Eat to Live
CELEBRATING FOODS THAT NOURISH
Apples can be eaten whole, sliced, or dipped in nut butter. For a healthy alternative to apple pie, toss peeled and thinly sliced apples in walnut oil, season with cinnamon and salt, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts before baking at 400 degrees until apples are soft (about 50-60 minutes). You can dollop with vanilla Greek yogurt.
Avocados are more than just the main ingredient in guacamole. They can be sliced and served on your favorite sandwich/wrap or added to a fruit smoothie to provide a creamier end product. They can also be served on whole grain toast with some bruschetta and/or tomato then eaten for breakfast or as an appetizer.
Whether eaten at room temperature or frozen for a refreshing snack, blueberries are a quick, tasty, and nutritious treat. They go well with fruit medleys, mixed with yogurt, or incorporated into your favorite whole grain pancake or muffin recipe. And for a healthier alternative to pancake syrup, try cooking them down in a saucepan.
You haven't experienced true sweetness until you've bitten into a perfectly ripened cantaloupe. Available locally throughout the summer, cantaloupe can be sliced and consumed alone, or it can be cubed and used as an ingredient in a fresh fruit salad. However you manage to incorporate it into your diet, you won't be disappointed.
Best served at room temperature, grapefruit combines a subtle sweetness against a tangy tartness that is unparalleled. Coming in several different varieties including the ruby red pictured above, grapefruit can be halved, sectioned, and eaten right out of the rind, or it can be removed and incorporated into a fruit salad.
It doesn't matter what color you choose, grapes are bursting with flavor and nutrition. They make a welcome addition to any fruit salad, can add sweetness to a green salads, or frozen for a quick refreshing summertime treat. They are also a favorite with children. And for something a little different, try adding them to chicken or turkey salad.
If you are lucky enough to have raspberries growing in your back yard, you probably already know they are best eaten right off the bush. However, they also make great additions to fruit smoothies, whole-wheat pancakes and muffins, and as a natural sweetener to plain Greek yogurt. They can also be spread on peanut better in lieu of jelly.
Who doesn't enjoy these plump red gifts from nature. Whether eaten alone, as part of a fruit salad, incorporated into a mixed greens salad, dipped in dark chocolate or topped with a dollop of heaving whipping cream, strawberries are a healthy, heavenly burst of summer sweetness.
No other fruit says summer barbecue quite the way a sweet, juicy watermelon does. This July gem makes a quick hydrating snack on a hot and humid day, but it can also be cut, cubed, grilled and then used as garnish on a salad or combined with ice in a blender and topped with mint for a refreshing beverage.
Tomatoes are one of the few fruits or veggies that may actually be slightly healthier after being cooked. Though cooking a tomato does reduce the amount of vitamin C in the end product, it also boosts the amount of phytonutrients. So stew, roast, grill, or simply slice raw. It's all good.
Broccoli is a superfood, a nutritional powerhouse that can be prepared in less than 5 minutes. Steam or microwave and then serve alone or sprinkled with parmesan. Broccoli is also a welcome addition to a stir-fry and can even be finely chopped after cooking and added to chicken salad. It also goes great with hummus.
Few vegetables are as well recognized or as universally loved as carrots. Eaten raw, cooked, steamed, roasted, or as part of a stir-fry, they can add color, texture, and flavor to some of your favorite dishes. They are also a great addition to soups, vegetable trays, stews, and a summer vegetable medley.
Unfortunately, thanks to high fructose corn syrup, corn has become vilified over the years, which is sad since in its natural form it can be a healthy addition to any diet. Eaten on the cob, as an ingredient in soups or salsa, or as part of a vegetable medley, corn is extremely versatile and packed with nutrition.
At only 15 calories a cup, if you aren't already eating these versatile veggies, you'd better start. They can be added to green salads, used as toping for sandwiches much like a slice of tomato, or sliced pickle style, seasoned with salt, pepper, & fresh dill and served as a side dish. And who can resist a cucumber, onion, and tomato summer salad?
Green beans can be eaten raw right out of the garden, steamed, boiled, or microwaved. They can also be incorporated into a stir-fry, vegetable medley, or soups. They make a nice side dish and pair well with onions, summer squash, corn, mushrooms, and baby potatoes. They can also add texture to wraps and burritos.
I personally love the umami and savory flavor of mushrooms. Grilled on a kabob, sautéed with onions, used in a stir-fry with carrots, snap peas, and green beans, or served in soups and sauces, these fabulous fungi add flavor, texture, and nutrition to any dish. They pair well with chicken, steak, and pork, or served as a meat alternative.
Onions are a must in most kitchens. Whether grilled, sautéed, or used raw, they enhance many dishes. From a vegetable stir fry, to a mixed greens salad, to garnish for your favorite burger, the tangy sweetness of onions takes a meal to the next level. Even more, they are relatively cheap, versatile, and bursting with flavor.
Clearly, Popeye was on to something with this spinach thing. Easily one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, spinach has a soft, leafy texture that makes it a great base for any greens salad, and a mild flavor that can boost the nutrient content of a fruit smoothie without causing a bitter aftertaste.
Trying to eat less processed carbs like white pasta? Spiralized zucchini may be the answer. Zoodles are a great alternative to the white flour staple that we associate with many pasta dishes. And as far as produce goes, summer squash is relatively cheap, especially when in season during July and August.
These orange wonders of nature aren't called sweet potatoes for nothing. Their signature sweet flavor make them a nutrient packed side dish. Whether baked whole or sliced, drizzled in olive oil, and seasoned with cinnamon, the sweet potato is a delicious and healthy addition to any meal.