The arrival of summer also means an abundance of in-season, delicious fruits and veggies to support your health and well-being. When produce is harvested at its peak ripeness, it’s actually more nutritious. And, it tastes better. Obviously, you can eat your garden-grown produce fresh and it’s gonna taste great. But if you want a little inspiration to spark your creativity in the kitchen, I’ve got some ideas that will help you diversify your diet and whip up delicious garden-to-table recipes.

Early Summer Season Garden-to-Table Ideas

Garlic Scapes

These are delicious sauteed up, or made into a pesto (pro tip: use your garlic scape pesto as a pizza sauce & thank me later). I have been obsessed with pickled garlic scapes lately, and it’s a great way to preserve them if you have a lot coming in at once.

Infused Waters

My mouth is watering thinking about an ice-cold glass of water infused with garden fresh flavors. In early summer, I love to add strawberries and some type of herb to my water. Basil, mint, and lavender go particularly well with strawberry. Get creative pairing different fruit and herb combos, and come up with your own signature flavor. 

Most farmers markets start in early May in the Midwest, so if you don’t have a garden, you know where to go! Find your favorite organic vendors and buy as local as possible to get those high nutrient levels and fresh flavors. It’s environmentally friendly to buy locally grown produce (less traveling!), which usually means you can save a little money – sustainable all around!

Grilled Veggies & Fruit

Summer is the perfect time to grill out whether you’re throwing a party or cooking for one. Garden veggies are so delicious with a little garden char. Plus, you can make some delicious salsas with grilled veggies.

Fresh Herbs

The number one way to elevate a dish is to add some herbs. You can enhance infused beverages, garnish your meals, add to salads, infuse in oils and vinegars, and so much more. Ditch the dry, tasteless spices in your cabinet and add fresh flavor to your meals and beverages.

I don’t know about you, but in the summertime, my body naturally craves lighter meals, particularly on a hot day. There’s nothing worse than feeling sluggish and sweaty after a heavy meal in the summer. I believe eating with the seasons keeps our body in connection with nature. We feel healthier when we follow nature’s cycles.

A good rule of thumb to know you’re making the most of fresh summer produce? Try to eat the rainbow every day!