The season of fresh produce is in full swing and for us that’s reason to celebrate. During those long winter months, we can only dream about countertops laden with ruby red tomatoes, zucchini the size of a newborn and sweet corn coming out of our ears. But now the time has arrived and after the early excitement of biting right into a juicy garden tomato begins to die down, the reality of the mass quantity sitting before us begins to set in. So, we’ve complied our favorite recipes and hacks to use those glorious fruits and veggies whether you’re marching home from the farmer’s market or picking it straight from your garden (major props to you!). Tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, herbs and more, we’ve got you covered.
Ah, the tomato. Once you taste one from the garden, the pale, tasteless alternatives at the grocery store just won’t do. Here are our favorite recipes and tips to use up your summer tomato goodness!
- A homemade tomato sauce with big chunks of crushed tomato is a must. It’s the perfect recipe to showcase your bounty and use up lots at once!
- Homemade salsa is another great idea. Simply dice them up small and add in your other ingredients. No cooking required!
- Caprese is a summertime staple and once that is perfect for your tomatoes too! C’mon, is there anything better than thick-cut tomato slices, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and just a touch of balsamic? YUM! Or try this Caprese Salad!
- A Tuscan Tomato Soup is also the perfect avenue to use up your tomatoes. And let me tell you, this tomato soup recipe is SERIOUSLY good.
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If you’ve ever grown your own zucchini, you know it grows quickly and abundantly. Here are our favorite ideas and recipes for your summer zucchini squash!
- Zucchini bread is a no brainer with your excess squash. This Coconut Oil Zucchini Bread is a team favorite. And if you feel like you’re still swimming in zucchini even after you’ve whipped up a few breads for yourself and neighbors, one of the easiest things you can do is grate your zucchini squeezing out the excess moisture and freeze in ziploc bags for a future zucchini bread day!
- You can also make use of grated zucchini on the savory side with some zucchini cakes or fritters. Try this recipe; it’s a great side for dinner or even breakfast!
- If keeping the zucchini in tact is what you’re looking for, try making zucchini boats. We love this taco-stuffed-version for a healthy dinner.
- Ever heard of spiralizing? By now, you probably have. And if you have yet to try it, now’s your time. Swap out your regular pasta noodles for “zoodles” and watch your zucchini transform. Make your favorite pasta sauce to pour on top or try out some of our favorite spiralized recipes for beginners. Still have leftovers?
- Try this mouth-watering recipe for Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna.
- And finally if you’ve still got zucchini on the brain, then make sure to make these Baked Parmesan Zucchini Chips. They’re delicious and kid-approved.
Green Bean Recipes
There’s something about a freshly picked green bean that’s reminiscent of childhood summers. But sometimes it can be hard to think of a fresh way to serve them. Check out our ideas below.
- Serving green beans as a side for dinner is one of the easiest ways to use of these delicious veggies. But don’t just steam them, rather kick things up a notch with these Parmesan Roasted Green Beans.
- Alternatively, you could try adding them to a stir fry. They’re firm enough to hold up and still leave a bit of crunch. We recommend this Sesame-Orange Chickpea Stir Fry.
- You can also serve a show-stopping appetizer at your next party with bacon-wrapped green beans. They’re a great way to use up a lot of your green beans and very impressive too!
We just love the color of eggplant! And it turns out to be a pretty fabulous ingredient in the below recipes as well.
- Try using your eggplant to make a healthy dip like this Healthy Baba Ganush.
- How about some Paleo Stuffed Eggplant with Ground Beef as the temperature starts to cool?
- Or you can make a classic Eggplant Parmesan for a delicious and seemingly indulgent vegetarian dinner.
Sweet Corn Recipes
Is there any vegetable more celebratory of summer than sweet corn? We don’t think so and now we’re sharing so many different ways to use it.
- Of course, boiling and grilling it for eat-off-the-cob deliciousness is a must; but if you want to make just a slight twist, try this recipe for Mexican Street Corn.
- Cut the corn off the cob and make this Black Bean and Corn Salsa for your next party.
- Or if you’re heading to a summer picnic or potluck, try this Blueberry Corn Salad for a super fresh summer dish that will steal the show.
- For a delicious dinner side, make this fluffy corn muffins!
- We also love adding corn to our favorite pasta dishes like this Skillet Chicken Alfredo and even pizza!
- Corn chowder is also a must-make with your fresh sweet corn; try this twist you can make well into the fall: Vegan Curried Sweet Potato Corn Chowder.
Cucumbers are a great snack especially as a way to keep hydrated on a hot day, but they can also make for a delicious ingredient in recipes. Check out some of our favorites below!
- One of our simplest, but incredibly refreshing uses for cucumber is sliced and added to water. It’s a delicious infusion that make you feel like you’re at the spa!
- Lower your carb intake by making Cucumber Roll-Ups in place of a normal sandwich! It’s great for the kids or as a light dinner for you!
- Now that you’ve mastered spiralizing with your zucchini, you can try cucumber noodles! This recipe for Honey-Lime Sriracha Salmon over Cucumber Noodles is light but also filling.
- Of course, you can always pickle your extra cucumbers if you’ve got too many!
- Cucumbers provide great crunch in this Greek Layer Dip and there’s no cooking required!
- Try this Lemonade Cucumber Fizz Cocktail for a super fun drink you’ll want to make over and over!
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Fresh basil, parsley, cilantro, rosemary… just the smell of these greens can brighten any dish. And we’ve got the hack to make them last all year below.
- Do yourself a favor with herbs – freeze them and you’ll be able to enjoy their offerings all season long. Our favorite herb hack uses only your delicate green spoils, olive oil and an ice cube tray. Cut up your fresh herbs, divide them among ice cube trays, pour in olive oil, freeze, and voila! You have easy, ready to sauté bases all year round!
Bonus: Want to kill several birds with one stone, or several vegetables with one dish, as it were? Try making bruschetta by substituting roasted eggplant or zucchini rounds as your toast, top with a fresh chopped tomato, basil, and olive oil mixture and dig in.
And if you’ve tried all of the above with still no luck at dwindling your supply, share the wealth with friends, neighbors, co-workers and family! We’re sure no one will complain.
Want to incorporate more veggies in your life?! Download our 28-Day Veggie Challenge below!