What's In Season - June

It’s June, and that means fresh produce is abundant here in the Midwest! Nothing tastes as good as seasonal, freshly picked fruits and veggies. So I’ve got another line up of What’s In Season for you along with how to pick the best pieces, store, prep, and enjoy what you can also find at your local farm market. 

If you’re interested, check out the post for What’s In Season During April and May as well.

In Illinois, June is the harvest month for asparagus,  lettuce, onions, peas, spinach, cabbage, cherries, leek, radish, rhubarb, strawberries, apples, beans, berries, carrots, eggplant, garlic, horseradish, melons, nectarines, okra, peaches, plums, potatoes, tomatoes, and turnips. (Source) I told you produce is abundant 😉

Asparagus

What's In Season - April - Asparagus

For more details, visit April’s What’s In Season post.

Lettuce

What's In Season - April - Lettuce

For more details, visit April’s What’s In Season post.

Onions

What's In Season - April - Onions

For more details, visit April’s What’s In Season post.

Peas

What's In Season - April - Peas

For more details, visit April’s What’s In Season post.

Spinach

What's In Season - April - Spinach

For more details, visit April’s What’s In Season post.

Cabbage

What's In Season - MayFor more details, visit May’s What’s In Season post.

Cherries

What's In Season - Cherries

For more details, visit May’s What’s In Season post.

Leeks

What's In Season - Leeks

For more details, visit May’s What’s In Season post.

Radishes

What's In Season - Radishes

For more details, visit May’s What’s In Season post.

Rhubarb

What's In Season - Rhubarb

For more details, visit May’s What’s In Season post.

Strawberries

What's In Season - Strawberries

For more details, visit May’s What’s In Season post.

Apples

What's In Season - Apples

To buy: look for firm apples that are bright in color with a stem and without bruises, choosing organic is best since apples are one of the top chemically contaminated fruits

To store:  place in the fridge, inside a crisper drawer and lay a slightly dampened paper towel on top of the apples, they keep best at temperatures between 30-35°F

To prep: wash before enjoying and cut, peel, core as needed

To use:

Benefits:

  • help remove toxins
  • easy to digest
  • hydrating
  • can help relieve fever
  • cleansing to the liver and gallbladder
  • high levels of pectin can help lower cholesterol
  • promote gut health
  • high in quercetin and other antioxidants
  • good source of fiber

Beans

What's In Season - Beans

To buy: look for firm, vibrant, whole beans that feel like velvet and snap crisply

To store: keep them in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer but try to use them quickly after harvest

To prep: methods vary depending on how you plan to use the

To use:

Benefits:

  • can help with diabetes
  • good source of vitamin A
  • high in B vitamins
  • ample in calcium and potassium

Berries

What's In Season - Berries

To buy: look for vibrant, plump, fresh berries without any blemishes

To store: place berries on a piece of dry paper towel, in a shallow pan, spread out, and unwashed, in the fridge, uncovered as soon as possible

To prep: wash just before use

To use:

Benefits:

  • Blackberries:
    • can help with diarrhea
    • kitchen remedy for hemorrhoids
    • rich in vitamin C
  • Blueberries:
    • aid detoxification
    • rich in antioxidants that help maintain healthy cell structure
    • support eye health
    • useful in relieving constipation
    • also helpful for diarrhea and hemorrhoids
    • support the urinary tract by fighting infections

Carrots

What's In Season - Carrots

To buy: fresh carrots that still have greens intact are the most nutrient dense, ook for the most vibrant carrots with a nice carrot aroma

To store: use as soon as possible if the greens are still intact, otherwise, remove the greens to prevent rotting, store the carrots unwashed in a crisper drawer

To prep:

  • avoid peeling if possible since the nutrients are most dense near the skin, wash thoroughly and prepare as needed
  • Carrot N’Oatmeal

Benefits:

  • aids detoxification
  • an anti carcinogen
  • relieves gas
  • counters parasites
  • helps prevent constipation
  • supports a healthy blood sugar
  • relieves indigestion
  • can help minimize menstrual pain ad PMS moodiness
  • great for the skin
  • supports eye health, especially night vision
  • supports calcium absorption

Eggplant

What's In Season - Eggplant

To buy: select firm, blemish-free eggplants, during the summer for best flavor

To store: keep in a cool place and use soon after purchase

To prep: depends on plans for use

To use:

Benefits:

  • minimizes swelling and pain
  • relieves fever
  • helps move blood
  • may be used to help with STDs
  • supports female healthy by countering menstrual irregularities, uterine tumors, and ovarian cysts

Garlic

What's In Season - Garlic

To buy: select firm, plump blubs

To store: keep in a cool (not the refrigerator), dry place out of direct light in a well ventilated container

