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Summer Fruits: What’s In Season?


[1] Crunchy Asian pears were reserved for the nobility and the wealthy. Now, they are the most popular fruit in all of Asia per an American grower, Virginia Gold Orchard (photo © Wonderful Fruit).


[2] Born in the USA: The boysenberry is a cross among the European raspberry, European blackberry, American dewberry and American loganberry. The loganberry itself is a hybrid of the North American blackberry and the European raspberry. Thanks to American horticulturists for all that hard work (photo © Good Eggs)!


[3] The galia melon is a cross between a honeydew and a cantaloupe. The rind is netted like a cantaloupe, but the green flesh is like a honeydew. The flavor has notes of banana (photo © Melissa’s Produce).

 

While we can get much of our favorite produce year-round, fruits and vegetables in season taste better, are better environmentally (less fuel expended to import them from faraway places), and support American farmers.

Today, we focus on summer fruits. Tomorrow, summer vegetables.

Some of the items are harvested for only a few weeks; others are around for months. So peruse the list, note what you don’t want to miss, and add it to your shopping list.

The list was created by the Produce For Better Health Foundation. Take a look at their website, FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters.org for tips on better meal planning with fresh produce.

We’ve included the less-familiar produce in footnotes below (e.g., black crowberries).

And in the photos: fruits that most of us don’t eat often enough.
 
 
SUMMER FRUITS

  • Apricots
  • Asian Pear
  • Black Currants
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Boysenberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Casaba Melon
  • Champagne Grapes/Corinthian Currants/Zante Currants
  • Crenshaw Melon
  • Durian
  • Fig
  • Galia Melon
  • Grapefruit
  • Grape
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Jackfruit
  • Lime/Key Lime
  • Lychee
  • Nectarine
  • Passion Fruit
  • Peach
  • Persian Melon
  • Plum
  • Raspberry
  • Sapote/Sapodilla
  • Strawberry
  • Sugar Apple (Sweetsop)
  • Watermelon
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    MORE SUMMER PRODUCE

  • Summer Produce: What To Do With Okra, Peppers, Summer Squash, Stone Fruits, Tomatoes
  • Pairing Beer With Summer Produce
  •  
     
    ________________

    *Plus: Acerola/Barbados Cherry, Black Crowberry, Breadfruit, Elderberry, Loganberry, Longan, Loquat, Mulberry, Olallieberry, Rose Apple

     

     
      

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    Boozy Iced Coffee : Cold Brew & Irish Coffee With Slane’s Irish Whiskey

    Iced coffee fans who’d like to try something new can whip up these two iced coffee recipes made with cold brew coffee and a hit of Slane’s Irish Whiskey.

    Thanks to Slane’s Irish Whiskey for the recipes.

    We really liked them as is, but we took the recipes one step further: by making them into floats with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (coffee ice cream works, too).

    Can you use coffee other than cold brew? Yes. Cold brewing produces coffee with much lower acidity, greater smoothness and sweetness, and little or no bitterness. It’s very fashionable now, and fans prefer the different flavor profile. However, feel free to use your favorite coffee, iced.
    Here’s how to make cold brew coffee, and the history of cold brewing.

    Can you leave out the syrup/sugar? Yes. You can use the sweetener of your choice.
     
     
    RECIPE #1: SLANE’S COLD BREW
     
    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 3 ounces Slane Irish Whiskey
  • 1 ounce maple syrup, honey or agave
  • 8 ounces cold brew coffee
  • Ice
  • Garnish: 3 coffee beans (or chocolate covered coffee beans!)
  • Optional: scoop of ice cream
  •  
    Preparation

    If you’re making a float, use a glass that will accommodate the scoop of ice cream.

    1. ADD ice to a shaker; then add the whiskey, maple/honey/agave and cold brew coffee, Shake or stir well to dissolve the syrup.

    2. STRAIN into a glass over fresh ice.
     
     
    RECIPE #2: SLANE’S ICED IRISH COFFEE

    Most of us have only had hot Irish Coffee. Here’s a delightful alternative. It uses demarera sugar syrup instead of regular simple syrup.

    Why? Demerara syrup uses demerara sugar in place of regular granulated sugar. Demerara is a less processed, raw cane sugar that has delicious caramel/toffee flavor.

