Idaho’s Summer Bounty

Fresh, Tasty, and a Bargain!

This week, Eat Smart Idaho will be sharing 3 of our fave recipes for Idaho Summer produce, beets, sweet corn, and watermelon. We'll also take the guesswork out of picking a great watermelon!


How to Choose a Good Watermelon

Idaho is known for exceptionally sweet and tasty watermelons. They are available from July through early October. Find a local farm to pick your own or get a bargain at the store.

  1. Find the Field Spot– This yellow/gold spot on the bottom means the melon basked in the sun on the farm and was ripe when picked. Watermelons only ripen while on the vine. A dark, shiny green melon with no gold “field spot” may mean a melon is under-ripe.
  2. Pick Up the Melon– A ripe watermelon will feel very heavy for its size and the rind should be firm with no soft spots.
  3. Smell the Melon– A ripe watermelon will have a mild smell, even through the rind! 
  4. When in doubt, ask a professional. Talk to the local farmer or produce manager. They will be happy to help you pick a ripe watermelon.

Shelby’s Watermelon Granita (Like a Slushy)

Ingredients

  • 5 cups watermelon cut into chunks, seeds removed (about half of a small watermelon)

Directions

  1. Put watermelon in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Strain into an 8″x 8″ glass baking dish and place in freezer. (Don’t use a nonstick dish as you may ruin the non-stick finish when you scrape the granita.)
  3. Every 30 minutes or so for about 3 to 4 hours, scrape the mixture with a fork, making sure to get the solid bits around the edges.
  4. The granita is ready when it is frozen, but still grainy.

*Recipe and photo used by permission of the author and photographer, Shelby Kinnaird (The Diabetic Foodie). Visit her website at http://www.diabeticfoodie.com


Idaho Beets- Delicious and a Bargain in Summer!

Carrot and Beet Salad

Ingredients Serves: 8 servings

  • 1/4 cup onion, minced (1/2 small onion or 1 tablespoon onion powder)
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (or 2 teaspoons dried, ground, ginger)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 lime, zest and juice (You can also use other citrus like orange or lemon)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 4 cups finely shredded carrots
  • 4 cups finely shredded peeled raw beets (about ¾ pound)
  • Optional: 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or other nut (Nuts are especially tasty if toasted in the oven.)

Directions

  1. Grate the beets into a large bowl. (Beets can get messy so, grate them near a sink.
  2. Grate the carrots and add to the beets.
  3. In a small bowl, combine onion, ginger, garlic powder, and lime juice and oil. Whisk and add to grated beets and carrots.

Grilled Sweet Corn

You know it’s Summer- Fresh & Fire-Grilled Sweet Corn

Ingredients

  • 6 Ears Fresh Idaho Sweet Corn
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter, melted
  • Black Pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat grill until coals are glowing, or 350-400°F on a gas grill).
  2. Peel back corn husks (but do not remove).
  3. Remove silk from each ear (leave the husk intact).
  4. Brush each ear of corn with butter. If you don’t have a kitchen brush, use a paper towel or clean hands.
  5. Sprinkle each ear with black pepper.
  6. Keeping the husks peeled back, place each ear of corn directly on the grill.
  7. Cook for 10-12 minutes, rotating until each ear of corn is evenly cooked. (When grill marks begin to appear, and kernels darken in color rotate the corn (about every 2-3 minutes).
  8. Remove from heat and serve.
  9. *Tip: Fresh corn husks are a little moist and do not need soaking. However, if your corn husks are dry, soak the corn for 15 minutes before beginning this recipe.

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