To prep: remove the papery layer, this can be done quickly by laying the garlic on a hard surface and smashing it with the flat side of a knife

To use:

Benefits:

  • promotes good metabolism
  • aids digestion and gut health
  • has antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitical, and anticaronogenic properties
  • helps relieve flu symptoms
  • reduces ear pain and inflammation in the sinuses
  • supports a healthy blood sugar
  • increases sweating to reduce fever
  • aids detoxification
  • used as an aphrodisiac

Horseradish

What's In Season - Horseradish

To buy: look for crisp, firm roots

To store: keeps in the refrigerator for several months

To prep: grate

To use:

Benefits:

  • protects again bacteria infections in the gut
  • increases circulation and sweating
  • anticancerous
  • aids digestion
  • helps with weight loss
  • reduces mucous throughout the body

Melons

What's In Season - Melons

To buy: select firm, dense melons that have a sweet scent

To store: keep in the fridge for up to 5 days and avoid putting it near other fruits so the gasses it expels does not speed their ripening

To prep: wash the rind, then cut as needed for use

To use:

Benefits:

  • helpful for reducing fevers
  • may help with mental depression
  • good source of beta-carotene
  • high potassium content
  • may help prompt menstruation
  • anticoagulant

Nectarines

What's In Season - Nectarines

To buy: best purchased locally to ensure the proper ripeness was obtained before harvesting, choose rich colored nectarines that are plump and slightly soft near the seam, also choose organic to avoid the heavy chemicals the conventional nectarines are exposed to

To store: store in a plastic bag in the fridge, use ripe nectarines quickly after purchase

To prep: wash the fuzz-less skin and slice, if needed, just before use

To use:

Benefits:

  • improve circulation
  • relieve constipation
  • cleanse the kidneys and bladder
  • aid healthy bowel function
  • great source of vitamin A and C

Okra

What's In Season - Okra

To buy: look for small okra that are crisp

To store: keep in the fridge for as short as possible

To prep: wash and trim the woody ends

To use:

  • steam, pickle, broil, fry, bake
  • works well to thicken soups
  • Roasted Okra

Benefits:

  • good source of vitamin C
  • high in B vitamins
  • relieve constipation by lubricating the digestive system

Peaches

What's In Season - Peaches

To buy: choose organic peaches with a gentle give that appears fresh and has a beautiful aroma

To store: ripen at room temperature, then store in a plastic bag, unwashed, in the refrigerator

To prep: wash just before use, prep as needed for use

To use:

Benefits:

    • improve circulation
    • relieve constipation
    • cleanse the kidneys and bladder
    • aid healthy bowel function
    • great source of vitamin A and C

Plums

What's In Season - Plums

To buy: a cool temperature indicates freshness, select plump plums that are slightly soft with a dull skin

To store: leave a room temperature for a few days to ripen if necessary

To prep: wash just  before use, prep as needed for use

To use:

Benefits:

  • supports bladder health
  • aids digestion
  • helps hydrate
  • relieves constipation

Potatoes

What's In Season - Potatoes

To buy: select firm, clean potatoes that are smooth and without soft spots

To store: new potatoes can be refrigerated for about a week, mature potatoes are best kept in a dark, dry, well ventilated area that’s 41 – 48 degrees Fahrenheit

To prep: wash very well, keep the nutrient dense skin intact when possible, slice, chop, or smash as necessary

To use:

Benefits:

  • help neutralize the body
  • supports healthy blood pressure
  • treats stomach ulcers
  • helpful for indigestion and acid reflux
  • dense in vitamin C

Tomatoes

What's In Season - Tomatoes

To buy: purchase locally harvested tomatoes to ensure a true state of ripeness, select firm tomatoes with a bright red color, and rich scent

To store: at room temperature, DO NOT refrigerate as this causes a mealy texture

To prep: wash, slice with a serrated knife, remove the hard to digest seeds and possibly the tough skin

To use:

Benefits:

  • help to detoxify the blood
  • can help gout
  • one of the highest sources or lycopene, an antioxidant that helps with vision (concentration increases when cooked)
  • great source of vitamin C
  • anticarcinogenic properties

Turnips

What's In Season - Turnips

To buy: look for small turnips that are fresh and that were grown in cooler conditions and still have the root and stem intact

To store: remove greens if they are still attached (use as you would any cooking green), keep wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer

To prep: wash, peel (if they are older and large), cut as necessary for use

To use:

Benefits:

  • when raw, they support digestion
  • help to clear mucous
  • good source of B vitamins and vitamin C
  • provide potassium
  • provide phosphorus