Changing environment, learning new language and new culture,being a wife and a mother, living far away from families and friends, I have come to share my views, thoughts, feelings, ideas on so many things that I cherish.

July 02, 2013

July Food Fun

Welcome to Fresh Ideas! The most patriotic month of the year starts off with corn that's knee high by the fourth of July and spectacular fireworks that light up the sky. It's a month for family, fun and fresh fruits and vegetables. Without a doubt, the July harvest makes it so easy to eat healthy!


July 4 - Happy Birthday America! - Celebrate Independence Day with a red, white and blue food party. For ideas to create your own signature patriotic menu, read Red, White and Blue Celebration. July is also the month to celebrate National Baked Bean Month. Baked beans are a summer picnic "must have" side dish. 
National Picnic Month - Yogi Bear was famous for grabbing a "pic-a-nic" basket and enjoying an outside feast. Grab your own picnic basket and head to your favorite park to enjoy an outdoor dining  experience with your family. Keep in mind, blazing hot summer temperatures raise the risk of food-borne illness due to improper food storage. Read Summer Food Safety for tips that will help store your picnic fare for maximum freshness and safety.
July 14th  - Bastille Day  - France also celebrates their independence in July. Commemorate the day that started of the French Revolution with a French Summer Family Meal that would make Julia Child proud!
July 14th also kicks off the last week of the Tour de France bicycle race.  What a perfect time to plan your own family bike riding adventure. Grab some healthy snacks and celebrate France with a little fresh air and cycling fun!
National Grilling Month -  If you thought grills were just for cooking meat, think again.  Grilled vegetables and fruits are quick, easy-to-prepare and loaded with flavor and nutrition. Many fruits and vegetables are delicious grilled. Try Grilled Asparagus as a side dish to steak, chicken or pork.  Or give Grilled Pineapple a try. Serve it with vanilla ice cream for a sweet treat to finish off a memorable summer meal.  

It's July and a great time buy Asian pears, Bartlett pears, blueberries, sweet corn, cucumber, eggplant, figs, garlic, grapes, nectarines, red onions, Valencia oranges, peaches, sweet/bell peppers, plums, potatoes, summer squash, tomatoes and watermelon. 
It is also National Blueberry Month: Here are three great ideas to help you celebrate the bluest of blue superfoods.
  1. Stock Up! - Farmer Markets and groceries are offering special deals on fresh blueberries in July so buy now and freeze for later. To freeze blueberries, remove them from the container, spread them out on a baking tray and place in the freezer overnight. The next morning, transfer them to a freezer bag, label and put them in the coldest part of the freezer. For the freshest flavor and texture, wait to wash blueberries until you are ready to use them.
  2. Pick'em Yourself! - Grab the kids and some sturdy containers and head out to the country to a "You Pick" farm and pick your own blueberries. Visiting a local farm is a great way to enjoy a summer day and teach your kids more about how fruits and vegetables are grown.
  3. Juice Up! - Adding some blueberry juice to your family's drink selection will give them an boost of anti-oxidants to strengthen the immune system and keep the body's cells operating at peak performance. A Blueberry Smoothie could be just what your kids need on a hot summer day.

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