Tastes of Summer – Basil and Berries

Summer is a great time of year to eat lighter. Our body is not craving the heavier warming foods of winter, and instead lighter foods like fruits, salads, and lots of veggies are satisfying. Cold salads, picnic foods, fresh in season fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums, melons, etc.), seasonal vegetables (squash varieties, tomatoes, beans, etc.) are all great additions to a summer menu. Below is some more in-depth information on a few of my favorite summer foods.

Basil 

This herb has a very distinct flavor and is most often connected to pesto. In the summer when it is warm and there is lots of sun, basil thrives. It can be added to a variety of different types of dishes, from savory flavors to sweet.

Health benefits:

  • Protection against unwanted bacterial growth
  • An “anti-inflammatory” food good for rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel conditions.
  • A good source of various nutrients including: magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C.

Berries  

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries, and all other types of berries become available with the warmth of summer. These little bursts of sweetness are not only tasty, but are also filled with antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients including anti-inflammatory nutrients.

Strawberries

Nutrients: vitamin C, manganese, dietary fiber, iodine, potassium, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, copper, vitamin B6, vitamin K, as well as energy-promoting vitamin B2 and vitamin B5.

Blueberries

Nutrients: vitamin C, manganese, fiber and the antioxidant vitamin E.  

Raspberries

Nutrients: fiber, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B2, folate, niacin, magnesium, potassium, copper and the anti-cancer phytochemical ellagic acid.

A few ideas for healthier Summer Treats

  • Frozen bananas or dark chocolate covered frozen bananas
  • Homemade popsicles: 100% real fruit juice or try mixing in coconut milk
  • Fruit smoothies: so much room to be creative.
  • Basil or Mint Honey Lemonade. Click here for a recipe. Just muddle (crush with wooden spoon) some mint or basil leaves in each glass or in the pitcher before you add the Lemonade. 

Reference: The George Mateljan Foundation for The World’s Healthiest Foods http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php

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About Maya

Health Coach, Spirit Coach, intuitive cook, cooking teacher, energy healer, Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner, soccer player, lover of life...
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