Fruit and Vegetable Celebration

Staff Writer
Taking a look at the seasonal fruits and vegetables at their peak during June
Mixed Vegetables

Corbis/Angela Drury

Mixed Vegetables

In June, since there are so many fruits and vegetables in season, one has to take advantage of the fresh bounty available as many ingredients reach their peak of nutritional content as well as best price points.

There is a bit of confusion over what constitutes a fruit versus a vegetable. Some of these may completely surprise you. In fact, some of your favorite vegetables may be fruits. Tomatoes are fruits, even though this is a constant source of culinary disagreement. Chile peppers and avocados are also both fruits. What differentiates a fruit from a vegetable? Fruits house their seeds internally (except for strawberries) while true vegetables have no real pit.

There are a couple of trends which are growing in our dining culture, particularly in how we examine the way we shop, cook, and how it affects our planet. Here are some culinary trends which many professional chefs respond to as the demand increases.

Meatless Mondays

This is a trend that encourages people to eat at least one vegetarian meal a week (usually on Mondays). It has found such followers as Mario Batali. There is also increasing interest in reducing the amount of protein on the center of the plate in favor of more vegetables and grains instead.
Locally Grown Products

Hence the “locavore” terminology and the effort to shop more in farmers markets in place of giant supermarket chains. It’s clear there is traction for a fruit and vegetable revolution of sorts.

June and July Peak Vegetables and Fruits

All berries; all melons; cherries; corn; squash; tomatoes; bell peppers; chile peppers; endive; eggplant; grapes; figs; peaches; peas; sugar snap peas; tomatillo; radishes; okra; plums; nectarines; cucumbers; beet; garlic

More vegetables to try

A special family of vegetables known as cruciferous vegetables should become incorporated into your diet. This includes broccoli, cabbage, artichokes, arugula, Brussels sprouts, cooking greens like mustard greens, kale, and turnip greens. The reason is because they are high in phyto- nutrients and cancer-fighting chemicals. They are considered “super vegetables” if you will. They are also super easy to prepare and taste wonderful.