Warm weather meals generally call for different recipes than cold weather. Who wants soup when it’s 100 degrees outside?! So, we’ve Googled, read, and pulled out all the cookbooks in order to find some healthy and refreshing summer foods to enjoy.
First, let’s explore some delicious in-season foods. If you’ve ever started your own back yard garden, or perhaps lived on a working homestead, you’ve likely discovered that there are many fruits and veggies to choose from during the hotter months. Harvest time can vary from state to state depending on the regional climate. For example, when tomato season is ending in Florida, it's just beginning in Tennessee!
If you don’t have a green thumb, or lack the space or time to incorporate growing food into your daily routine, seek out local farmers markets to help you with fresh produce and herbs.
Moving on to the food you can buy locally …
Zucchini and squash are fantastic foods to enjoy during summer months. They are watery, so they help with hydration, and they cook well on the grill, in the oven and even raw with a dip!
Arugula grows very well in the summer and is an amazing leafy green to keep in your fridge. We’ve even found it to stay fresh a bit longer than spring mix!
Cucumbers are deliciously crisp and refreshing … great for flavoring your water or incorporating in a colorful veggie tray.
Something to throw on the grill, eggplant! Eggplants are revered for their excellent fiber content, as well as several phytonutrients that play an important role in antioxidant activity.
There are a plethora of fruits to choose from, including many berries. If you’re lucky enough to live in warmer climates, tropical fruit may be easy to access, as well.
Blueberries are relatively low in calories and carbohydrates, and boast a high level of antioxidants. Toss them in a bowl of Greek yogurt for an easy breakfast.
Peaches are quite easy to come by this time of year and they are such a treat. There are several recipes for grilling this juicy fruit, too!
Then there’s THE fruit of summer … WATERMELON! Not only does this quench your thirst after a workout, it’s delicious to include in popsicles and fresh punches all summer long! We also offer a product that contains watermelon seed! Our Water Balance Factors™ supports the body in maintaining fluid balance and is also great for weight management.
We can’t leave out the herbs that bring a recipe to life!
Basil has become a summertime staple. Toss in with a simple and refreshing Caprese salad.
Mint is definitely an herb not to pass up! Add it to a smoothie, or mix in with a berry salad and you have a whole new dish. Also, if you’re looking to start slow in growing your own herb garden, start with mint. It loves water, sun, and is truly hardy, so it’s a good beginner’s herb to plant.
Rosemary. This herb can go on almost anything! Sprinkle on some eggs, or on grilled or baked chicken.
How can you incorporate these foods in your daily routine? Let’s explore some recipes.
Berry salad is a colorful idea. Include some of your favorites, like blueberries, strawberries and blackberries. Take care of that sweet tooth all while getting antioxidants, vitamin C and many other nutrients. We found a great recipe that is sure to disappear quickly from the table.
Let’s enjoy both a veggie and fruit with this next recipe. Arugula Salad with Honey-Drizzled Peaches. This salad is fresh and light, perfect for a hot day.
A tasty drink to go along with your meal is Watermelon Punch Bowl. You can even use the leftover rind as the punch bowl! Waste not, want not.
This simple yet flavor-packed Grilled Lemon Rosemary Chicken will have you asking for more. Lemon juice really brings out the chicken flavor while helping to keep it moist as it cooks. Add the rosemary and enjoy!
Some of these in-season goodies are also featured in an article we posted about foods that can help detox your body, perhaps after a vacation.
We would be remiss not to mention a very popular food this year…BEETS! Beets are making their way to the front of the line with all the nutrients they pack. Research suggests that nitrates boost endurance performance in your workout. In one study, cyclists who drank beet juice could pedal hard 15% longer in a time trial to exhaustion.
If you can’t find a recipe you like that contains beets, our Arginine Citrulline with Organic Beet formula supports building new bone and tendon cells.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Now you have some bright summer choices to prep and serve. Enjoy these fresh fruits and veggies, and let us know what other recipes you’ve discovered.