Tips for seasonal cooking for July including lists of in-season produce, any preserves to use up, and favorite recipes for easy meal planning.
Plus grab your free printable seasonal menu planning page to help you focus on cooking through the seasons - and build up your own custom seasonal eating plan!
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.
Welcome to the July installment of our monthly series that aims to help you cook more seasonally (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 July 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.
With so much produce available for most of the year, it’s easy to lose track of its seasonality, 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!
Seasonal Eating for July
July is a month in the Northern Hemisphere where seasonal foods really come into their own. It's an abundance that keeps giving all the way through September.
Some things, like nectarines and apricots, are only in season for a couple of months, so if you want them during the rest of the year you'll need to freeze, can, or dry them now while they are at their lowest price and peak flavor.
Which in fact is what I like to do with most of the delicious fruits and veggies that are producing this month to have that flavor at the best price.
Seasonal Produce for July
Fruits that are in season:
- Cherries (only for a few more weeks)
- Strawberries (on their way out...)
Vegetables that are in season:
- Beets (Don't think you like beets? Try them this way and you might change your mind!)
- Garlic (Early to mid-month here is when the tops turn brown and we can harvest.)
- Green beans
- Lettuce (Lots of it, if you garden!)
- Zucchini and other summer squash
- Tomatoes (Towards the end of the month here, if we're lucky!)
Preserved seasonal food you may have to use up:
Pro Tip: Use the planning page to record how many of these you have left and use them up asap to make room for the new season's produce.
It's time to use up the (hopefully) few random vegetables and sauces to make room for this year's bounty.
Plus, from now until October, it's all about eating the fresh vegetables and fruits that we grow or can buy locally!
Tomato products are the biggest since tomatoes aren't really ripe around here until August, so July is a time to use up last year's tomatoes.
Seasonal Eating Recipes for July
This is probably the recipe that made my kids finally try - and like - coleslaw. Using a caesar dressing on cabbage, carrots, and onions is amazing and should be on everyone's menu (um, do you think this is a favorite recipe?).
Use up some of that garden lettuce with quick and easy lettuce wraps! They are such a fun dinner option, and the bonus with this recipe is NO cooking, making it great for those hot July days.
I love to make this stuffed zucchini recipe with the first of July's zucchini - it's so tender and fresh. The sausage-corn combo is SO good, even my kids ate this!
Oh, and while corn may not be in season yet, it's easy to make this with frozen corn - maybe to help use up some in the freezer from last year?
I love slaws in the summer - I can make them early in the day and they will be perfect at dinnertime. Serve this with grilled Chipotle Rubbed Chicken Thighs and some tortillas for a quick Mexican themed meal.
Highlight the last of the season's peas with this simple and oh, so, flavorful salad tossed with a quick vinaigrette. The English peas can be frozen and if you only have one other type of pea, that's fine!
Easy Grilled Potato "Planks" (No Pre-Boiling Needed)
For the evenings when you'd like to throw a couple burgers or sausages on the grill, slice a few potatoes to make grilled potato planks at the same time. Quick to make and cook, they're like an easy-to-grill french fry - we eat them with our fingers most of the time. (Idea - serve Caesar Slaw as a salad with this - yum.)
This dessert not only showcases the month's delicious berries, it also shows that you don't need a fancy dessert to wow people - I can't believe how easy, delicious, or how fabulous this looks!
And just three ingredients - berries, whipping cream, and honey. Real food tastes SO good.
Just what the hot July days ordered - a no bake pie full of the season's blueberries, but NOT full of sugar. Love.
What are some of your favorite dishes to make this month using what's in season around your house? Share in the comments below!
Don't forget to download and print out your free seasonal meal planning page:
Originally published in July of 2011, this article has been completely updated to be more relevant and useful - enjoy!