The Grocery List You Need To Keep On Hand For A Healthy Summer

Contributor, Kara Stout, shares her go-to summer grocery list filled with everything from fruits and vegetables to nuts, herbs, and liquids, and so much more. Following this list will help you eat healthier this season and ensure you have enough options to satisfy just about any craving!

Fresh summer foods are so delicious and satisfying, making it fun and easy to eat healthier this season. We instinctively crave hydrating, refreshing fruits and vegetables and also lighter seafood and meats. It’s important to eat seasonally and locally to ensure you’re obtaining the highest amount of nutrients from the foods you eat—not to mention the taste is much better when seasonal and local. Farmers’ markets are great ways to ensure sustainable eating, with all the local farms providing fresh, in-season produce. You can also check with your grocery store to see which produce is organic and from local farms.

Eating organic is definitely great when possible. However, our budgets may not always allow for this. Luckily, there is a great resource I give to all of my clients! It’s called the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, which includes the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen. The Environmental Working Group comes out with a new list each year. It shows you the 12 fruits and veggies that are highest in pesticides and then the 15 that are the lowest in pesticides (meaning you can go ahead and purchase these conventionally if you prefer). You can download the list here!

I put together a shopping list of summer staples in my kitchen that I like to rotate throughout the season. I wanted to provide you with plenty of options to choose from that you will enjoy, but the list obviously doesn’t include everything you could purchase. There are so many wonderful, healthy foods out there, but this list hopefully will help get you started and give you some great ideas! Please also know that I don’t buy everything on this list at once. I refer to this list throughout the season for ideas!

Also, my go-to places to shop the below items are farmers’ markets, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Central Market. You can also find many items at Sprouts, and I also order specialty items, like cacao powder, collagen peptides or protein powders, on Amazon.

Our Summer Grocery Shopping List

Vegetables

  • Green leafy veggies – kale, arugula, spinach, micro greens, butter lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchinis – Always keep these on hand to make zoodles!
  • Hearts of palm – Great to add to salads!
  • Garlic
  • Ginger – I love adding fresh ginger slices to my summer smoothies.
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Jicama – Love these to simply snack on for a refreshing and crunchy healthy snack (Trader Joe’s has jicama sticks, which makes enjoying these super easy). They are also great to add to summer salads.
  • Asparagus
  • Summer squash – Easy to bake or sauté.
  • Eggplant – Have you tried mini eggplant pizzas? Just slice an eggplant and use it as the “crusts,” spread a little blended up fresh tomatoes with olive oil and seasoning, top with organic cheese and bake.
  • Beets – These are great to add to homemade hummus.
  • Bell peppers
  • Cauliflower rice – Great veggie substitute for rice!
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Rainbow Of Fruits

Fresh and frozen are both good options

  • Watermelon
  • Cherries
  • Figs – A fun way to elevate your toast game is adding some sliced figs!
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Peaches
  • Key limes – One of my favorite ways to enjoy these is adding the juice to smoothies. They are also great to add to your water.
  • Limes
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Plums
  • Tomatoes
  • Lemons
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Frozen pitaya packets – Great for summer smoothie bowls and pretty popsicles—such a beautiful pink color.

Fresh Herbs

  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme

Animal Protein

  • Wild-caught shrimp
  • Wild-caught Alaskan salmon – There are additional wonderful fish options as well based on your preference. 
  • Organic, pasture-raised chicken
  • Organic, pasture-raised eggs
  • Organic, grass-fed beef

Nuts & Seeds

  • Nut butters
  • Tahini – This is made from ground sesame seeds and is a great option for those who can’t consume nuts. It can be a nice option instead of nut butter and also an ingredient to add to homemade dressing for a creamy consistency.
  • Chia seeds – Easy source of healthy fats and fiber to add to smoothies or make a chia seed pudding.
  • Hemp seeds – Great plant-based protein to easily add to your smoothies, salads and overnight oats.
  • Flax seeds – Another easy source of healthy fats and fiber to easily add to almost any meal!
  • Pine nuts – Great for making homemade pesto sauce and also just sprinkling on salads.
  • Cashews

Whole Grains

  • Quinoa – Gluten-free option to add in when stir-frying vegetables, or you can make it and let it cool, then add to salads.
  • Rolled oats – I’m all about overnight oats, especially in the summer, because you can pull them out of the fridge and they are nice and cold and ready to eat!

Dairy & Cheeses

  • Organic cheese
  • Kite Hill chive cream cheese (actually an almond milk cream cheese) – It’s so delicious to dip celery, carrots, cucumbers or crackers.  

Beans

  • Chickpeas – Nice to add to salads and also to make homemade hummus. 
  • Black beans
  • Lentils

Oils & Healthy Fats

  • Coconut oil – Great for cooking, stir-frying and baking, as it has a high smoke point. You can also add a little to your smoothies for some healthy fats.  
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Grass-fed ghee – This is clarified butter, and also has a high smoke point. It is lactose- and casein-free and a good source of healthy fats and vitamins A, D and E.
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Natural Sweeteners

These are great to have on hand, but still recommended to be consumed in moderation. Ideally, we want to enjoy sweetness from whole foods with occasional treats made with a natural sweetener. 

  • Liquid Stevia (100-percent pure without added ingredients)
  • Organic coconut sugar – A natural sweetener and a great substitute for refined white sugar.  
  • Raw, local honey
  • 100-percent pure maple syrup

Drinks & Liquids

  • Water
  • Coconut water – Great for hydration and provides electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium).
  • Teas
  • La Croix
  • Unsweetened almond milk – The brand MALK Organics is my absolute favorite! It only has three ingredients—almonds, water and Himalayan salt—that’s it!  
  • Unsweetened coconut milk
  • Apple cider vinegar – Healthy boost to add to a full glass of water in the mornings. You can add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon. It’s also great to add to your warm lemon water in the mornings or to include in salads.  

Superfoods & Smoothie Extras

  • Pomegranate powder
  • Acai powder
  • Maca powder – Great for increased energy, hormone balance and fertility. 
  • Raw cacao powder – Basically raw chocolate, need I say more? Awesome to add to your smoothies and to make baked goods. It’s high in phytochemicals, antioxidants, magnesium and fiber. 
  • Collagen peptides – I love to add these to my smoothies for a boost of protein and collagen—great for skin, hair and nails.  
  • Protein powder – Choose a high-quality brand with recognizable ingredients, low in sugar and no artificial sweeteners or flavors.
  • Coconut flakes

Whole-Grain & Grain-Free Products

  • Food for Life sprouted Ezekiel bread  
  • Siete Foods almond flour grain-free tortillas – Nice option for cheese and veggie quesadillas or Homemade Gluten-Free Mexican Pizza!  
  • Organic pizza crust
  • Simple Mills – This brand has such an awesome range of products that are gluten-free, grain-free, non-gmo and paleo-friendly. It has different almond flour baking mixes for muffins, bread, pizza dough, chocolate chip cookies and pancakes. It also makes ready-to-eat crackers and cookies!

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Author: Kara Stout