Keep an eye out for these Canadian-grown veggies at your local farmers' markets this summer.
The hot Canadian summer brings with it a tasty bounty of fresh veggies. Keep an eye out for these Canadian-grown beauties at your local farmers’ markets this summer. Carrots This versatile veggie is packed with vitamin A, a free radical-fighting antioxidant that also plays a role in vision care, bone growth, reproduction, cell function, and immunity. Go full-out Canadian by incorporating your fresh, seasonal carrots into this Carrot Cranberry Loaf, sweetened with good ol’ maple syrup. Beets The beauty of beets is that you can eat their sweet underground bulb as well as their greens. When choosing beets at your local green grocer or farmers’ market, select ones that are firm, are similar in size (for even cooking), and have healthy greens attached. Broccoli Lean, mean broccoli is not only tasty in Asian-inspired dishes (or eaten raw all on its own!), it’s also highly nutritious. Loaded with vitamins C and K, high in dietary fibre, and low in calories, broccoli is an excellent summer snack to munch on, or try it in this Meatless Monday-appropriate Tofu and Broccoli Stir-fry. Green onion Green onions add a little zip to a variety of cooked or raw dishes. Plus they’re super high in vitamins. Just one green onion stalk packs 10 percent the daily recommended intake of vitamin A, 9 percent vitamin C, and 25 vitamin K. Chop them up and sprinkle them on burgers, in salads (including pasta and potato salads), in omelettes and frittatas, and pretty much anything else you’re cooking up this summer. Radish Add some spice to your salads with thinly sliced radish. Smaller radishes are generally sweeter and have a more subtle flavour. Larger radishes, on the other hand, have a more powerfully spicy flavour. Try this Zingy Radish and Cucumber Slaw with Watercress for a fresh take on the typically boring coleslaw. Rhubarb High in B vitamins and antioxidants, among other nutrients, and most well known for its presence in Mom’s crumbles and pies, Rhubarb can also be included in main course dishes, such as this Sweet Chicken Stir-Fry. Spinach A great substitution for regular head and iceberg lettuce, spinach is incredibly nutritious, containing vitamins, A, C, and K; manganese; magnesium; folate; and iron, as well as flavonoids that have been shown to reduce the risk of prostate and ovarian cancers. Choose spinach that has crisp, green leaves, and avoid leaves that have insect damage. Summer squash These delicate beauties are harvested when immature when the rind is tender and therefore edible. They come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and colours and make a cute addition to a refreshing veggie platter. Serve them whole with this amazing Smoked Tofu Cheese Spread. Swiss chard Chard is a member of the beet family and has a fairly mild, almost spinachlike flavour. It’s rich in vitamins K, C, and A; and is a fairly good source of magnesium; potassium; and iron. Use a large Swiss chard leaf in lieu of a bread-based wrap to up the nutrition of your lunch. Or, try these baked Swiss Chard and Chèvre Roll-Ups—a vegetarian take on the classic cabbage roll. Zucchini When you’re stuck trying to think of what to have for dinner, zucchini is an easy ingredient to fall back on. Whether stuffed, grilled, broiled, sliced, or diced, zucchini is incredibly versatile and delicious in both its raw and cooked state. Zucchini can even be sliced thinly on a mandolin to make “noodles,” but without the added bloat that we sometimes get after eating pasta.