It’s officially summer! The longer summer days mean more time to get creative in the kitchen, while warmer temperatures make fruit- and veggie-focused fare the perfect complement for hot days and nights. Here are four of our favorite summer fruits and veggies, and what we love to do with them.
This leafy green is packed with flavor and nutrition. The hearty texture of chard makes it perfect for sautéing and serving with fish or chicken.
Try this… Roughly chop a washed and dried bunch of chard and sauté in olive oil with half a sliced onion. Remove from heat and toss with freshly crushed garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
and this… Add a handful of chard to your favorite morning smoothie. You won’t even notice it’s there, but you’ll reap the nutritious benefits.
and this… Shredded Swiss Chard Salad: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/shredded-swiss-chard-salad/
Watermelon is 92 percent water, which means it not only satisfies your taste buds, but it also keeps you hydrated. The delicious fruit is loaded with vitamins A and C and the antioxidant lycopene. In fact, watermelon has more lycopene than any other fresh fruit or veggie!
Try this… Easy Watermelon Ice Pops. Mix 3 cups pureed watermelon, 2 tbsp lemon juice, and 1/4 cup sugar together and pour into ice pop molds. Freeze and enjoy on a hot day.
and this… Watermelon-Feta Salad: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/watermelon-salad-10000001809123/
and this… Watermelon Gazpacho: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/watermelon_gazpacho.html
Tomatoes are one of those versatile and classic veggies that add a pop of flavor and color to nearly any savory meal. You may be tempted to stick tomatoes in the fridge, but avoid refrigerating them. Tomatoes lose flavor and texture when they’re refrigerated. A spot on the counter or on a windowsill is the ideal place to keep them.
Try this… Layer thick slices of ripe tomato with fresh basil leaves and sliced fresh mozzarella. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and fresh black pepper.
and this… Fresh tomato salsa (pico de gallo): http://allrecipes.com/recipe/fresh-tomato-salsa/
These little guys might be small, but they pack in major flavor and nutrition. Just one small apricot contains 13% of your daily requirement of vitamin A (the healthy skin powerhouse nutrient).
Try this… Halve apricots, spread with a teaspoon of brown sugar, and broil on high until soft (about 15 minutes). Drizzle with melted dark chocolate, a dollop of whipped coconut milk, and a tablespoon of granola.
and this… Simmer 2 cups of sliced apricots with 1/2 cup orange juice and 1/4 tsp powdered ginger until the mixture has reduced by half and is the consistency of a thick sauce. Use on pancakes, waffles, and French toast, or stir into plain yogurt or oatmeal.
and this… Grilled Apricot Halves: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-apricot-halves-50400000112976/
What’s your favorite summer fruit/veggie? How do you use it?