Lighter eating beats the summer heat

February 28, 2012

Food, Fruits and Vegetables, Organic, Recipes

Even though we need less food when it’s warmer, the quality of the foods we consume all year round is always more important than the quantity.

by Stan Kalson — 

Fresh fruits and vegetables are more plentiful during the summer months, which makes it easier to choose lighter, more nutritional meals. Even though we need less food when it’s warmer, the quality of the foods we consume all year round is always more important than the quantity.

It’s encouraging to see that today more of us are choosing fresher, cleaner, pesticide-free and organically raised foods; however, there’s still work to be done — getting the message to others that frozen, canned and processed foods may fill you up, but will also wreak havoc on your immune system. The cost of fresh foods may be slightly higher, but the end result is a healthier body that is less prone to illness.

By choosing healthier grown and raised foods, you are also choosing a greener planet since you are purchasing food from mineral-rich, organic and pesticide-free soils. Above all, the taste of organically raised produce, grains and meats cannot be beat.

A simple diet of fresh foods will, quite simply, make a difference in the quality of your life.

Here are some easy, fresh nutrition-filled recipes to enjoy.

Creamy Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

• Two 19-ounce cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

Instructions:

Place water, tahini and garlic in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth.

Complete Salad Meal

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 cup finely grated carrots
  • 1 cup finely grated beets
  • 1/4 cup chopped green spring onions
  • 4 ounces of protein (almond or sun butter, hummus, chicken, turkey, salmon, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite healthy salad dressing
  • Herbal and vegetable seasonings, to taste

Instructions:

Combine cabbage, arugula, carrots, beets and onions. Add protein and salad dressing, and season with herbal seasonings.

Serve the above mixture as a salad with toasted whole grain bread, or wrap in lettuce leaves or tortillas.

Quick Summer Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 cups water
  • 2 cups summer squash or zucchini, sliced into small pieces
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh greens, e.g., kale or spinach
  • Garlic powder or herbal seasonings, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, to taste

Instructions:

Put water in a pot; insert steaming basket. Place squash, onion and garlic in steaming basket. Cover and steam until preferred texture is reached. Place cooked squash in blender and slowly add cooking water until desired consistency is achieved. Blend to a smooth texture, adding oil and seasonings. Stir in chopped greens, which will wilt in the hot mixture. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over soup mixture.

Creative Salad Combinations

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sunflower sprouts
  • 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 2 to 3 leaves of red leaf and green leaf lettuce, romaine and spinach, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup arugula, chopped
  • 1 cup gourmet baby salad greens, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1/2 small red pepper
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, turkey or chicken, etc.
  • Soft or hard cheese, cut into small pieces
  • Bottled dressing, to taste

Instructions:

Place sprouts in salad bowl and add greens, torn into bite-size pieces. Cut, grate or slice the other vegetables into a variety of bite-size shapes and sizes. Add small pieces of soft or hard cheese, if additional protein is desired. Add dressing and mix.

 

Stan Kalson, B. A., is the founder and director of the International Holistic Center, Inc., and has been active in the holistic community for 32 years. www.holisticresources.org or call 602-266-1160.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number  4, Aug/Sept 2009.

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