What’s in season

Fix Your Plate by Tara Reeves

June is an exciting month for food enthusiasts! As spring transitions into summer, an abundance of fresh, seasonal produce becomes available, offering flavourful and often more affordable food options. It’s a great time of year to support your local farmers and even hit the fields and start picking some of your favourite foods, yourself. Here’s a look at some of the best foods to enjoy during the month of June.

June is the prime time for berries, especially strawberries. These vibrant red fruits are not only delicious but also packed with nutrients like vitamin C, manganese, and antioxidants. Whether enjoyed fresh, in salads, or as a topping for desserts, strawberries add a touch of sweetness and color to any dish. You might also find the first harvests of raspberries and blueberries appearing later in the month, depending on where you live.

Leafy greens are abundant in June, with varieties like spinach, kale, and arugula kicking off the season. These greens are packed with nutrition, rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron and fiber. They can be used in countless ways from fresh salads and smoothies to sautés and soups. Locally grown leafy greens often taste better and are more nutrient-dense than those transported from “away.”

Rhubarb is another June highlight. This tart and tangy vegetable is commonly used in desserts, paired with sweeter fruits like strawberries to balance its sharpness. Rhubarb pies, crisps, and jams are popular choices. Besides its unique flavour, rhubarb is also a good source of vitamin K and fiber.

Both garden peas and sugar snap peas come into season in June. These crisp, sweet vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as protein and fiber. Peas can be enjoyed raw, added to salads, or lightly cooked in various dishes. They’re especially popular in stir-fries and pasta recipes, where their bright green color and fresh taste shine.

While asparagus season typically starts in May, it continues into June, offering its tender, flavourful spears for a few more weeks. Asparagus is versatile and can be grilled, roasted, steamed, or sautéed. It’s rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and fiber. The fresh, green flavor of asparagus is a perfect complement to many dishes, from omelettes to risottos.

Radishes, with their peppery crunch, are a staple in June, as well. These root vegetables are low in calories but high in vitamins C and B6, potassium, and fiber. They add a refreshing bite to salads and can also be pickled or roasted. The greens are edible too and can be used in pestos or sautéed as a leafy green.

June is a fantastic month for fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, parsley, and mint. These herbs are at their peak, offering intense flavours and aromas. They can elevate any dish, adding freshness and complexity. Herbs are also easy to grow at home, making them readily available for use throughout the summer.

Embracing these fresh, local foods not only enhances your meals but also supports sustainable practices and local economies. From sweet strawberries and crisp peas to leafy greens and aromatic herbs, the variety and quality of June’s produce are unmatched. Make the most of this vibrant season by incorporating these delicious and nutritious foods into your diet!