August is an interesting month. I think of it as a doorway through which we step out of summer into fall. Grilling begins to mix with football. Air conditioning merges with campfires and soon to be fireplaces. Steaming hot days slowly turn into nights that are tolerable. August stands alone in many ways but it does have ideas, options, and items to stock up on before it guides us into another beautiful season. Here are some of our favorites:
Although you can find most produce all year, getting it at its peak will provide cheaper prices with far better flavor. Eating produce in its natural season will also give you a variety of flavors and nutrition all your round. Produce that grows up in the arms of August are few but oh so special! Usually the hottest month of all, it still produces specialties of its own. Let’s break it down and give each the glory it deserves:
Blackberries: Hitting their peak in June through August, blackberries have the highest antioxidants of any food! Delicious in summer cobblers or for canning to use in the winter months. They make incredible jams and preserves to serve inside a warm, buttered biscuit on a cold morning
Figs: Natures dessert straight from the tree! Keep a bowl full washed and cold in the refrigerator for quick, healthy treat that’s better than any man-made candy! Wonderful paired with cheeses for a fancy appetizer!
Raspberries: These red jewels often appear in early summer…but the secret is, if they are picked too soon, they never fully ripen. Wait until August to enjoy them at their full flavor!
Peaches: End of summer peaches are little taste of heaven! Ripe, juicy, and delicious! On the healthy side, they are low calorie and full of vitamin C and fiber! Toss them into your summer salad for a burst of sweetness and tanginess.
Produce for Grilling
Cabbage: Great for the coals! Grill it alone or grate it into a side of slaw to go with your barbecue. Or go low carb and replace your buns with crisp cabbage leaves.
Beets and Eggplants: Try them roasted or grilled! The simplest way to grill them is to drizzle some olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper, and a dash of your favorite spices and herbs.
Carrots: Great as a snack but grilling them is way better! Drizzle a bit of olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt and add a dash of your favorite spices. You can't go wrong!
Broccoli: A grilled pizza topper, summer salad staple, or freeze for holiday casseroles. Roast them to make low carb and crunchy broccoli chips! Top with parmesan cheese to make the perfect snack.
Cauliflower: Another grill friendly, healthy side…or use as a “camo veggie”, even in pizza crust! Have you tried buffalo cauliflowers yet? They make a healthier alternative to buffalo chicken!
Garlic: Grill some to flavor your steaks or other meats. Roasting a clove of garlic drizzled in olive oil and balsamic vinegar makes for a perfect appetizer! It’s also fun to grow your own!
Mushrooms: Great alone, added to shish-kabobs, stuffed for party appetizers, sliced on pizza, or in salads.
Onions: Grilled or sautéed onions with mushrooms as a side are a simple but tasty and nutritious addition to just about any meal.
Green Beans: Grill them whole for a great kid-friendly, healthy finger food! Freeze them for Fall's casserole!
Faux Foliage and Flowers
Maybe summer is your season and you can’t bear to see it end. Keep it alive by stocking up on realistic plants and flowers to keep summer in your home all year long. You can pick a basketful from the safety and comfort of home through Amazon, Magnolia, and others. Be ready to catch them on sale before they’re gone!
When the power goes out from summer storms or you’re cozying up for fall, stocking up on lanterns will light your way! Have one in every room for beautiful ambiance while being prepared in case of emergencies!
Tea Lights and Candles
When you’re stocking up on lanterns don’t forget a hefty supply of tea lights, votives, and candles! You can have candles without the lantern but lanterns look lonely without their glow!
Soon the sales will begin for most any outdoor item you can think of. Lawn furniture, garden tools, lawnmowers, pools and accessories, swimsuits… and the list goes on! Keep your eyes online and open for sales at home improvement and department stores for opportunities to stock up!