Nourish - What’s in Season: Irish Summer Foods
We all know the benefits of eating seasonally — produce is at its peak in flavour and freshness and it’s often cheaper too (horray!).
And with Summer making its appearance (every now and then!), the abundance of colourful food in our shopping bags are just begging to be made into summer-time deliciousness!
The berries are shouting out to be squished into sweet and satisfying smoothies, crumbles and baked goods. The tomatoes are jumping from the vine to our plates, pleading to be made into salads or topping off a good pizza! – you get the gist!
So with that being said, within this post, I’m going to cover just a handful of what seasonal fruits veggies that are hitting the shelves over July and August. Plus some tasty recipes too!
In Season: Summer
No. 1 – Apricots
Related to peaches and nectarines, apricots are small loose-stoned fruit that range from pale yellow, through to orange and flushed pink. The ones you’ll most commonly find tend to be golden coloured with velvety skin and flesh. When they are ripe, their flesh is sweet, soft and juicy with a mildly sweet taste.
Apricots are nutritionally very beneficial as well as being delicious and incredibly versatile. They contain bountiful amounts of antioxidants, including Vitamins A and C, plus carotenoids, and flavonoids like lutein and zeaxanthin.
Try out these recipes for some apricotty-goodness!
No. 2 – Beetroot
Ah Beetroot, one of my absolute favourite veggies! Beetroot is so versatile you can eat it raw, cooked, shredded, spiralized, fermented and even pickled.
Beetroot is a member of the same family as chard and spinach and you can eat both the root and the leaves. The root is incredibly nutrient-rich as it is choc-full of vitamin C, magnesium, folic acid, potassium and fibre. Additionally, the edible leaves are packed with calcium, iron and vitamins A and C.
I like to juice the leaves when I make my summer beet-juice to get all the goodies in me.
Typically beetroot is a rich purple colour, though beetroot can also be white or golden. Due to its high sugar content, beetroot is delicious eaten raw but is more typically cooked in some form. Roasted beets – oh my..!
Try out these recipes to make the most of the beetroot season:
- Roasted Beetroot Hummus
- Beetroot Pumpkin Seed Pesto
- Omega Boost Beetroot Blackcurrant Energy Bars
Spiralized Beet Salad
No. 3 – Fennel
Fennel belongs to the Umbelliferae family and is therefore closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander.
Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet with notes of anise and liquorice. Undoubtedly, it is really versatile because you can use every part of it including the bulb, stalk, leaves and the seeds.
This veggie adds a sweetly musky flavour in combination with vegetables such as beetroot, carrots and sweet potatoes. It’s beautiful in soups, pasta dishes and consumed raw in salads.
Try these recipes out to whack up your fennel levels:
No. 4 – Berries
They may be little, but raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are rich in an abundance of antioxidants. These help your body fight off those nasty disease-causing free radicals.
Choc-a-block full of powerful antioxidants, berries contain anthocyanins, quercetin, and vitamin C to help:
They’re also rich in a plethora of vitamins and minerals, fibre and water to keep your digestion at its peak, your skin glowing and your insides happy.
Of course, chowing down on fresh berries is a delight in itself, but for a few more ideas, try these recipes on for size:
- Summer Ice Pops
- Strawberry Flax Morning Smoothie (can replace with any berry)
Scroll ALL the way to the bottom for the recipe
- Raspberry Zinger Energy Balls
No. 5 – Tomatoes
Where would we be without tomatoes? There’s just nothing like a sweet and juicy sun-ripened, homegrown tomato to make your meal complete!
One of the delightful things about tomatoes is the wide variety of them – there are hundreds of them! Varieties range from tiny ones like grape, plum, and cherry to vine to hefty beefsteak tomatoes that can be the size of your fist!
Tomatoes provide a whole heap of nutrients, supplying excellent amounts of Vitamin A, C, E and K, potassium, B vitamins and fibre to name a few.
The uses of tomatoes are simply endless. They can be consumed:
- raw in salads
- on bruschetta
- made into salsa, soup, sauce, paste
- sun-dried and made into pesto or added to pasta dishes.
Just thinking about it makes me salivate!
- Roasted Garlic Tomato Lentil Salad
- Tomato Red Lentil Coconut Soup
- Quinoa Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes
- Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Meatballs
No. 6 – Aubergine
Along with tomatoes, potatoes and peppers, aubergines belong to the nightshade family of plants.
They have a deep purple, glossy skin covering the cream coloured, sponge-like flesh. They’re also dotted with small, edible seeds. That being said, aubergines can also be found in other colours including green, orange, lavender and yellow as well as in a range of shapes and sizes.
Aubergines are an excellent source of dietary fibre. Plus, they provide a good source of vitamins B1 and B6, potassium, and minerals copper, magnesium and manganese.
A lot of vegetarians like to use aubergine as a meat replacement because it has quite a meaty texture when it’s cooked.
Here’s some aubergine inspiration for you:
- 10 Minute Creamy Vegan Bean and Aubergine Casserole
Aubergine Roll Recipe
- Harissa Roasted Chickpeas and Aubergine with Potato Mash
That’s just a mere taster of what Summer has to offer us and our hungry bellies, so keep a lookout for the new seasonal produce that’s practically popping out the ground and bouncing onto the shelves!
And for those of you living in the Dublin area, don’t forget to head to our Nourish stores in Sandymount and on Liffey Street to pick up a delicious (seasonal) selection of fresh organic fruits and veggies.
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Any questions? Drop into your local Nourish store to chat with our expert team and explore our full range of organic food, wholesome pantry essentials, nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, natural skincare, waste-free and eco-friendly products. You can also find our full product range in our online store.
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication