millions of peachesIt’s not a plant-based diet if it doesn’t include at least some vegetables and fruits. Summer is a great time for produce of all sorts. While the exact growing season will vary according to climate, there are fruits and vegetables available at farmers markets, grocers, and possibly in your own backyard throughout the season.  Chef Johnna has looked into the history of a variety of produce, showing you where each plant originated and how it was used over the centuries. Take a look back at some of the summer foods we’ve highlighted on the site.

If you know Chef Johnna, you know they absolutely adore peaches. That made delving into the history and uses of peaches a no-brainer. If you love them, you’ll want to read Sweet, Sweet Peaches.

For North Americans, summer wouldn’t be summer without watermelon — in fact, August is National Watermelon Month in the US.  Whether you eat just at picnics and 4th of July celebrations or enjoy it at home, you’ll want to know more about this ubiquitous melon.

Like things spicy? You are probably familiar with chilies. If you live in New Mexico, late summer is when the chili roasters seem to be on every corner. There’s a lot to learn about the amazing chili pepper.

Ask most people where the humble potato originated and they’ll likely give you one of two responses: Idaho or Ireland (a few may say Russia). Chef Johnna loves to ask this question of people, to gauge how much food history they actually know.  Check out The Great Traveling Potato for the answer — and lots more you always wanted to know about the potato.

chopped mushroomAs the season progresses, we get those foods that bridge summer and autumn. Mushrooms are one such food. In some parts of the country you can literally find mushrooms in your backyard, in others you only have to go to a farmer’s market to see all the local varieties. If your vegan diet doesn’t include these flavorful, nutrient-rich fungi, maybe you should reconsider.

Apples are such a staple of the American diet that we’ve created folk proverbs and idioms incorporating this fruit. An Apple a Day looks at the history and lore of apples as well as the health benefits of eating apples, if not every day, then at least when they are in season.

Do you have a favorite summer produce? Do you eat it raw or have a favorite dish? Let us know in the comments or share with us on social media.