Fruit and veg to enjoy in July
As we reach peak summer, there are lots of fabulous soft fruits to add to our meal plans this month. Not only that, but with lots of crops ripening in July, there’s plenty of delicious veggies to enjoy too! Not only does fresh, locally grown produce taste better, but it’s also much better for the planet than fruit and veg that’s come to us from all over the world. Take advantage of the best fresh ingredients your local area has to offer with our ideas for your July meal plans.
The useful Vegetarian Society guide informs us that the fruit and veg at their best in July are:
Aubergine, Beetroot, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Blueberries, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cherries, Chicory, Chillies, Courgettes, Cucumber, Gooseberries, Greengages, Fennel, French Beans, Garlic, Kohlrabi, Loganberries, New Potatoes, Onions, Peas, Potatoes, Radishes, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Rhubarb, Rocket, Runner Beans, Samphire, Sorrel, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Strawberries, Summer Squash, Sweetheart Cabbage, Swish Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress
Make the most of this delicious array of fruit and veg with the ideas we’ve shared below, all based around some of our favourite ingredients on this list. Don’t forget, you can find even more ideas in our previous monthly guides:
- What’s good to eat in February for ideas on using cabbages and carrots
- What’s good to eat in March for beetroot, rhubarb, spring greens and spring onions
- What’s good to eat in April for new potatoes, radishes and rocket
- What’s good to eat in May for aubergine and peas
- What’s good to eat in June for broad beans, broccoli, cherries, courgettes, cucumber and strawberries
Foraging for wild blackberries is one of the summer’s greatest pleasures, so they’re first on our fresh ingredients to use this month. Once you’ve had fun picking blackberries and your hands are stained with their purple juice (or bought locally grown ones from the local farm shop), turn them into delicious quick fruit jam, make apple and bramble crumble or mix them in with your other favourite berries to use in smoothies and summer desserts, such as pavlova or our red fruit consommé.
One of the tastiest superfoods around, blueberries are at their best in July. They’re great for sprinkling into porridge or onto pancakes, enjoying with granola and yogurt or baking into delicious blueberry muffins. If it’s too hot for baking, the next best thing is a refrigerator cake like our chocolate, walnut and blueberry biscuit cake slices. Like blackberries, blueberries are also great for summer desserts such as pavlova, Eton mess and our red fruit consommé.
There are several types of bean to enjoy this month, but our favourite is French beans, which are very similar to green beans (runner beans, also ripe this month, are longer and a staple of many a vegetable patch and allotment here in the UK). These are great for enjoying steamed or boiled as a side with fish or meat, as well as adding to pasta dishes, risottos, soups and stews. They can also be served cooked but cold in salads – try chopping them into thirds and mixing them with tuna, red onion, boiled egg and any other salady bits you need to use up.
Another of our favourite summer berries, raspberries are a lovely treat in July. As well as using them in the same desserts as we suggested for blackberries and blueberries, raspberries are good for baking with (think raspberry and white chocolate cookies) as well as for making delicious fruit jam for spreading on toast or layering between cake tiers.
Finally, tomato season is here, and there are so many different ways to enjoy them that the tomatoes in your fridge needn’t join the 1.2 million of them thrown in the bin each day in the UK. Snack on sweet, juicy cherry tomatoes on their own or chop larger tomatoes up for salads or salsas. Simmer a big batch of tomatoes down into a tasty pasta sauce, tomato chutney or tomato and butterbean soup, use them in chilli con carne, tagines, stews and soups, or serve them in fish finger tacos or cherry tomato pasta bake.
Type your leftover fresh ingredients into our recipe bank for even more July culinary inspiration, and check back next month to find out what’s good to eat in August!