This post was sponsored by Fresh From Florida as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
This time of year brings forth some of my very favorite types of produce in stores: blueberries, watermelon, sweet corn and tomatoes! Though it's pretty early to find locally grown crops here in Ohio, I'm super happy to see the gorgeous produce that's making its way north from the Sunshine State.
It only makes sense that the more temperate climate in Florida would be more conducive to an expanded growing season. In fact, most of Florida's produce is available between October and June! And I, for one, am thankful that Floridian farmers are willing to share their bounties with us Northerners that are less fortunate.
Blueberries, Watermelon, Sweet Corn & Tomatoes, Oh My!
In honor of the latest "Fresh from Florida" crops, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite recipes highlighting them, along with tips for selecting the best of the best.
How To Choose Blueberries
- Select firm, plump blueberries with an indigo blue color and a silvery white frost.
- Avoid any with berries that have a green or red tint, which indicates underripe berries.
- If packaged in a carton, check to make sure there are no juice stains at the bottom of the carton or moldy or crushed berries buried inside.
- Healthy Fruit Pizza -- this easy fruit pizza gets a little more nutritious with a multigrain waffle crust, top with a whipped cream cheese mixture, fresh fruits and berries and a drizzle of honey!
- Baked Blueberry Donuts -- these baked donuts filled with fresh blueberries are sure to become a go-to favorite for Sunday brunch!
- Blueberry-Topped No-Cook Overnight Oatmeal In A Jar -- prep this 3-ingredient overnight oatmeal recipe before you go to bed means you can just add blueberries and eat in the morning!
How To Choose Watermelon
- To start, look for a watermelon that's uniform in shape, without any weird bumps or blemishes.
- Next look for what's called the "field spot". This is the lighter colored side where the watermelon rested on the ground. Ideally you want to find a melon that has a deep yellow field spot, but a white patch is better than no spot at all.
- Finally, pick the watermelon up to check its weight. It should feel heavy for its size.
- Watermelon Salsa -- this light and fresh watermelon salsa, filled with watermelon, cucumber, yellow bell pepper, red onion, cilantro and chile pepper, is a total winner when paired with your favorite tortilla chips!
- Watermelon Sorbet -- this icy, refreshing watermelon sorbet recipe is an amazing summer treat AND a fab way to use up a not-so-sweet melon!
- Watermelon Cucumber Cooler -- this delightful watermelon cucumber cooler is a versatile party punch, serve as is or jazz it up for adults with a splash of vodka or gin!
How To Choose Sweet Corn
- Start by checking the husk. You're looking for bright green, tightly wrapped leaves, that aren't dried out.
- Next take a look at the tassels. Brown and slightly sticky to the touch means the ear of corn is relatively fresh.
- Finally, feel the kernels through the husk. If you can feel lots of plump kernels, it's a good ear. If you feel holes or the kernels feel misshaped, put it the ear back.
Sweet Corn Recipes
- Hot Cheesy Corn Dip -- this hot creamy and cheesy corn dip needs to go on your MUST TRY ASAP list right now!
- Fresh Corn Salad -- this amazing sweet corn salad gets an unexpected twist with the addition of juicy, in season blueberries!
- Horseradish Grilled Corn on the Cob -- this grilled corn on the cob features a spicy compound butter that takes it to a whole new level!
How To Choose Tomatoes
- Skip tomatoes that are bruised, blemished or have very deep cracks.
- Check the aroma. Ripe tomatoes will be very fragrant, but if there is no aroma at all, it was picked too early.
- Fully ripe tomatoes will feel heavy for their size and will yield to the touch. However, unless you are intending to use them immediately, it's best to choose a tomato that's slightly less ripe, because they can quickly progress from ripe to overripe.
- Copycat Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro Recipe -- this copycat capellini pomodoro is one of my favorite quick and easy meatless recipes, ready to serve in the time it takes to boil a pot of water and cook the pasta!
- Simple Tomato Salad with Fresh Bread Crumbs -- ripe and juicy fresh tomatoes, fresh breadcrumbs toasted with olive oil and a hint of garlic, and a sprinkling of kosher salt and pepper are all you need for this simple tomato salad recipe!
- Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad -- this delicious farfalle pesto pasta salad is filled with grape tomatoes, yellow cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella pearls!
Of course, in addition to Fresh from Florida produce, seafood and shellfish caught in Florida's waters are available year-round! Sadly, I've developed a shellfish allergy within the past couple of years, but before I did, these Jamaican Jerk Grilled Shrimp Skewers were one of my faves...