Easy ways to cook July’s best produce

July 18, 2017

By Kyra Meister

If you’re tired of making the same old dishes, here are some easy tips and tricks on how to cook up summer’s best produce to add some nutrition and pizazz to your plate.

Apricots

Instead of eating apricots plain, try baking, broiling or sautéing them, then sprinkle with cinnamon and top with chopped walnuts. Apricots also make a nice addition to any rice—try out this recipe for fruited rice pilaf.

Corn

Boiling isn’t the only option when it comes to corn on the cob; try grilling your corn for something a little different. Place an ear of corn on some aluminum foil, then drizzle with olive oil, pick a seasoning to top it off (my favorite is Old Bay seasoning), wrap it up and place on the grill for about 15-20 minutes for corn that is juicy and sweet.

Eggplant

Spice up dinner time with curried eggplant! Cut your eggplant into cubes, combine with curry sauce and simmer until tender. Serve over brown basmati rice and you’ve got a delicious dinner. Eggplant also works well on kebobs, added into a stir-fry or sliced thinly into lasagna in place of noodles.

Mangoes

Mangoes are a very versatile fruit. This avocado mango salsa pairs great with grilled chicken, shrimp or fish. To satisfy your sweet tooth without overloading on sugar, make your own dried mangoes. Wash and peel two mangoes, cut into thin slices and bake in the oven for two to four hours at 185°F, flipping them every 30 minutes or until dry. For more tips on how to cook with mangoes, click here.

Okra

Although the most popular way to eat okra is breaded and fried, it is not your healthiest option. Roasting okra in the oven or on the grill is a much better alternative, and it tastes yummy, too! To reduce the sliminess that can turn people away from this vegetable, soak your okra in vinegar before you cook it. Rinse and pat dry, place onto a cookie sheet with olive oil and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until browned.

Plums

Plums are a great and unexpected addition to any kebob. Slide sliced plums, bell peppers, red onions and marinated chicken onto a skewer, then grill until the chicken is cooked and enjoy.

Zucchini

This vegetable is easy to work with because it doesn’t have to be peeled. Try marinating and grilling it, or use this one-pan recipe for ratatouille.

Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables is essential for a healthy diet and healthy weight to reduce your cancer risk—but cooking with fruits and veggies doesn’t have to be difficult. For more quick and simple tips on how to cook up your favorite tastes of summer, check out United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) seasonal produce guide.

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