How to Enjoy Long Island’s Fresh Summer Produce

summerproduceFrom peaches and berries, to sugar snap peas and tomatoes,  Long Islanders are lucky to have access to all sorts of fresh summer produce.  Grown right here at home in our backyard, there’s no better time then the summer months to go out and pick your favorites or try out some new summer recipes with the fresh crops grown from local farmers.

FieldGetting Fresh Produce     If you want to take the family to go pick some fresh crops, there are multiple locations to choose from. Lewin Farms has peaches, a variety of berries, and even some fresh veggies to pick. Seven Ponds Orchards offers families to pick veggies like sugar snap peas and tomatoes, along with raspberries and blackberries. Head on over to Patty’s Berries & Bunches to pick from a wide range of berries including blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. All of the locations ask that you call before you head out to check availability and to find out what day the fields are open. Some locations only accept cash at their pick your own locations, so make sure you are prepared.

Don’t have time to go pick your own? No problem! There are also multiple farmstands and farmers markets located throughout Long Island where you can get locally grown fresh produce. Check out Find a Farmstand or Find a Farmers Market to find one near you!

Fresh Recipes  Now that you have all these goodies, what do you do with them? Check out some of these great fresh recipes to make with, or for, the family.


Easy Berry Parfait  (Recipe from All Recipes)

Ingredients:   1/3 cup blueberries,  1/3 cup strawberries, ½ cup raspberries, ½ cup blackberries, 1 (8 oz.) container frozen whipped topping (thawed), & 1 pint vanilla frozen yogurt

Directions:  In a blender, combine blueberries, strawberries and whipped topping. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl and fold in raspberries and blackberries. Layer the berry mixture with the frozen yogurt in 6 dessert glasses, finishing with a berry layer. Serve at once


Crumble Blueberry Peach Crumble  (Recipe from two peas & their pod)

Ingredients:  For the filling: 2 cups blueberries, 2 ½ cups peeled and sliced peaches (about 5-6 peaches), One tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup all-purpose flour

For the crumble topping:  ½ cup all-purpose flour,  ½ cup old-fashioned oats, 1/3 cup brown sugar, ¼ cup granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 6 tablespoons cold butter, diced

Directions:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the filling and gently toss until the fruit is well coated. For the crumble topping, mix together all the topping ingredients until you have big crumbles. Place the fruit mixture in a 2 quart ceramic or glass baking dish. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the fruit. Place the pan on a baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the tops are browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Mr. Tomato Head (from Parents)

Directions:  Hollow out a tomato, saving the top slice. Fill with cooked couscous mix, top with shredded basil, and cover partially with reserved tomato top, as shown. Rest black-olive slices on tomato ledge for eyes. Cut a piece of provolone cheese in the shape of a mouth and place it right on the tomato – it’ll stick.


By: Janet Brandsema

Photo credit: Flickr, Two Peas & Their Pod, All Recipes, Parents, & 

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