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Embrace the Caribbean Summer with June’s Seasonal Produce Guide

Embrace the Caribbean Summer with June's Seasonal Produce Guide

The vibrant greens of spring give way to the fiery hues of summer in the Caribbean, and with June’s arrival, our local markets burst with the freshest flavors of the season. Here at Caribbean Green Living, we’re all about celebrating nature’s bounty, and this month, we’re bringing you a guide to the delectable fruits and vegetables that are at their peak in June.

Fruits:

  • Mango: The undisputed king of Caribbean fruits, June is prime mango season. From the vibrant orange Ataulfo to the sweetly floral East Indian, savor the juicy flesh of these tropical treats in salads, salsas, or simply enjoy them sliced on their own.
  • Soursop: This spiky-skinned fruit offers a creamy white interior with a refreshingly tart flavor. Enjoy soursop in smoothies, chilled soups, or sorbet for a taste of the tropics.
  • Breadfruit: A versatile Caribbean staple, breadfruit can be enjoyed ripe or unripe. Ripe breadfruit has a sweet, fruity flavor and can be roasted, boiled, or fried. Unripe breadfruit has a starchy texture similar to potatoes and can be used in savory dishes.
  • Watermelon: Nature’s candy is in season! Quench your thirst and cool down with wedges of juicy watermelon or incorporate them into refreshing salads or summer cocktails.
  • Guava: These little pink powerhouses are packed with vitamin C and come in different varieties, some sweet and some tart. Enjoy them fresh, juiced, or made into jams and jellies.
Embrace the Caribbean Summer with June's Seasonal Produce Guide
Embrace the Caribbean Summer with June’s Seasonal Produce Guide

Vegetables:

  • Callaloo: A leafy green similar to spinach, callaloo is a nutritional powerhouse and a key ingredient in many Caribbean dishes, from soups and stews to fritters and quiches.
  • Okra: June is a great time to find fresh okra, with its beautiful green pods adding a delightful crunch to stews, soups, and stir-fries.
  • Pigeon peas: A versatile bean that can be enjoyed fresh, shelled, or dried, pigeon peas are a delicious and affordable source of protein. Try them in stews, soups, or as a side dish.
  • Eggplant: Eggplant season is in full swing in June. From classic stews to creative grilled dishes, this versatile vegetable can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways.
  • Chocho (Chayote): This unique-looking gourd is a staple in Caribbean cuisine. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and can be enjoyed cooked or grated raw in salads.
Embrace the Caribbean Summer with June's Seasonal Produce Guide
Embrace the Caribbean Summer with June’s Seasonal Produce Guide

Island Staples June Seasonal Produce:

  • Breadfruit: A versatile starchy fruit, breadfruit can be enjoyed roasted, boiled, or fried.
  • Plantain: Similar to a banana but starchier, plantains are a staple in Caribbean cuisine. They can be fried into savory chips (tostones) or boiled and mashed.
  • Starfruit: This unique fruit, shaped like a star when sliced, has a juicy and slightly tart flavor. It can be enjoyed fresh or used in salads or ceviche.
Embrace the Caribbean Summer with June's Seasonal Produce
Embrace the Caribbean Summer with June’s Seasonal Produce

Bonus Find:

  • Tamarind: This tangy pod-like fruit is a Caribbean treasure. Enjoy the sweet and sour flavor in a refreshing drink or find it used as a flavoring in savory dishes.

Tips for Buying and Storing Seasonal Produce:

  • Look for brightly colored fruits and vegetables with unblemished skin.
  • Choose fruits that are slightly firm and give a gentle squeeze.
  • Store fruits and vegetables in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer whenever possible.
  • Wash all produce thoroughly before consuming.

Additional Tips:

  • Visit local street vendors or farmers’ markets to find the freshest seasonal produce.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new fruits! Ask vendors for recommendations based on your taste preferences.
  • Many fruits can be incorporated into delicious cocktails, adding a refreshing Caribbean twist to your drink.

With June’s seasonal bounty, embrace the island flavors and create a taste of paradise in your own kitchen!

By incorporating these seasonal finds into your meals, you’ll be supporting local farmers, reducing your carbon footprint, and treating your taste buds to the freshest flavors that the Caribbean summer has to offer. So, head to your local market, embrace the abundance of June, and get cooking!

Let’s continue the conversation!

Do you have any favorite recipes that feature June’s seasonal produce? Share your tips and ideas in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.

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