A Flavorful Feast

August 2023

by renata haidle

Whether you’re a backyard gardener or a large-scale producer, August in Montana is a time of bountiful harvest. Our growing season might be short, but nature's generosity shines through this last month of summer, offering an array of fresh fruits and vegetables that delight the palate and nourish the body.  

Eating What's in Season: A Celebration of Local Agriculture 

When we choose to eat what's in season, we align ourselves with the rhythm of nature and celebrate the cycle of life. Montana's August harvest provides an opportunity to support local farmers and the community while nourishing our bodies with the freshest and most nutritious in-season produce. By consuming locally-grown fruit and vegetables, we reduce the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation, promote sustainable practices, and preserve the integrity of the land. Additionally, seasonal produce tends to be more affordable and accessible, making it a practical and budget-friendly choice for individuals and families. 

The Benefits of Freshness: Flavor, Nutrition, and Vibrancy 

Fruit and vegetables picked at their peak burst with sweetness, acidity, and complexity, delivering a taste experience that cannot be replicated. Whether it's the tangy-sweet burst of huckleberries, the succulent juiciness of plums, or the earthy sweetness of corn, each bite is a reminder of the diversity and bounty of the vegetal world.  

Seasonal fruits and vegetables pack a nutritional punch. Fresh produce is at its nourishing peak when consumed shortly after harvest, ensuring optimal levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Incorporating them into our diet supports our overall well-being and promotes a balanced and healthy lifestyle. 

August Superstars: Fruit and Vegetables to Savor This Month 

  • Huckleberries 

Our state’s prized treasure and official fruit, huckleberries, take center stage in August. These small, dark purple berries are bursting with antioxidants and are known for their distinct sweet-tart flavor.  

  • Plums 

From golden yellows to deep purples, plums offer a sweet-tart balance that is hard to resist. Packed with fiber and vitamins, this versatile fruit can be enjoyed fresh or used in pies, jams, or chutneys for a burst of summer flavor. 

  • Corn 

Montana's sweet corn is a summer staple that peaks in August. With its plump kernels and sweet taste, fresh corn on the cob is a must at every outdoor party. Grill it to perfection, boil it, or use it in salads and salsas for a taste of summer's essence. 

  • Zucchini 

The bounty provided by these powerhouse plants can be overwhelming during this season. Versatile and low in calories, zucchini can be sliced and grilled, sautéed, or spiralized into noodles. Incorporate it into frittatas and stir fries, or bake it into delicious bread and muffins. 

  • Tomatoes 

Bursting with juiciness, these ruby gems come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. Slice them into fresh salads, roast them for sauces, or savor their natural sweetness in sandwiches and bruschetta.  

  • Eggplant 

Think past the obvious (looking at you, eggplant parmigiana) and experiment with grilled, sautéed, baked, and whipped eggplant. It is surprisingly delicious, and it offers excellent nutritional benefits thanks to its high content of polyphenols and vitamins A and C. 

These are just a few fruits and vegetables you can harvest this month, or find them picked fresh at farmers’ markets. Also, expect peppers, carrots, beets, green onions, leeks, radishes, apples, cucumbers, potatoes, green beans, and more.  

And if you’re looking for a few new recipes, we’ve got you covered. We kept them short and simple. With so much to enjoy outdoors this month, who wants to slave away in the kitchen on a hot summer day? 

Originally printed in the August 2023 issue of Simply Local Magazine

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