Fun Seasonal Summer Eating

seasonal summer foods, eat with the season, summer seasonal food for natural health, colorado natural medicine and acupuncture

It’s summer time and even though your plans may look a little different this year, you can still enjoy and reap the benefits of this amazing season when it comes to your diet!

Staying at home more this year gives us time, energy, and space in our lives to think about our diets more and cook delicious meals.

And summer is a perfect time to connect with our food.  The closer we eat as though we were living in nature, the healthier we can be.

Summer eating is about: 

            – eating lighter 

            – getting in as many fresh fruits and vegetables as you can 

            – eating cooling foods 

            – nourishing our bodies with plenty of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals

Use this extra time in your life to expand your palette, get your kids involved in cooking, and really appreciate and taste what you are nourishing your body with.

Ready to get started?

Following are some of our team’s favorites when it comes to eating seasonally in summer! 

Berries

Berries are in abundance right now and the possibilities when using them are endless!

Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and cherries can be found in many grocers and farmer’s markets, so wash up and start eating.

To experiment a bit with berries, try:

– blending a cup of berries with 2 cups of your favorite milk and 1-2 teaspoons of sugar for a fun morning drink (breakfast ice cream shake, kids?)

– freezing fresh berries mixed with plain yogurt and a dash of honey or maple syrup in popsicle containers for a cooling afternoon snack

– lunching on a colorful selection of berries with cheese, nuts, and seeds

Greens

Kale, lettuce, and spinach galore!

You can’t get much better when it comes to fresh nutrients from a summer plant, so take in your greens daily.

We love:

– sautéing kale and spinach in olive oil with fresh garlic (or green garlic if you can find it!) with a dash of chili flakes and sea salt

– making kale chips by mixing kale pieces with olive oil and salt, and baking at 350 degrees for 10 minutes and then increasing the oven to 425 degrees until they are crisp

– having a large box of fresh and pre-cleaned spring lettuce mix on hand to make easy salads for lunch each day. By putting out diced vegetables, fruits, beans, hard boiled egg, avocado, cheeses, shredded rotisserie chicken, and different dressings, it’s like having our own salad buffet each day!

Tomatoes

Oooo – one of our favorites!

Plain and simple: make this the year you make your own homemade tomato sauce.

Roast and peel your tomatoes, then blend them with fresh basil, garlic, oregano, olive oil, and salt for a simple sauce.

Peppers

Go for vitamins with fresh peppers this summer.  One of our favorites is to grill peppers until they blister (about 15-20 minutes on medium heat), peel them and add them to…well, just about everything!

Use them to top a grilled steak, baked chicken or fish, or even mixed in with your homemade tomato sauce for an earthy addition to pasta.

Herbs

This is where cooking and eating really gets fun.  Using different herbs to spice up typical dishes is where it’s at!

Try using herbs by:

– adding them to water or iced tea with lemon or berries

– use them while grilling a whole fish – it’s not as intimidating as you may think!  Ask your fishmonger (we usually get help at Whole Foods) to prepare a whole fish for the grill.  They will typically clean and gut it.  To prep, make a few slices across the top and place herbs, lemon, and garlic inside with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Grill until cooked!

– adding a unique touch to desserts (such as lavender in homemade whipping cream or basil with strawberries and balsamic vinegar)

Additional crops to look for right now are:

– corn

– radish

– broccoli

– garlic

– beets

– melons

– squash

– green beans

– zucchini

– cucumbers

When in doubt of what’s for dinner, opt for a lean protein dabbed with salt and herbs to grill with a fresh vegetable as a side dish (maybe grilled tomatoes, peppers, and/or zucchini?).

Serve with a fresh green salad, rustic bread and good olive oil, couscous, or rice.

Make a quick pot of peppermint tea and serve over ice with mint leaves for a refreshing drink.

Oh…and dessert?  How about those fresh berries with lavender whipped cream?!

Now, who’s hungry?

If diet is something in your life that you struggle with, our naturopathic office may be able to help you get on track.  If you live in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Centennial, Parker, Larkspur, Monument, Colorado Springs, or the greater Denver metro area and would like support for your health, please call us at (303) 688-6698 or click here to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation with Dr. Graves to talk about your goals.

So go on now…eat up!

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