Ideas for August seasonal cooking including lists of produce to buy, preserves to use up, and easy recipes for seasonal meal planning. PLUS a free printable seasonal menu planning page to focus on cooking through the seasons.
This article is part of a year-long series on how to cook seasonal foods for each month as a resource for meal planning, saving money, and helping the environment.
Each month of the seasonal cooking series includes:
- What's in season for that month.
- What you may have in your freezer and pantry to use up if you preserve food.
- Favorite recipes using seasonal produce from An Oregon Cottage to help you plan to eat seasonally.
- A free printable weekly menu planner for the month with areas to record what's in season for you and what you have to use up!
You can find all the months of this seasonal eating series here.
Here we are in the "dog days of summer" month in our series that helps you to cook and eat more seasonally.
You can read the first section of this month for answers to the questions, "What is seasonal cooking," "Why is easting seasonal important" - and a big caution we need to take into account for eating "seasonally."
Tips for eating seasonally and using this resource page with the printable meal planner:
- Use the lists and recipes you find here for August to make a menu according to what you are harvesting/buying.
- Harvest from your own garden or visit farmer's markets for the produce you need.
- OR use the shopping lists when super market shopping, noting the sales in the produce aisle.
- Try new things that are in season.
- Add any new recipes you like and keep them in a binder to cycle through the following season.
It’s easy to lose track of produce's seasonality since most is carried all year long in stores, which is where this page and the free printable weekly menu planning page will help:
Download the menu page, print it out, and use it to write down the seasonal foods you need to use and buy, as well as the recipes you'll make that week.
Pro Tip: Keep all of these through a year and you'll have a custom seasonal menu binder you can refer to year after year!
Note: If you're already a subscriber, you can find this in the VIP library!
August Seasonal Eating
If July saw us welcoming the abundant produce of summer, August in the Pacific Northwest is the start of the official "oh my goodness, what am I going to do with all this _ (fill in the blank: basil, beans, etc.)?"
August seasonal cooking is all about using produce at its brightest and freshest - think salads, grilled foods and fresh fruit desserts.
September typically continues this trend and whether you are growing your own produce or getting it from a CSA or farmer's market, these two months are truly a gluttony of seasonal produce.
If you want to preserve some of this bounty by canning (here's how to Boiling Water Can, if you're interested), drying, or freezing- well, game on!
Seasonal Produce for August
Fruits that are in season:
- Apples (early season apples)
- Cherries (season ending soon)
- Peaches (and nectarines)
Vegetables/Herbs that are in season:
- Green Beans
- Lettuce (if your garden isn't too hot...)
- Zucchini and Summer Squash
Preserved seasonal food you may have to use up:
Pro Tip: Use the planning page to record how many preserved foods you have left in order to use them up as soon as possible to make room for the new season's produce.
From the pantry and freezer:
August is really the time of the year to eat mostly fresh stuff, if you can.
There's usually a few random things to use up in the freezer - mainly berries (which this amazing berry crisp does well with) and a stray bag of veggies - but most of our menus are planned around what is available from the garden.
I love this time of year!
Seasonal Eating Recipes for August
Summer is the time to make lots of salads and this carrot salad is not only yummy, it holds well when made ahead of time, making it a great potluck option.
I wait impatiently for fresh corn to make this incredible baked corn recipe. I have made it with frozen corn in a pinch, but it's not the same - with fresh corn cobs, you "milk" the cobs to get all the creamy goodness.
Of course, we make this delicious pasta any time of the year with frozen pesto, but now we get it fresh! It's perfect on it's own or with any grilled meats and veggies.
I could eat heaps of these green beans grilled with any type of main dish - you won't believe how good they are!
Everyone who tries these loves them - I think they are really surprised by that, lol. The first time I took them to a potluck, I was asked for the recipe by everyone.
By mid-month, this simple, flavorful salad will be on the menu multiple times a week (sometimes with goat cheese or parmesan, too).
If you grow or can find tomatillos this month, this is a wonderful salsa verde to make to preserve them. This can also be made at the end of the tomato season with green tomatoes, which is always great to have on hand.
This is another thing I wait impatiently for - fresh Italian/European plums to dry. They are perfectly sweet-tart, are beneficial for bone health, and make a great snack all year long (if I can find that many to dry!).
While this is just as good with frozen berries, we do like to make this with fresh-picked wild blackberries in the summer - it's something of a summer tradition for us.
This is a crispy, crunchy tart-sweet dessert that showcases the season's berries to perfection. Also think about adding a scoop of ice cream, too.
What are some of your favorite dishes to make this month using what's in season?
Don't forget to download and print out your free seasonal meal planning page:
Originally published in August of 2011, this article has been completely updated to be more relevant and useful - enjoy!