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The Power of Fresh Produce

The Power of Fresh Produce

How to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your summer diet.


Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables that are available. Planning a healthier summer menu doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. Here are some tips on how to create a delicious summer menu that's loaded with fresh produce, while also being healthy and nutritious.


1. Start with a list of seasonal fruits and vegetables: Summer is the perfect time to enjoy a variety of fresh produce, from juicy watermelon to sweet berries and crisp greens. Also think summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and eggplant! Take advantage of the seasonality of these items and plan your meals around them. If you’re long on zucchini, try our Multi Grain Zucchini Banana Bread.  


2. Experiment with different cooking methods: Cooking your fruits and vegetables in different ways can bring out unique flavors while also maintaining their nutritional benefits. Grilling, roasting, sautéing, and raw preparations are just a few options to consider. At Dole, we feel that beautiful weather calls for an outdoor meal. And remember, nearly anything can go on the grill, check out our Grilled Vegetable Stacks with Pineapple Chimichurri for an interesting side, or our Grilled Pineapple Mockarita for a drink your guests will remember! Get creative and try something new!


3. Incorporate healthy protein sources: While fresh produce deserves the spotlight, adding a healthy protein source such as beans, tofu, or grilled chicken can help keep you satisfied and provide balanced nutrition.  Try our Chickpea Burgers with Pineapple Sauce for a meat free alternative that’s both sweet and savory. 


4. Don't forget about healthy fats: Healthy fats from olive oil or avocadoes, nuts and seeds, can be great additions to your summer menu. They not only enhance the flavor of your dishes but help your body absorb fat soluble nutrients too!


5. Keep it simple: Eating healthy doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. Stick to simple meals that showcase the natural flavors of your produce, and try prepping ingredients ahead of time for added convenience. Small tasks like slicing celery into sticks, cutting and washing broccoli or cubing melon ahead of time can make adding produce to summer meals quick and easy. 


Incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into your summer menu not only provides delicious and nutritious meals for you and your family, but it's also a great way to add color and seasonal interest to meals. So embrace the season and start planning – and loving – a healthier summer menu today.



Published August 1, 2023

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