Summer Fruits and Vegetables Made Simple

Posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2018

Written by Bonnie Shao

Summer has officially arrived! Along with green grass and blue skies, summer also brings some incredibly hot weather. During these hot months, nothing beats cooling down with some refreshing inseason fruits and vegetables.

Many of these foods are perfect thirst quenchers because of their high water content, which makes them both a great snack and source of hydration to carry out your day.

Also, since some of these plants don’t require many resources to grow, planting your own can save you some money at the grocery store this summer. With just a bit of time and effort, you can easily start your own garden and make these fruits and vegetables accessible to you at any time. 

Four Cost-Effective Summer Garden Fruits & Vegetable

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are easy to grow, and only a few seeds can provide a plentiful harvest.

tomatoes - pixabay.com

  •  Health Profile: Tomatoes are high in the antioxidant lycopene, which has been investigated for its potential to help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer (1). This fruit also contains high amounts of vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, fiber and folate.
  • Fun Fact: Tomatoes are roughly 95% water, with just 5% left for fibre and carbohydrates.  
  • Planting Tips: Tomatoes grow well in full sun and well-drained soil. It is best to sow seeds indoors in the spring (March 14th – 28th) before moving the seedlings into the garden closer to May. Remember to water your tomato plants weekly, especially in dry weather.

Cucumbers

Though commonly mistaken for vegetables, cucumbers are actually a fruit.

Cucumber - pixabay.com

  • Health Profile: Cucumbers are low in calories, and just like tomatoes, are mainly composed of water (96%!). Cucumbers add freshness to sandwiches and wraps and provide additional vitamins and minerals. A raw cucumber can provide you with 14% vitamin C, 62% vitamin K, 13% potassium, and 12% manganese of each of their recommended dietary intakes (RDIs). Since most of these nutrients are found in the skin of Summer Fruits and Vegetables MADE SIMPLE cucumbers, it is best to eat them unpeeled. Just makes sure you give them a good rinse before taking a bite! o Fun Fact: The phytochemicals in cucumbers may fix bad breath by killing the problematic bacteria (2). Try swapping your next mint for a slice of cucumber!
  • Planting Tips: Choose a site with lots of sun and well-drained soil. Since cucumbers are quite sensitive to the cold, make sure to only sow seeds outside after the soil has warmed. It is best to sow seeds outside between May 23rd and June 6th.

Swiss Chard

Pleasing to the eye, swiss chard is one of the most colourful vegetables. Colour options include red, green, yellow, orange, and purple.

Swiss chard - pixabay.com

Strawberries

Although home-grown strawberries tend to be smaller, they are fresher and can definitely be sweeter in taste!

Strawberries - pixabay.com

  • Health Profile: Strawberries have a low glycemic index (GI), meaning they are less likely to cause large spikes in blood sugar levels when eaten in moderation. One cup of strawberries provides 3 grams of both soluble and insoluble fiber as well as an entire day’s worth of vitamin C. Perhaps the most special health feature about this fruit is that it is packed with antioxidants such as pelargonidin - responsible for the fruit’s bright red colour - and ellagic acid, which has been investigated for its potential role in reducing the risk of certain cancers. (3)
  • Fun Fact: On average, there are 200 seeds on a strawberry, all of which are worn on the outside of this tasty red jewel.  
  • Planting Tips: Strawberries need full sun and soil with good drainage and air circulation. Don’t plant these fruits in areas that have previously grown tomatoes or peppers, or your strawberries may not yield as much fruit as you may hope for.

Additional resources to help you grow your best summer fruit and vegetable garden yet 

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