For health enthusiasts everywhere, summer means the season of highly nutritious fruits and vegetables. There’s a flourishing amount of them too, allowing you to have a variety of healthy meals during the summer months. It’s time to put away the meat and potatoes from winter, and grab a plate and grill to dig into some of summer’s healthiest meals.
Roasted Summer Vegetable Pasta
Pasta gets a bad rap for being unhealthy, but your pasta doesn’t have to be. Simply replace the extraneous fat with a small, healthy amount of good oil like olive or grape-seed oil, and add vegetables liberally. Try a roasted summer vegetable pasta. Pull out the grill to cook your meat and vegetables. Toss your pasta with a vinaigrette, and you have the perfect meal for lunch or dinner.
The health benefits from fish are striking. One of the most important benefits of eating fish is its abundance of Omega 3’s. A green leafy salad with a light oil based dressing or vinaigrette would make an excellent choice with grilled salmon.
Lemon Shrimp Couscous Salad
Sometimes what one needs is a healthy meal that won’t take long to cook. A summer couscous salad with vegetables would be a good choice. Combine cherry tomatoes and peas with pre-cooked chicken breast in a bowl with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Put the mixture on top of a cup of couscous, and you have a healthy nutritious meal done in 10 minutes.
Blueberries & Cottage Cheese
Pour a cup of blueberries into a bowl with 1/4 cup cottage cheese. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle liberally with unsweetened coconut flakes. If you’re looking for something more simplistic, simply cut your favorite fruit into easily edible pieces, and combine it with a dollop of cream.
Green Fruit Smoothie
No list is complete without at least one smoothie. If properly prepared, a smoothie can not only be healthy, but replace a full meal—just add in some filling calories in the form of healthy fats and proteins. Combine leafy greens like kale and spinach with a large handful of peeled. tart fruits. The sweet and tart flavor of fruits like clementines, oranges and especially grapefruit mask the flavor of the leafy greens. And the citric acid (an antioxidant) in these fruits comes with its own benefits; some basics about citric acid are that it can improve mineral absorption found in food or supplements like iron, to helping fight free radicals. Finally add a 1/4 cup of nuts such as almonds or macadamias, or add a serving of powdered protein and blend til smooth.
Zucchini Noodle Dinner
If you’re looking to cut out the carbs and need a replacement, zucchini makes an excellent choice. Zucchini noodles are easy to make. Grab a spiralizer or a julienne peeler, and strip each zucchini until it resembles noodles. Lightly toss them in a pan with olive oil and lemon juice, or eat them unheated with a flavorful dressing of your choice. Add in more vegetables and meat, and try some grated parmesan.
Summer has the lowest costs of fruit and vegetables because they’re in season, so take advantage of the low cost. Don’t skimp on your frozen vegetables. In most cases they will retain more of their nutrients than those found in the produce section and are sometimes cheaper too. When picking your fruits this summer, check for ripeness. The riper the better. Riper fruit has more nutrients and antioxidants.