There is a lot of produce in season during the summer months, so We all know about melons, berries, peaches, tomatoes and corn being in season this time of year, but there are many other less-common options to try this time of year. Fruits and vegetables have a lot of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants that provide many health benefits, so try some new ones and find a new favorite.
Apricots are creamy to orange-colored fruits that are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. You want to choose apricots that are plump, firm and uniformly colored. Store them at room temperature until they are ripe and then they can stay fresh in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for 3 to 5 days.
Breadfruit is a great source of fiber, B and C vitamins and potassium. It has a green skin that will darken while in the refrigerator and will typically last one week in the refrigerator.
Crenshaw Melon is a cross between cantaloupe and casaba melons. It is a great source of vitamin C and vitamin B6. Choose melons with a waxy, golden-pink flesh, with a soft rind at the large end. Avoid blemishes and those that are green. Whole melons can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, but after they are cut they should be refrigerated and consumed within 5 days.
Endive is very closely related to the dandelion plant, is a good source of vitamin C, calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium. Choose endive heads that are crisp and bright green and you can store this in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Green Soybeans (Edamame) are a good source of protein, vitamin A, calcium, and iron. This is the only vegetable that contains all nine essential amino acids. Choose beans that are crisp and blemish-free and keep them in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
Lychees are an excellent source of vitamin C. They have red shells and you want fruits that are heavy for their size and if you want a sweeter taste, choose ones with brown patches. Lychees can be refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to 10 days.
Okra can be boiled, fried or pickled and is a great source of vitamin C, folate, magnesium and fiber. Choose bright, firm pods and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Tomatillo is a staple in Mexican salsas and is a low-calorie source of vitamin C. You should choose dry, hard tomatillos with tightly fitting husks. Refrigerate them in the crisper drawer for 2-3 weeks.
Zucchini is high in vitamin C, manganese and molybdenum. Choose zucchini with skin clear of blemishes, but is slightly prickly. It can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days and should not be washed until you are ready to use it.