If you’re like me, your cravings tend to evolve alongside the change of seasons. Naturally, our bodies tend to crave more warming foods in the winter such as root vegetable stews and hot teas, but come summertime we tend to migrate more towards the cooling and hydrating foods that make us feel light and energetic, such as salads and smoothies. Eating with the seasons is also a great way to ensure that you’re eating more local produce, which is fresher, has greater nutritional value, and supports our local farmers.
With the hottest of the summer months still ahead, it’s not too late to stock your fridge with summery foods and try some new recipes at your next BBQ gathering. Here are some of my absolute favourite detox-friendly, metabolism-boosting, and simply delicious summer foods, as well as suggestions for ways to enjoy them!
This water-filled and fresh-tasting vegetable is a rich source of Vitamin C, beta-carotene, as well fibre (as long as you keep the peel on). Cucumbers are also an excellent source of silica, which helps to strengthen your connective tissue and improve joint function.
Cucumbers are perfect for juicing, as they have a 90%+ water content… but even if you’re not into juicing, you can simply infuse some thin slices into your water bottle for a hint of flavor or toss some chopped pieced into your salad!
This pretty-pink fruit is a sure summer favourite! Perfect for a picnic, in a salad, or blended into frozen drinks, it never feels like summer until you’ve had a chance to indulge in some melon.
Watermelons, just like tomatoes, are high in a nutrient called lycopene, which has been studied to support cardiovascular health as well as prostate health. They are also high in Vitamin C, but be sure to eat some of that white rind in addition to the red flesh, as that’s where this nutrient tends to be most abundant.
Not just for freshening breath, mint also has other nutrient properties that make it the perfect summer herb to add into recipes. Mint is a great digestive-aid, it can reduce nausea and headaches, and it has antimicrobial qualities that help to improve oral health.
This beautiful plant grows in my garden every year, and thrives with little effort! It’s a great way to ease into gardening whether you have a green thumb, or not. Simply grab a few mint leaves each morning and toss them in your water bottle, or save them for the weekend and shake yourself a virgin mojito!
4. Iced Tea
No, not the sugary kind… rather, homemade iced tea the old-fashioned way. The beauty of making your own cold tea is that you can use any sort of loose leaf tea that you desire, from roobios, to fruity herbals, your options are endless!
For optimal flavor, use double the amount of loose leaf than you normally would. Steep according to the package, and then quickly transfer to a glass pitcher and fill it to the top with ice in order to keep all flavors intact. You can garnish your tea with fresh fruit and herbs, depending on which type you brewed, in order to enhance flavor. And voila, ready to drink and no sugar necessary!
Instead of reaching for sugary juices in the morning, reach for some fresh lemon water prepared using the juice from ½ of a fresh lemon! These little yellow superfoods increase your livers detoxifying enzyme, promote good digestion, are super hydrating, and are rich in Vitamin C which supports the immune system.
My favourite way to use fresh lemons in the summer is to massage a combination of fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil into kale salad. So simple, yet so tasty.
Happy Summer ☺