Eating seasonally while on a beach vacation
By: Carah Jones
July is here, and I’m hoping this month won’t come with any additional surprises other than fireworks and food recipes. Typically, July is a month full of beach retreats and spending time on the water with family and friends. As the new month eases its way in, and we’re planning our trips and outings, it’s beneficial to keep in mind which fruits and vegetables are in season so preparing meals comes by easy, affordable, good for the planet, and good for you.
Breakfast – There are few things better than waking up at the beach. Right away you hear the waves crashing, and the bright beach sun opens your eyes for you as you remember you’re in paradise. If you’re anything like me, you won’t survive a full beach day without a solid breakfast first thing in the morning.
The three seasonal fruits I like to use in my beachy breakfast are blueberries, strawberries, and cherries. There are so many ways to incorporate these ingredients into a breakfast meal, but my favorite is using them as toppings on greek yogurt and granola. You could also put them on your favorite oatmeal, cereal, or pastry choice for an added bit of nutrients to start the day off. Another yummy (and quick) option is to freeze the fruits the night before, then put them in a blender with almond milk in the morning, and have a smoothie for breakfast!
Lunch – While at the beach this past weekend, one of my friends showed me an easy way to prepare zucchini, a vegetable in the squash family. This seasonal vegetable is super low in calories, yet is rich in many vitamins and minerals. It can be used as a side to any entree, or can be the entree itself! Although there are infinite ways to prepare zucchini, an easy option is to cut up the cylinder squash into circular pieces, coat each side of each piece with olive oil, pepper, and garlic or garlic salt. Garlic is also an in-season vegetable, and it has medicinal properties and a strong flavor that will enrich almost any dish. After preparing the vegetable, space each piece out on the grill and grill both sides for approximately 5 minutes each, so that both sides have nice grill marks.
Dinner – Now that everyone has spent the day out in the summer heat, it’s time to feast. Dinner can be such a sacred time to share with loved ones, and nothing says ‘I love you’ like a home cooked meal. One of my favorite dinner dishes is my mother’s corn casserole, and luckily corn is in season. My mom was kind enough to share her recipe, which takes 10 minutes to prepare, 40 minutes to cook, and serves 8 people.
What you’ll need:
1 (8 ounce) container of sour cream. Mom uses Daisy.
Half a cup of softened, unsalted butter.
15 ounces of fresh creamed corn. You can also use canned creamed corn!
1 (15 ounce) can of whole kernel corn
1 (8.5 ounce) package of cornbread mix. Mom uses Jiffy Mix.
Directions: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Put the sour cream, butter, creamed corn, whole kernel corn, and corn muffin mix into a mixing bowl and stir together. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 40 minutes. Enjoy!
These foods are just a few of the produce items that are currently in-season, and I encourage every reader to discover different summer food items and experiment with different ways to prepare them! An awesome place to check out is KC and the Produce Stand located at 424 North Scott St. right here in Bainbridge, they offer in season produce and it’s always fresh.