16 Delicious Ways to Prepare Healthy Summer Produce
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  1. 16 Delicious Ways to Prepare Healthy Summer Produce


    5 Healthy Ways to Prepare Summer Produce


    Summer produce is at its peak right now and there are fresh fruits and vegetables filling farmers markets and your local grocery stores. Buying produce while it is in season is an easy way to save money while eating healthier. Seasonal, local produce is not only fresher, healthier, and lasts longer in your fridge – the flavors are also at their absolute peak, so it’s a yummy way to liven up your diet.

    After your shopping bags are full, what do you do with that produce to take advantage of the fresh flavors? You can eat them raw or cook them in the same way you have for years, but these recipes ensure that you are using your summer produce to spice up your diet and eat healthier.

     


     

    Breakfast


    Touted as the most important meal of the day, you can easily fill it with your choice of produce to fill your stomach to give you the energy you need for the day.

    Power Breakfast Bowl


    Power Breakfast Bowl

    A bowl of oatmeal never looked better topped with fresh raspberries, blackberries and even blueberries. The addition of nuts and seeds gives it protein and healthy fats to help fuel your day. If you don’t like oatmeal you can substitute Greek yogurt, which gives a huge dose of protein.

    Try It!



    Omelet with Summer Vegetables

    Eggs are a staple for breakfast and what easier way to incorporate vegetables into your breakfast than an omelet! Fresh corn and zucchini added to your protein-rich eggs give you a savory breakfast to get you through your morning.

    Try It!


     


    Fig Yogurt Bundt Cake

    Fresh figs and Greek yogurt combine to great a cake with a similar texture to pound cake. This recipe is higher in fat, but features a cake studded with fresh figs in a unique way to have them for breakfast.

    Try It!



     




    Lunch

    A filling lunch can carry you through the afternoon slump and into dinner. Fresh summer fruits and vegetables are light on calories yet big on flavor. These lunch salads are easily transitioned to dinner if you are looking for a lighter summer meal.



    Peach and Blue Cheese Salad

    Grilled peaches sautéed and tossed with a dressing made from red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and honey satisfies anyone with a love of savory lunch selections.

    Try It!
     


     

    Strawberry Chicken and Feta Salad

    The combination of fresh, sweet strawberries sliced over greens with feta cheese is a cool addition to your lunch with an entrée worthy salad.

    Try It!
     

     

     


    Southwest Bread Salad

    This is not your traditional salad, it is full of tomatoes, green pepper, corn, chicken and other vegetables but it is not served over lettuce. There are cornbread croutons that give this salad an extra filling option for a mid-day meal.

    Try It!



     


     
     
     Dinner

    Your final meal of the day should be filling enough to give your body the energy it needs to last until breakfast. By pairing protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates, you will not feel deprived or want to eat too many snacks after dinner. 
     


    Grilled Chicken and Fresh Cherry Salsa

    Chicken cooked on the grill is a summer staple across the country. The addition of fresh cherries to top the chicken is a mix of flavors that will not disappoint. The cherries are not cooked, but mixed with red onion, lemon juice, basil, balsamic vinegar, honey and a little salt and sits in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.

    Try It!
     


    Edamame Succotash

    This meal can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the bacon. Or you can substitute the bacon for ham or another meat that would complement the corn and edamame.

    Try It!
     


    Grilled Chicken Tacos
    Grilled Chicken Tacos with Green Tomato Salsa

    This salsa features green, or unripe tomatoes. Green tomatoes are typically breaded and fried, but this is a much healthier way to try a new way to enjoy and old favorite.

    Try It!



     




    Side Dishes

    A nice compliment to your lunch or dinner is a fun side dish. Trying new ways to prepare fresh summer produce is a delicious way to spice up your diet and keep your food interesting.
     

    Watermelon Heirloom Tomato Salad
    Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad

    Combining fruits and vegetables in one dish isn’t not the normal way to have fun with your produce. Watermelon and tomatoes with a honey-balsamic glaze is definitely a new mixture to most people and an adventure for your taste buds.

    Try It!

     

    baby beets with greens
    Shaved Baby Beets with Greens

    Baby beets, cut paper-thin with a mandolin or knife, are tossed with oil, lemon juice and salt. After blanching the beet greens in chicken broth, top with your beets and you have a new side dish that can be garnished with Parmesan shavings.

    Try It!

     

    Sauteed Zucchini and Tomato
    Sautéed Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes

    This dish requires very few ingredients but it is big on flavor. The red onion, zucchini and grape tomatoes sautéed for mere minutes and it is ready to serve warm.

    Try It!



     


     

    Desserts & Drinks

    Dessert is one of the most enjoyed part of many meals. Having a sweet end to eating is refreshing and gives a treat to your friends and family.
     


    Mint Melon Pops

    Cantaloupe and honeydew are typically eaten sliced, but when you blend them with orange juice and mint, you can freeze them into a very refreshing treat.

    Try It!
     

     

    Cherry-Pomegranate-Limeade-Popsicles


    Cherry Pomegranate Limeade Popsicles

    Fresh cherries, pomegranate juice, lime juice and sugar are loaded with fruit flavor for an after-dinner treat. Simply mix everything in a blender and freeze in Popsicle molds.

    Try It!

     


    Raspberry – Orange Sunrises

    Making a refreshing drink from fresh raspberries is a fun, new way to use the fresh berries you bought. You can replace the sparkling wine for ginger ale to substitute the carbonation.

    Try It!


     

    Peach Limeade
    Easy Peach Limeade

    Another way to enjoy fresh fruit is to incorporate peaches into a summertime drink. With only four ingredients, this drink needs three hours in the refrigerator and then you have a new drink to share with friends.

    Try It!

     

     

     

     

    Author: Amanda Kessler
    Amanda is a slow runner, occasional healthy eater, blogger & Boston Terrier lover. Against the odds, she runs after 5 knee surgeries, asthma and a heart condition. She is constantly working to eat healthier foods and exercise. She struggles with both, but is constantly re-focusing her efforts. Check out her blog here: Therearetwosides.com


     

    Recipes & Kitchen Tips
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