Celebrating, Fresh Summer Produce
Katelyn Sander

Celebrating, Fresh Summer Produce

Spice of Life

Can we all agree that July is the best month of the summer? The weather’s warm, there’s still plenty of summer left, and the fresh produce available to us is beyond amazing! During hot summer days, we crave all things fresh, flavourful, and colourful. Some of our favourite fruits & veggies that are in season during July include: bell peppers, jalapeños, corn, tomatoes, berries, watermelon, fresh herbs, and, of course, zucchini.

Try these recipes below (and all of those we’ve collected over the last year in our Spice of Life Recipe Book) and email us your favourite photos. Success stories, epic fails, and everything in between are welcome!

Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats

This easy peanut butter banana overnight oats recipe seriously tastes like a slice of banana bread or banana cream pie and is packed with protein! It’s the perfect breakfast for busy mornings. Recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.

Click here to download the recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 1/4 cups almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 (5 oz) cup vanilla yogurt (or sub plain)
  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter, plus more if you want layers
  • To make it pretty/for garnish: banana slices
Instructions:
  • Add mashed banana, almond milk, and yogurt to a large bowl and stir together until well combined and creamy. Stir in oats, cinnamon, and chia seeds. Then cover and place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
  • Once ready to serve, divide between two 12 oz mason jars, layering peanut butter and extra banana slices in the middle, if you’d like.
  • Top each overnight oat, serving with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and a few extra banana slices, if desired. If you like crunch, add extra chia seeds and/or chopped peanuts on top.

Panzanella

Panzanella! A fun name for a bold summertime salad. Panzanella is Italy’s delicious solution for extra tomatoes and stale bread. This recipe is a take on the classic, featuring ripe tomatoes, crisp homemade croutons, and basil under a simple, zippy vinaigrette. Recipe from Serious Eats.

Click here to download the recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 lbs mixed ripe tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt, plus more for seasoning (use half as much if using table salt)
  • 3/4 lb ciabatta or rustic sourdough bread, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes (about 6 cups bread cubes)
  • 10 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tbsp)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (1/2 oz) packed basil leaves, roughly chopped
Instructions:
  • Place chopped tomatoes in a colander set over a bowl and season with 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Toss to coat. Set aside at room temperature to drain, tossing occasionally, while you toast the bread. Drain for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F and adjust rack to centre position. In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake about 15 minutes, until crisp and firm but not browned. Remove from oven and let cool.
  • Remove colander with tomatoes from bowl with tomato juice. Place colander with tomatoes in sink. Add shallot, garlic, mustard, and vinegar to bowl with tomato juice. Whisking constantly, drizzle in remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Combine toasted bread, tomatoes, and dressing in a large bowl. Add basil leaves. Toss everything to coat and season with salt and pepper. Let rest 30 minutes before serving, tossing occasionally until the dressing is absorbed by the bread.

Smoky Grilled Dry-Rub Pork Chops

These spicy-sweet chops get lots of flavour from being grilled and pair perfectly with a fresh summer peach relish. It’s an absolute stunner and perfect for parents and kids alike! And our favourite part? The homemade rub comes together quickly with ingredients you’ve likely already got in your spice rack. Get ready to enjoy your new favourite grilled pork chops! Recipes from Country Living for the pork chops & the peach relish.

Click here to download the recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 6 (6 oz) bone-in pork chops
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Canola oil, for grill grates
  • 2 cups peach relish

For the Peach Relish

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp pure honey
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 ripe peaches, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
Instructions:

For the Peach Relish

  • Whisk together lime juice and honey in a bowl. Add onion and season with salt. Let stand 5 minutes. Add peaches and basil and stir to combine.

For the Pork Chops

  • Pat pork chops dry with paper towels. Season with salt and black pepper. Combine brown sugar, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Coat chops evenly on all sides with spice mixture. Cover and chill 3 hours. 
  • Set up grill for direct cooking and heat to medium-high. Once hot, clean and lightly oil grates. 
  • Grill pork, turning occasionally, until charred and internal temperature registers 145F on an instant read thermometer, 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving with Peach Relish.

Fried Quick Pickles with Buttermilk Ranch Dippin’ Sauce

Have you ever tried fried pickles? We commonly refer to these as carnival or fair foods, and since most of our favourite local fairs aren’t happening this year, we’re bringing these home. This recipe is fairly easy, with the cornmeal panko herb crusted pickles baked in the oven until golden and crisp. Our favourite part might just be the light buttermilk ranch dip. Recipe from Skinny Taste.

Click here to download the recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 2 16 oz jars, 48 slices sliced oval dill hamburger pickles
  • 1/2 cup Panko crumbs
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/4 cup dried parsley
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • Olive oil spray, about 1 tsp

For the Ranch Dip

  • 1/4 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp light mayo
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup 1% low fat buttermilk
Instructions:
  • Make ranch dip by combining all the dip ingredients and refrigerate until pickles are done.
  • Place pickles to drain on paper towels.
  • Mix crumbs and flour together along with paprika, parsley, and half the chipotle powder and salt.
  • Whisk eggs and egg whites in a bowl and season with remaining chipotle powder.
  • Dip pickles in egg mixture and then into the crumb mix, pressing down on the crumbs.
  • Heat oven to 450F along with 2 baking sheets.
  • When the oven reaches 450F, remove baking sheets and spray with olive oil spray; place pickles on the baking sheets and spray the tops of the pickles with more oil.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes, turn and spray if needed and cook an additional five minutes.
  • Remove pickles from cooking sheet and serve hot with dip.

Watermelon Spritzer

It can’t get much easier than this bright spritzer! This watermelon blended with limeade is cool and refreshing. It’s a wonderful thirst-quencher on a hot summer day. If you’d like to make this recipe alcoholic, add your favourite spirit and enjoy! Recipe from Food Network.

Click here to download the recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • 2 cups lemon-lime flavoured soda, divided
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
Instructions:
  • Place the watermelon and ice cubes in a blender and blend until liquefied. (Once you add the lemon-lime soda, it will thin out even more, add more ice cubes if you want it slushier.)
  • Slowly add 1/2 of the lemon-lime soda and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses, garnish with limes, and serve

Cherry Clafoutis

A classic French treat, this cherry clafoutis is a custard of sorts, with enough structure to support a lot of fruit. It’s the perfect way to highlight fruits at the height of their seasons. You can make the recipe with sweet or tart cherries, or really any summer fruit that you like (including: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, plums…you get the idea)! Recipe from Love and Lemons.

Click here to download the recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup pitted sweet cherries or tart cherries
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  • Toasted sliced raw almonds, for serving
Instructions:
  • In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, yogurt, granulated sugar, flour, salt, vanilla, and almond extract. Whisk until just mixed. Add the melted butter and lemon zest and stir until thoroughly combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F and grease eight 6 oz ramekins.
  • Divide the batter among the ramekins. Spread a layer of cherries on top of the batter.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until lightly golden brown and barely set in the middle. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
  • To serve, dust with powdered sugar and sprinkle with almonds.

Here are 25 Toronto SummerAdventures for you!

With more restrictions lifting further this Friday, and Ontario entering stage 3 of the reopening plan, we have all been sitting restless long enough! The balmy temperatures and sunshine provide the perfect opportunity for exciting, outdoor excursions. Take advantage of the season by embarking on an expedition with these 25-day trip adventures around Toronto.

Click here to see the adventures you can enjoy this summer.

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