Festive Summer Foods by Lindy Cook, The Nutrition Guru

By February 15, 2017Seasons, Nutrition

Summer has been called the ‘season of luxurious growth’ and it is reflected in our lifestyles as a time of expansion, growth and lightness. Wake early, embrace the day and enjoy the renewed energy and spirit that summer brings. Summer is, after all, the season of vitality.

Summer foods offer abundant variety and your diet should reflect this. Seasonal fruits include apples, strawberries, boysenberries, cherries, raspberries, mangoes, honey dew melon, watermelon, passionfruit, pineapples, nectarines and peaches. Indulge in beautiful fruit compotes, blend delicious fruit smoothies and juice exotic fruits.

Berries are undoubtedly the fruits of the season. One of nature’s super foods, berries contain powerful antioxidants which are complex compounds that help de-activate the cell-damaging free radicals whose activities can lead to cancer and age-related diseases. Red berries active constituents include lycopene and anthocyanins. Lycopene has a wide range of activities and helps reduce the risk of prostate cancer and protects the skin from sun damage. The blue, purple and black berries contain anthocyanins and phenolics. These clever compounds help prevent conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts and heart disease. A high intake of cherries can reduce the pain and inflammation associated with gout and arthritis while cranberries have an antibiotic quality that alleviates symptoms of cystitis. All berries are rich in vitamin C, improve the circulation and may reduce risks associated with high cholesterol.

Summer is the time to emphasize raw foods in your diet, as long as your digestive system is robust and functioning efficiently. Raw foods are richer in enzymes that support the entire digestive process and have lost none of the heat-sensitive vitamins and minerals in the cooking process. To cope with the summer heat, incorporate foods with cooling properties such as watermelon, cucumber, sprouts, apples, lemons and limes. Eat more lightly on hotter days to avoid feeling sluggish and remember to replace those minerals and salts that are sweated out. Keep your fluid intake high and try to include regular vegetable juices to keep your body hydrated. Vegetable juices are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Coconut water naturally hydrates and balances your body’s pH. Try making a fresh green smoothie made with coconut water – it makes a deliciously refreshing and nourishing drink on a hot day.

Summer is a season of abundance so use plenty of brightly coloured summer fruits and vegetables and enjoy making dazzling and creative meals. Enjoy this time of increased vitality.

SUMMER FESTIVE FOODS

Acai Chia Pudding

Serves 4

1/2 cup chia seeds

1 1/2 cups coconut nut milk

2 tsp coconut sugar

2 tsp Acai powder

1 cup mixed berries

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate over night or for a minimum of 4 hours.

Serving Options

Sprinkle with cacao nibs or grated 85% dark chocolate, fine dessicated coconut, berries and yoghurt if desired.

Summer Fruits Icy Poles

  • 1/2 medium watermelon
  • Handful frozen blueberries/raspberries
  • 3 kiwi fruits
  • Frozen mango pieces
  • 1 punnet strawberries
  • 2 passionfruit

How to make fruit ice blocks

  1. Blend up the watermelon in a blender or food processor. It should be liquified and will be quite watery.
  2. Slice up strawberries and kiwi fruit (peel kiwi fruit first).
  3. Start by placing a mix of fruit (frozen and fresh) into the bottom of each mould. I like to place the kiwi pieces along the sides, they look so delicious this way!
  4. Spoon or pour in the watermelon mix. Gently tap the moulds so that everything settles and there are no gaps left.
  5. Place the stick into the mould and freeze for 4-5 hours or until completely set

To easily get the ice blocks out of the moulds when ready to eat, run them under hot water for 5-10 seconds so they slip out of the mould.

* Recipe from https://keepcalmgetorganised.com.au/home-healthy-fruit-ice-blocks/

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