    Those flavors in a simple syrup add deeper flavor notes to the drink. Here’s how to make simple syrup: It couldn’t be easier.
     
    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 2 ounces Slane’s Irish Whiskey
  • 4 ounces cold brew coffee
  • 2 ounces half & half
  • 1 part demerara sugar syrup*
  •  
    Preparation

    If you’re making a float, use a glass that will accommodate the scoop of ice cream.

    1. ADD all ingredients to a Collins glass over ice. Stir and serve with an orange twist.
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF COFFEE
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF IRISH COFFEE
     
     
    > THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF COFFEE
     
    ________________

    *Demarara sugar is simple syrup made with demarara (raw) sugar instead of white granulated sugar. It has much more flavor.

     


    [1] Recipe #1: Cold brew iced coffee with a hit of Irish whiskey (photos #1 and #2 © Slane’s Irish Whiskey).


    [2] Recipe #2: Iced Irish coffee is creamy, thanks to half & half.


    [3] Maple syrup (shown), honey and agave are unrefined sweetener alternatives to granulated sugar (photo © Rent Mother Nature).


    [4] Demamara is a raw sugar that has much more flavor than white table sugar. It is available in granulated and cube forms (photo © Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE).

     

      

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    Red, White & Blue Tortilla Chips For July 4th From Que Pasa


    [1] Que Pasa’s limited-edition Liberty Chips for July 4th (both photos © Que Pasa).


    [2] Look for this bag.


    [3] Want to make your own star-shaped chips? Here’s the recipe for both the chips and the salsa (photo © Wisconsin Dairy Farmers).

     

    Almost everyone will be serving some kind of dip over July 4th weekend. Show your patriotism with these limited edition Liberty Chips from Que Pasa.

    A festive mix of red, white and blue chips, they’re made from the highest quality organic, non-GMO ingredients.

    These authentic chips are made in the traditional Mexican way: whole organic corn kernels ground between hand-cut volcanic rock.

    They’re also certified kosher by OU.

    You can find the chips at:

  • Ralph’s
  • Kroger
  • Instacart
  • Walmart
  • Whole Foods Market
  •  
    …and other fine retailers and e-tailers. Check the Que Pasa website for a store locator.

    And if you can’t find them, here’s a hack:

    Make your own mix of white corn tortilla chips, blue chips and red chips (individual colors available from Garden Of Eatin’, Que Pasa and others).

    We actually serve a mix of colors year-round.
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF JULY 4TH / INDEPENDENCE DAY
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF TORTILLA CHIPS
     
     
    > THE HISTORY OF TORTILLAS
     
     
    >THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TORTILLA CHIPS & CORN CHIPS

     

     
      

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    July 4th Cheesecake Recipe, With Red, White & Blue Fruit

    Just in time for July 4th menu planning, we received this recipe Chef Tom Fraker of Melissa’s Produce.

    While the broad concept of “cheesecake” is not an American invention, the modern cream cheese cheesecake is. Cream cheese was invented in New York State in 1872.

    So: this cheesecake is an all-American dessert.

    (Here’s a more elaborate history of cheesecake).

    We can’t think of anything we like better than cheesecake. And it even tastes great frozen! Don’t believe us? Make a Cheesecake Hot Fudge Sundae with a base of frozen cheesecake. Ice cream is optional.Beyo

    Beyond July 4th, there are more than 30 cheesecake recipes below, including other holidays and savory cheesecakes.

    > July 30th is National Cheesecake Day.
     
     
    RECIPE: JULY 4TH CHEESECAKE

    Prep time is 12-14 minutes, bake time is 65-75 minutes.
     
    Ingredients

  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 eight-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 4 eggs
  •  
    For The Garnish

  • 6 ounces fresh blueberries (1/2 pint)
  • 9-10 strawberries, stems removed, halved
  • 1½ ripe bananas, sliced
  •  


    [1] We’re celebrating July 4th with this red, white and blue cheesecake (photo © Melissa’s Produce).


    [2] Get festive with sparklers (photo © Driscoll’s).

     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 325°F. Make the crust: In a bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons of sugar and the melted butter. Press the mixture into a tart or pie pan.

    2. ADD the cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla extract to the bowl of a standing mixer.

    3. SPLIT the vanilla beans in half lengthwise, and scrape the pulp into the bowl. Blend until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing them to completely incorporate before adding the next egg.

