The calendar says the first day of summer is just a week away. With warmer temperatures here for awhile you may be looking for some recipes that are healthy but won’t heat up the kitchen. My “go to” cookbook to utilize summer produce is the Rolling Prairie Cookbook authored by Nancy O’Connor. The book, divided into three categories: fruits, herbs and vegetables includes over 130 recipes celebrating fresh produce. I visited with the author earlier this year and received permission to include several recipes in a new fact sheet I have written. The fact sheet titled, “Simple Seasonal Meals” is at the K-State Research and Extension print shop now and should be available in a few weeks.
Every fruit or vegetable grown in the home garden reaches its peak at a certain time. Harvesting and eating produce at its peak provides many benefits. The color, flavor, texture, and nutritional value increase as produce ripens. Another reason to eat seasonally is that it costs less to produce during the normal growing seasons.
I had fun putting this fact sheet together. I included several great resources that encourage families to plant a garden, join a CSA (community supported agriculture) or visit the farmer’s market. The last page of the fact sheet shares a copy of the Harvest Calendar for Kansas which is also available at: http://growinglawrence.org/harvestcalendar.html
I want to share a couple of recipes from the “Rolling Prairie Cookbook” that you may want to try when the locally grown cantaloupe finds its way to farmer’s market.
Sweet Melon Salsa
1 ½ cups finely chopped cantaloupe
1 shallot, minced
½ large green pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 or 2 hot peppers, seeded, and finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime (approximately 3 Tbsp.)
1 teaspoon honey or brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Yield: 2 cups.
Nutritional information per 2 tablespoons: 10 calories; 0 g. protein; <1g total fat (0 g. saturated fat); 2g. carbohydrates; 35 mg. sodium.
Frosty Cantaloupe Smoothie
2 cups cantaloupe chunks
1 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons sugar or honey
8 ice cubes
Place all ingredients in a blender and whirl until well blended. Pour into large frosty mugs. Serves 2. Nutritional information per serving: 157 calories; 2 g. protein; <1g total fat (0 g. saturated fat); 36 g. carbohydrates; 15 mg. sodium.
Remember, by choosing fruits and vegetables in season you get all of the benefits – food that tastes good, is good for you, and is reasonably priced.
Donna Krug is the Family & Consumer Science Agent with K-State Research and Extension – Barton County. You may reach her at: (620)793-1910 or email@example.com