Eat healthy and enjoy summer
It’s another hot summer and with all the beautiful weather, there is nothing better than to be outside enjoying it. So pack up some yummy treats and go have an outdoor adventure. Eating the right fruits during the summertime can make all the difference on your body – especially when summer takes its toll.
Fresh fruits have all the natural sugars, low fat content and nourishment you need for quick and refreshing energy boosts. They also offer a variety of nutrients, including potassium, calcium, carotene, vitamin A and vitamin C. Typically, fruit is lower in calories than packaged snack foods, allowing you to maintain a nutritious diet from the start of summer to the end.
Five "summertime" fruits that are delicious and easy to get your hands on are figs, lychee, nectarines, peaches and watermelon. Although many of these are available year-round due to imports, their peak season is usually within the months of June through August. They are less expensive and more readily available during this time. These fruits have a very sweet and subtle taste, making them perfect for salads, entrees, pastries or smoothies – of course they can also be eaten alone.
Figs are a tiny and delicate low calorie fruit containing about 80 calories per half a cup. They are best paired with an assortment of blue cheeses, duck, chicken, pork, lamb and cured meats, as well.
The lychee (also low calorie) is a small jelly-like fruit that is only edible on the inside. This succulent fruit can be eaten with coconut, lime, crab, duck, pork, ginger and cashews.
Nectarines are colorful fruits providing a delectable inside with only about 50 calories per half a cup. They are best paired with ginger, honey, plums, pork, chicken, almonds and creams.
Peaches are similar to nectarines, but offer a different flavor and texture, while only having about 40 calories per half cup. These are best paired with: pork, poultry, creams, walnuts, vanilla, pistachios and ginger.
Watermelon is probably the most common summertime fruit. With its sweet and juicy center, this melon has to be the most refreshing fruit. These melons only have about 30 calories per half a cup and can be combined with mint, orange, lemon, red onion, watercress, smoked meats and balsamic vinegars.
So with all these fresh summertime fruits available, the possibility of great food is endless! Try a watercress salad with fresh diced watermelon, sliced red onion, cumin and fresh orange segments, mint with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette topped with goat cheese and walnuts for a delicious meal.
Simply toss prepackaged salad greens (if kitchen space is limited) with other ingredients, remembering to go light on the cumin as it is a strong spice, with a small amount of the vinaigrette. Sprinkle a few chopped walnuts and goat cheese before serving for a light and nutritious snack or lunch, and enjoy.