Guide to Summertime Produce and Summer Meal Prepping
As summer schedules start to fill up fast, you want to use your time efficiently so you can savor each and every minute of the summer season. Whether you are focused on eating for the seasons or just looking for some summer meal prep tips, this is the ultimate seasonal meal prep guide for all of your summer shopping and meal prepping needs.
#1 Shop for the Seasons
When it comes to eating for the seasons, you first have to shop for the seasons. According to Food and Wine, here are the top fruits and vegetables that are in season during the summer months:
- Green Beans
- Summer Squash
The next time you grocery shop, stock up on these summer favorites as well as others like blackberries, raspberries and rhubarb.
#2 Visit the Farmers Market
The best place to find all of this delicious produce is at the local community farmers market. Summer is the quintessential season for farmers markets, so find a farmers market near you and stock up on these summer staples. Looking for a farmers market in your community? Check out the USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory.
#3 Go Raw
During the warm summer months, our bodies naturally crave cooling foods to keep our bodies comfortable in the hot temperatures. Take advantage of the fact that most summertime produce tastes delicious raw. Think cucumber, tomatoes and fresh fruit. Make meal prep easy by setting aside some time one day a week to thoroughly wash, cut, chop and separate your produce so you are ready for the week ahead.
#4 Get Groceries Delivered
If summer weekends are packed with travel and time spent away from home, don’t try and squeeze all of your weekly grocery shopping and meal prepping into one day. (We get stressed just thinking about it!) Instead, plan ahead and order your groceries online. There are plenty of grocery delivering services available, so choose a platform that works best for you. Grocery shopping has never been so easy!
#5 Pick Up Prepared Food
Nothing tastes better than a homemade meal, but during the warm summer months, turning on the oven is probably the last thing you want to do. No need to sacrifice one of your favorite meals during a summertime heat wave. Instead, pick up already prepared food at your local grocer and if you have an especially busy week ahead, do yourself a favor and pick up two.
#6 Stock Up on Already-Cooked Protein Sources
Chances are you already have cans of tuna or salmon in your kitchen pantry in case of a food emergency, but the warm summer months is the time to actually use them.
Whip up a good tuna sandwich or get creative and serve a scoop of tuna in an avocado with fresh cucumber slices.
Boil up a batch of hard boiled eggs and keep them in your fridge for an easy and convenient source of protein on days you really don’t feel like cooking.
Whip up a batch of sweet potato toast topped with canned salmon and enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Spice things up with a batch of homemade salsa or guacamole and add it to a bowl of shredded chicken or pulled pork for an easy meal.
Make a batch of organic chicken salad or add it atop your summertime salad or try adding a new protein source like shrimp or anchovies, which pair perfectly with a Ceasar salad.
Extra lettuce leaves leftover from your salad? Try this delicious recipe for Paleo Spicy Tuna, Tahini and Lime Salad Lettuce Cups.
#7 Make Your Own Salad Dressing
The hot summer season means eating lighter, refreshing fare like chilled soups, fresh salads and homemade sandwiches. Take the time to make your own salad vinaigrettes and dressings or opt for one of your favorite store-bought brands. Just make sure the ingredients are recognizable and is something you enjoy. You’d be surprised how much a good vinaigrette can turn boring veggies into crave-worthy snacks.
#9 Whip Up a Homemade Spread
While you’re making your own salad dressing, create some sandwich spreads like homemade hummus or guacamole, which are both great for lunchtime sandwiches or breakfast toasts. A veggie-packed grilled cheese sandwich is a really easy meal option, while open-faced toasts are a great way to load up on healthy fillings. Egg sandwiches are also super quick to make and almost impossible to mess up. (We are looking at you, first-time cooks).
#10 Chill Out
Breakfast doesn’t have to mean a boring bowl of cereal. Keep breakfast chill with cooler breakfast choices like fresh fruit smoothies, overnight oats and yogurt parfaits. When it comes to snacks, freeze grapes, berries and cherries and enjoy them on their own or blend them together with Greek yogurt, nut butter or an avocado to turn them into a more well-balanced snack like this frozen yogurt bark.
Keep cool this summer and enjoy all the summer season has to offer by spending less time in the kitchen with these ten summer shopping and meal prep tips.