Seasonal Summer Recipes - Page 2 of 4 - Illinois Farm Bureau Partners Seasonal Summer Recipes - Page 2 of 4 - Illinois Farm Bureau Partners

Seasonal Summer Recipes

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Mason Jar Salad

Like the first crocus that bursts through the almost-green grass, farmers’ markets mark the start of produce season with that first bunch of asparagus or bundle of spinach. Shop your local farmers’ market, and you’ve capitalized on a way to savor produce at the peak of freshness. The best part? You get to meet and support the people who grow your food.

No doubt, the fruits and vegetables at most farmers’ markets taste fresher than anything else available. Local farmers allow their produce to ripen fully in the field or orchard, which means no long-distance shipping and no long storage. The food, as real as it gets, arrives fresh from the farm.

[infobox alignment="right" title="See More"]Easy Make-and-Take Summer Salads[/infobox]

Want to save money? Shop the market where all of the food available arrives seasonally. Not only does it come fresh and delicious, but by buying in season, you typically get the best prices. Shopping and cooking from the farmers’ market also helps you reconnect with the cycles of nature. You can look forward to radishes in spring, savor sweet corn in summer or bake with real pumpkins in autumn. It allows us to reconnect with the earth, the weather and the turning of the year.

Knowing how to use that fresh produce can seem challenging. Luckily, some tools of the trade, both old standbys and new devices, come in handy.

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Zucchini Noodle Salad

One of the trendiest gadgets on the market, a spiral slicer or spiralizer can transform ordinary raw vegetables and firm fruit into something special. Food, such as carrots or zucchini, spins through a series of blades that slice veggies into ribbons or curly noodles. It gives new texture and visual appeal to salads and side dishes, while also serving as an easy way to lower carbs and calories, as it increases your intake of fruits and veggies. You can make curly fries from potatoes, a tart with thinly sliced apples or one of my favorites, zucchini noodle salad. Zucchini typically takes over the garden, and this recipe for a Thai-influenced, colorful salad makes the most of zucchini and carrots.

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