Summer means fresh veggies: garden goods, fruits that were picked freshly from the trees (or bushes), and produce that's tastier than anything you could buy the rest of the year. Better still, this stuff is super easy to get your hands on. Whether you head to a roadside market or straight to the farmers themselves, chances are that folks are selling this stuff in a number of locations. That is, after all, part of what summer is all about. You might even grow some goods yourself, making all of these items even easier to get your hands on. No matter how you buy these vegetables, it's safe to say it's a great time to try something new. Branch out this summer and take on these tasty veggies for an all-new way to eat healthy and delicious. You're likely to expand your culinary preferences while you're at it – really, what have you got to lose?!
You might know them as fried green tomatoes. Or maybe you know it in salsa verde form. Perhaps you've eaten them in a pico de gallo. No matter how you enjoy them, tomatillos can be a great way to add variety to your diet so add them to your summertime veggie goals list. f you're not sure how to pick them out, look for the green colored tomatoes that are fully grown. Regular, red tomatoes are green before they're completely ripe. Or ask a vendor for help picking out your next round of tasty greenies. Salt, cilantro, and hot peppers make some great addition to this fresh summer flavor.
11 Armenian Cucumbers
They sound weird, they look even weirder, yet they are incredibly delicious. Armenian cucumbers essentially taste just like the guys you're used to, only better. They don't have that thick, greasy skin like at the grocery store, they generally don't need to be burped, and they stay crunchier for longer, making them ideal for a pasta salad or vinegar-based side. Their one downside – yes, there's only the one – is they don't work well as pickles. But for every other cucumber use you can think of, these guys are your latest go-to piece of produce. You won't be able to believe you waited this long before trying one, trust us.
10 Colored Carrots
These taste just like traditional carrots... only they come in a rainbow of colors including reds, yellows, and purples. Some even come with a mix of colors all in a single plant. They even help make your salads as colorful as possible … even for the folks who dislike branching out and trying different types of veggies. Enjoy these carrots as a snack, cooked, or alongside your other favorite garden fare. All that crisp flavor means these carrots are chalk full of vitamins too. So trick the kids (or yourself) into taking in some extra nutrients by adding these carrots to your next market list.
9 Bean Sprouts
These things have a bad rap, but in reality, they're delicious and incredibly healthy. When they're nice and fresh, they're even tastier than the stuff you can get at the grocery store. Ask your vendor for recipes when using your bean sprouts, or just drop them in as many recipes as possible. Some crowd favorites include salads and stir fry for an extra layer of texture while adding some delicious crunch along the way. These things are also super easy to store and take up minimal room so go ahead and store them in a bowl or round of Tupperware. Easy as can be!
We get it, this sounds boring, and we hear you, we promise. But have you ever had a home-grown onion? One that's fresh out of the ground and still dirty because it's that fresh? If you haven't, you're seriously missing out. These onions are more delicious than any store-bought version could ever dream of becoming. And all without having that overpowering onion taste. Some are strong, but no stronger than their grocery store counterparts. This is true for purple/red, white, green versions, scallions, yellow, and any other hybrid onion mix you might happen upon. Your taste buds will thank you.
7 New Potatoes
If you're ready for potatoes like you've never tasted them before, it's time to stock up on some new potatoes. These finds are often tiny – like really tiny – and can be found in a bundle or in bulk. They also come in various colors, including yellow and purple, which help offer variety of flavor on your plate. Don't be discouraged about the size, either; the skin is thin and extremely tasty right alongside the potato itself. Think the absolute opposite of a russet. Boil, grill, mash, or bake for a healthy and tasty take on this table side favorite.
Yellow, butternut, pumpkin, red kuri, kaboocha – if you can come up with the name of a squash, chances are it's sold at a farmers market. That means you can cook and eat said squash and enjoy it in any number of recipes. What's strange, yet incredibly exciting, about this huge variety is that it allows you for all types of tastes and flavors within a single genre of food. Even if you think you hate squash, trust us and try it. It's super versatile and you can try it in any number of cuisines.
Turnips are another favorite root veggie, yet we rarely pay much attention to their amazing qualities. They can be mixed into all types of dishes, much like a potato. You can even mash them by themselves and eat 'em as a side dish. They have a slightly different flavor from potatoes, yet with even more nutrition... and less starch! Better still? Homegrown turnips are absolutely huge, yet affordable. Mix them in to your regular dishes for a swift kick of flavor, or try them on their own for an adventurous new way to explore your farmers market treasures.
4 Sweet Corn
This is one more veggie that is way tastier when purchased from your local farmers. Sure, you have to shuck it, but it's worth the extra effort. It's often sweeter, crunchier, and fresher too! Buy this stuff by the bag and enjoy with as many meals as possible. You can cook it on the grill, on the stove top, or in any number of dishes. Corn is also great for camping – quick food that's easy to eat while on the move. Stock up on a big batch of sweet corn and keep your meals tasty and summer ready every time you cook.
The radish is another veggie with a bad reputation for really no reason at all. Store-purchased radishes are often bitter or quite strong tasting. But the real deal is incredibly delicious and far milder than you might realize. The fresh quality helps improve the overall quality and texture of the radish experience. Slice off a few slivers to enjoy this crispy flavor on salads or other fresh dishes. Or, cook them up and mix in various dishes for a quick pop of flavor and color. No matter how you choose to go, radishes can offer a quick meal pick me up.
Few veggies are as beautiful as the eggplant. Eggplants might look strange in comparison to other vegetables, but they also are a deep, dark purple color that we rarely see elsewhere in nature. They're full of meaty goodness and a great alternative to a bunch of different foods. Plus, they're healthy. You can slice them and use them in hot or cold dishes. Fresh veggies are often eaten crunchy or cold, so eggplant also offers a nice change of pace since you can cook them but they still taste fresh and delicious. Consider trying one at your next market stop.
Cook them, blanch them, use them as a wrapping device, slice them up and make a slaw. Cabbages are really versatile. They also comes in different colors and flavors to allow for maximum versatility. Did we mention these heads are absolutely huge? You'll get way more cabbage from a farmers market then you would when shopping at your supermarket, and you'll find that it's crispier and more flavourful, too. This is likely the most versatile veggie on the list – and will last you the longest amount of time once you go shopping.