    4. POUR the mixture into the tart tin and smooth the top. Bake in the oven for 60-75 minutes, or until completely set.

    5. REMOVE the cheesecake from the oven, let cool, and then chill for at least 4 hours.

    6. GARNISH: Run a row of the blueberries around the outside edge and then fill the center with alternating rows of the strawberries and bananas.

     
    MORE CHEESECAKE RECIPES

  • Birthday Cheesecake
  • Boston Cream Pie Cheesecake
  • Brownie Caramel Cheesecake
  • Burnt Caramel Cheesecake Brûlée
  • Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake
  • Chocolate Cheesecake With Oreo Crust
  • Chocolate Chunk Cheesecake
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
  • Cranberry Cheesecake With Cranberry Topping & Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake
  • Cranberry Cheesecake With Whiskey Buttercream Sauce
  • Creamsicle Cheesecake
  • Dulce De Leche Cheesecake
  • Easy Blueberry Cheesecake Topping
  • Grand Marnier Mascarpone Cheesecake
  • Joan Hochman’s Sour Cream Topping Cheesecake
  • Individual Cheesecakes With Fresh Orange Or Grapefruit
  • Karen Harper’s Grand Marnier Mascarpone Cheesecake
  • Mango Cheesecake
  • Michael Chiarello’s mMascarpone cheesecake
  • Milk Chocolate Cheesecake
  • Peaches & Cream Cheesecake
  • Piña Colada Cheesecakes
  • Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake With An Almond Crust
  • Red Velvet Cheesecake
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    HOLIDAY & SPECIAL-OCCASION CHEESECAKES

  • Individual Eggnog Cheesecakes
  • Irish Coffee Cheesecake
  • Irish Cream Liqueur Cheesecake
  • Mini Eggnog Cheesecake Bites
  • Mocha Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • Pumpkin Mousse Cheesecake With Gingersnap Crust
  • Red, White & Blue Cheesecake
  • Robin’s Egg Cheesecake For Easter
  • Spiced Eggnog Cheesecake
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    SAVORY CHEESECAKES

    These are wonderful as an appetizer/first course.

  • Blue Cheese Cheesecake Recipe
  • Cool & Creamy Tuna Cheesecake Recipe
  • Garlic-Herb Cheesecake With Boursin
  • Grand Cru Gruyère & Lobster Cheesecake Recipe
  • Nacho Cheesecake Recipe
  • No Bake Savory Basil Cheesecake Recipe
  • Provolone & Corn Cheesecake Recipe
  •  
     
    FROZEN CHEESECAKE

  • No Bake Frozen Pineapple Cheesecake
  • Strawberry Cheesecake Pops
  •   

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    Iced Tea Recipes For National Iced Tea Month


    [1] It’s blue? Yes indeed: This herbal iced tea is made from a blue flower. It can be enjoyed straight or in a latte, as shown. Here’s the recipe (photo © Oh How Civilized).


    [2] If you have blooming tea balls, you can make ice tea with them. Brew them as usual, and chill (photo © Joy Buy).


    [3] Do you sweeten your iced tea? If you’re a maple syrup lover, consider substuting it for sugar, honey, etc. (photo © Runamok Maple Syrup).

    Hibiscus Iced Tea
    [4] One of our favorite herbal iced teas is made with hibiscus flowers. Another is made with fresh sage leaves: Just pour boiling water over the leaves and let steep (photo © Republic Of Tea).


    [5] Fruit-flavored teas are very popular and available in tea bags, like this strawberry iced tea from Shangri-La. They’re great iced, but you can also muddle fresh fruit and add it to regular iced tea (photo © Shangri-La Teas).

    Peach Jalapeno Iced Tea
    [6] After we had this peach-jalapeño iced tea created by Canard Catering, we created a version at home. As your tea steeps, add peach and jalapeño slices. Frozen peaches are fine (photo © Canard).

     

    It’s the first full day of summer, and June is National Iced Tea Month (June 10th is National Iced Tea Day). Those two facts easily led us to today’s topic: iced tea.

    It took a while for humankind to get to enjoy a chilled glass of tea.

    In modern times, we have ice on demand from our refrigerator-freezers.

    But in the millennia before the invention of the mechanical ice box, only the wealthy had a cool drink.
     
