5 Seasonal Produce For August
Garlic - A little over two thousand years ago, the Greeks praised the garlic bulb as a "cure-all". It's still being touted as a health-boosting superfood today, thanks to its star ingredient: allicin - found at its highest potency in fresh, raw cloves of garlic. Allicin protects against thrombosis and is reputed to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, which contributes to better cardiovascular health. it's best to eat garlic cloves when they are raw, or very lightly cooked before the valuable enzymes and nutrients are denatured by the heat of cooking. Try finely slicing a few raw cloves of milder-tasting Green Garlic into a salad, or spread some crushed garlic straight onto olive oil-slicked bruschetta for a healthy take on garlic bread.
Asparagus - Asparagus is best harvested by hand when the first rays of the sun heat up the earth. They should be harvested as soon and fast as possible when asparagus heads are sticking out the ground. If they are not harvested fast enough, they will start to discolor and tear. asparagus contains glutathione, a well know antioxidant which promotes detoxification. It is also known to help the kidney and bladder purify itself.
Chicory - Chicory or is a woody, herbaceous plant that belongs to the daisy family. The use of Chicory dates back nearly 5000 years when Egyptians used this wild plant mainly for medicinal purposes. Some references even mention the use of chicory by Greeks and Romans as a vegetable. It is rich in inulin, beta-carotene, and various aromatic compounds. Chicory aids in liver/heart health and decreases inflammation/swelling in the body. Moreover, it increases bile production, lowers cholesterol, and is a mild laxative which is backed up by various studies.
Cucumber - While most people think of cucumbers as vegetables, they are actually fruit. They contain seeds and grow from the ovaries of flowering plants. Cucumbers are members of the plant family Cucurbitaceae(opens in new tab), which also includes squashes and melons. A cucumber's nutritional benefits are ideal for healthy eating, because these low-calorie veggies contain many hydrating properties and valuable nutrients. In 2019, the cucumber was even elevated to the status of superfood.
Courgette - The courgette is a variety of cucurbit, which means it’s from the same family as cucumber, squash and melon. While squashes originated in the Americas, this particular variety was first developed in the early 1800s in Italy It’s one of the most popular vegetables in the squash family, being extremely versatile, tender and easy to cook. Zucchini also contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stools and helps food move through your gut more easily, further reducing constipation risk.