Summer BBQ and party season is in full swing - yes, before we knew it, we've sailed past its very peak, independence day. Usually it is my pleasure to gussy up the Studio 26 front desk with some healthy, seasonal treats on a Thursday, but I'm sure you were creating and consuming some delectable patriotic treats of your own!
Though there aren't many things more simple and delicious than a juicy burger fresh off the outdoor grill, or mom's cold pasta salad, the employee picnics, family BBQ's, kids birthdays and whatever else can add up - and after a few weeks you're sprinting down the street with green juice in hand, cursing the day processed wheat was invented.
Here are some simple ideas you can bust out at remaining summer events and get-togethers using the real, earth-grown, unprocessed Super Treats of Summer: Fruits and Vegetables.
Watermelon, Feta, and Black Olive Salad
This is indeed stolen from Nigella Lawson, but I've been making it since I discovered it in 2003, and it is surprising and refreshing every time.
Just marinate sliced red onion in fresh squeezed lime juice for a while and then chop up some watermelon, good feta, fresh mint and parsley, and throw in some pitted black olives. Put it all together with the holy trinity (cracked pepper, pinch of salt, one nice generous glug of virgin olive oil) and there you are, floating on the Mediterranean.
Watermelon is a great source of vitamin A and vitamin C, and a foolproof way to stay hydrated - it contains 93% water, which means it fills you up for very little calories!
You all know about these tiny popsicles! But this is your reminder! There is really nothing better on a searing hot day than popping a couple of these out of your inviting freezer and into your mouth. You can leave them in a bunch, or pick them off before freezing.
Grapes are packed with antioxidants, potassium, vitamin C, and fruit sugar, for maximum energy and heat revival!
Peaches and Cucumbers
Delicate, cooling, and crunchy meets tangy, sweet, and juicy = winner of all summer marriages.
Cut some cucumber into thin slices and marinate in a few tablespoons of rice vinegar for 30 mins to 1 hr. Slice up some ripe peaches and mix, then garnish with sliced fresh basil and sesame seeds (when feeling particularly fancy, a few toasted pine nuts never go astray either)
Peaches are bursting with vitamin C and vitamin A, antioxidants and a pro-vitamin that helps vitamin A do the good work it does, maintaining healthy skin, lungs, teeth and mucus membranes.
Along with being rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, antioxidants and potassium, cucumbers are very, very low in sodium and calories and high in water content, making them warriors for weight loss and healthy blood pressure.