these little onions are a nutritional powerhouse. Shallots are a more concentrated source of protein, fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, folate, B vitamins, vitamin A, and vitamin C compared to traditional onions. Shallots are also high in antioxidants which make them an defense against cancer, heart disease and diabetes! They also help relieve allergy symptoms. Just like hot peppers shallots help treat against colds, fevers and coughs. Shallots can be added to most of dishes you would add traditional onions, but you can also roast them with garlic or grill them with veggies, tofu or meat.