Eat healthy and fresh with these in-season summer foods
There’s more to summer than ice cream and lemonade — even though these treats are tasty. Summertime means a whole lot of fresh, juicy and delicious seasonal foods. Pick up some of the best summer foods at your local farmer’s market. Or, whip up some from ingredients you buy at the grocery store. If you’d like to introduce healthier, more flavorful, in-season summer foods into your warm-weather meals, try some of these quick and easy ideas to cool down and keep yourself hydrated.
Homemade ice pops
Pick a variety of sweet summer fruits in season now to create homemade ice pops. The best fruits for frozen pops are strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, grapes, nectarines, peaches and cherries. Buy ice pop molds or use small five-ounce paper cups to make the pops
Take the seeds and pits out of the fruit you choose. Cut them up and put them in a blender with a few big spoonfuls of any type of low-fat vanilla yogurt. Add a small spoonful of honey or vanilla extract for some extra sweetness. Blend the mixture until it’s smooth. Then, fill paper cups almost to the top with the fruit-and-yogurt mix. Cover each cup tightly with a square of foil. Insert a craft stick in the middle of the foil. Place the cups in the freezer until they’re frozen. Remove the pops from the cups and enjoy.
Get more fiber into your diet with a fruity twist on green salad. You’ll need juicy strawberries and fresh arugula as the main ingredients for this recipe. If you can, have some fun picking fresh strawberries at a local farm. To make this easy salad, hull and slice a few strawberries. Rinse and dry the arugula and tear the leaves into bite-size pieces. You can also use fresh spinach instead of arugula. Put the strawberries on the arugula. Crumble feta cheese on top, and drizzle with poppy seed dressing.
Cucumbers are at their crispy best in the summer. This creamy cucumber salad recipe is right at home next to other summertime side dishes. Peel the skin from two large cucumbers and slice them thinly. Mix together the cucumbers and two cups of sour cream. Add in a quarter-cup of fresh lemon juice. Sprinkle on salt and pepper for taste. Chill overnight before digging in.
Grilled vegetable kabobs
Put some vegetable kabobs on the grill next to your fresh ears of corn. Take zucchini, squash, bell peppers, red or yellow onions and cherry tomatoes and slice them up into bite-sized pieces. Put them on a bamboo or metal skewer, stacking one piece on top of another. Brush the vegetables with prepared Italian dressing or balsamic marinade and pop them on a hot grill. Keep turning the skewers until the vegetables char to your liking.
Take advantage of summer’s bounty of beautiful red cherry and whole tomatoes by making a batch of homemade salsa. Chop up and mix together a pound of tomatoes, a quarter-cup white onion, a clove of garlic and a handful of fresh cilantro. Add a teaspoon of fresh lime juice and kosher salt to taste. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl for chunky salsa. Or, use a food processor for smoother salsa.
Enjoying summer fruits and vegetables packed with filling fiber and important nutrients can keep you healthy. Visit mercy.com to make an appointment with a primary care physician or specialist today. Team up with your doctor to learn more about eating healthy, in-season foods all year.
Interested in more stories like this? Our Summer Survival Guide is full of healthy living tips to start your summer right. Learn more here.