HUNT VALLEY, Md., July 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Want to know the secret to making the most of summer's fresh fruits and vegetables? Look to your blender and spice rack to create refreshing sips, chilled soups and savory sauces using fresh, seasonal produce.
"We're in peak farmers market season with an abundance of juicy red tomatoes, cool cucumbers, sweet corn and leafy greens at our fingertips," says Chef Kevan Vetter of the McCormick Kitchens. "The same old veggie sides and salads can get boring as the summer rolls on, and blending allows you to enjoy produce in tasty new ways. Toss fresh cucumbers, Greek yogurt, dill, oregano and garlic in a blender to whiz up a creamy dressing for pasta salad."
Finding ways to deliciously add more produce to diets is important for Americans today – with only one in 10 of us eating enough fruits and vegetables, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, recent research shows that flavor from herbs and spices may help us eat more vegetables., 
Don't forget, just like fresh produce, spices and herbs need to be at peak flavor to make recipes taste their best. Use McCormick's Age of Spices guide to determine if your seasonings are still full of flavor. If past their prime, replace them with McCormick Gourmet's line of spices and herbs that are sealed using new FlavorSealed technology to lock in fresh flavor, color and aroma.
Get blending with these fun summer recipes and ideas:
Take a Dip: Puree roasted or grilled veggies for a cool summer dip.
- Try it now: Roasted Beet and White Bean Dip, Roasted Eggplant Dip or Spanish Roasted Vegetable Dip.
- Kitchen tip: Serve dips with broccoli or sliced bell peppers to eat more vegetables.
Be Soup-er Chill: When the heat climbs, serve up a refreshing chilled soup.
- Try it now: Cucumber Herb Gazpacho with Watermelon Croutons, Chilled Papaya and Watermelon Soup with Lemon Coriander Cream or Spicy Tomato Gazpacho Soup with Avocado Puree.
- Kitchen tip: Freeze leftover soups to enjoy them later. Simply pour chilled soup into a freezer-safe container, label it and enjoy for up to one month.
Get Saucy: Top pasta, salads and more with flavorful sauces made from blended fruits and veggies.
- Try it now: Swiss Chard, Avocado and Pistachio Pasta, Roasted Corn Puree, Greek Pasta Salad with Cucumber Yogurt Dressing, Mango BBQ Sauce or Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette.
- Kitchen tip: Greens aren't just for salad. Everything from Swiss chard to kale can be blended into a savory sauce for pasta.
Drink in Summer: Tap into the craft cocktail trend by adding bold herbs and spices to pureed fruits.
- Try it now: Strawberry Ancho Frozen Beergaritas or Basil and Watermelon Slushie.
- Kitchen tip: Spice up your favorite frozen fruit drink with ancho chile pepper.
To download food photography, visit the digital press room at www.McCormick.com/Press-Room.
McCormick & Company, Incorporated is a global leader in flavor. With $4.2 billion in annual sales, the company manufactures, markets and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and other flavorful products to the entire food industry – retail outlets, food manufacturers and foodservice businesses. Every day, no matter where or what you eat, you can enjoy food flavored by McCormick. McCormick Brings Passion to Flavor™. For more information, visit www.mccormickcorporation.com.
 Moore LV, Thompson FE. Adults Meeting Fruit and Vegetable Intake Recommendations — United States, 2013. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2015; 64:709-713.
 Li Z et al. The Impact of Spices on Vegetable Consumption: A Pilot Study. Food and Nutrition Science. 2015; 6:437-444.
 Savage JS, Peterson J, Marini M, Bordi PL, Birch LL. The addition of a plain or herb-flavored reduced-fat dip is associated with improved preschoolers' intake of vegetables. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2013; 113:1090-1095.