     
    HOW PEOPLE IN THE PAST HAD ICE IN THE SUMMER

  • In ancient times through the 19th century, people of means could afford to have ice cut from lakes and rivers in the winter, or brought down from the mountaintops in warmer countries. The ice was stored in special ice houses for summer use.
  • The oldest known ice house, built by a king in Persia, dates to about 1700 B.C.E. Most other people dug ice pits, lined with straw and sawdust as insulation.
  • In northern climates, others could keep food cold with ice and snow, similarly saved during the winter months or brought down from mountaintops. Packed tightly, it might keep until the hot weather.
  • Technology advanced. For those who could afford it, insulated metal “ice boxes” were available in the 1880s, with blocks of ice delivered by the “ice man.”
  • The home electric refrigerator didn’t arrive until 1930—also for those with money.
  • Thanks to engineers and affordable refrigeration, we now have all the refrigerator and freezer power we you need to can enjoy iced tea any day of the year.
  •  
    Here’s the history of iced tea.
     
     
    ICED TEA TIPS

    We’ve had delicious bottled teas from companies that brew great tea—like Harney & Sons, Honest Tea, Inko’s, Republic Of Tea and Tea’s Tea.

    But personally, we’re conscientious about doing our part to spare the environment.

    So we reserve these bottled iced tea treats for on-the-road options—i.e., when we’re out of the house and out of liquid refreshment.

    But just about anything we can buy in a bottle can be brewed at home, saving not just the environment but lots of moolah.

    Make iced tea in the microwave. We’ve devised a way to quickly brew iced tea in the microwave.

  • Add 4 bags/teaspoons of tea to a quart of water, microwave for 5 minutes and remove the bags.
  • Let the tea cool on the counter. Pour it into recycled plastic bottles before putting it in the fridge.
  • You’re ready to grab and go, or grab and stay).
  •  
    Another tip: Freeze the bottle. If you’ll be outside in the heat, freeze a bottle of iced tea.

  • It will unfreeze bit by bit over the hours, giving you cool sips along your way.
  • You can do this with water, too, of course.
  • If you’re very hot, a frozen bottle will also give you some relief: Hold it or touch it to your face, like an ice pack.
  •  
     
    ICED TEA RECIPES FOR ANY TEA TYPE

    And now: Here are some of our favorite iced tea recipes and tips for brewing and serving.

    The photos were selected to illustrate additional ways you can prepare iced tea.

    Note that most iced tea recipes can be made with any tea: black, green, herbal, white.

  • Arnold Palmer
  • Blooming Iced Tea
  • Cold Infused Tea
  • Homemade Peach Iced Tea
  • Iced Tea Cocktail
  • Iced Tea Cubes Don’t Dilute Your Iced Tea
  • Iced Tea Float With Sorbet
  • Iced Tea Party
  • Iced Tea With Fruit
  • Lavender Iced Tea
  • Lemon- & Lime-Infused Iced Tea
  • Red, White & Blue Iced Tea
  • Sparkling Iced Tea
  • Spiced Iced Tea
  • Strawberry-Thyme Ice Cubes
  • Watermelon Iced Tea
  •  
     
    BLACK ICED TEA RECIPES

  • Reduced Calorie Thai Iced Tea
  • Thai Iced Tea With Sweetened Condensed Milk
  •  
     
    GREEN ICED TEA RECIPES

  • Green Iced Tea & Types Of Green Tea
  • Spicy Cucumber Green Iced Tea
  •  
     
    HERBAL ICED TEA RECIPES

  • Blue Or Purple Iced Tea
  • Iced Hibiscus Tea
  •  
     
    TEA TRIVIA

  • Iced Tea History & Trivia
  • Long Island Iced Tea contains no tea; but it’s the color of iced tea. Here’s the recipe.
  •  
     
    THE TEA EXPERIENCE

  • The Afternoon Tea Party
  • An Electric Kettle For Easy Iced Tea
  • The Different Types Of Tea
  • Essential Tea Facts
  • Grow Your Own Herbal Tea
  • How To Avoid Cloudy Iced Tea
  • The History Of Iced Tea
  • The History Of Iced Tea
  • How To Brew The Perfect Cup Of Tea
  • How To Dissolve Sugar In Cold Drinks
  • Making, Serving & Drinking Tea
  • The History Of Tea
  • Simple Syrup Recipe For Iced Tea
  •  

      

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