Cool and healthy

It’s hot out; all you want to do is grab a mounding bowl of ice cream and gobble it down. I don’t blame you. I want to do the same thing.

But, is it really the best for our bodies? Nah! So, here are some healthy suggestions that will cool you off and help you eat right.

Stay cool and eat healthy too

Berries and all kinds of other fruit are ripe for the picking during the summer, so indulge. If you get most of your produce from a grocery store, the prices on most summer fruit and vegetables are lower than at other times of the year, so stock up. You can freeze items like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and so forth. You can slice up peppers, onions, carrots and squash for a nice addition to any salad, or just to grab and munch.

Summer is a great time for healthy shakes; you can add fresh berries to your protein shake for added flavor and color.

Grilling is the way to cook during the hot summer months. Veggie kabobs are a great addition to any meal that is healthy, delicious and colorful. Another use for summer vegetables on the grill is to slice some red, yellow and green peppers and onion, add a little olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil and grill. Yummy and healthy to boot! Veggie kabobs make a great side dish for steak, chicken or burgers.

Hit up your local farmer’s market for other great summertime deals on fruits and veggies. Rhubarb, eggplant and beets are delicious summer vegetables. You can make a simple, but scrumptious beet salad with onions, feta cheese and a light ranch dressing or oil and vinegar. For a simple, cool and refreshing snack, dip pieces of rhubarb in honey or sugar.

There are vegetables dips sucha as baba ganoush, a traditional recipe from northern African, easy and cooking enouth, wouldn't they know at the edge of the dessert? If you would like something with less ingredients, here’s a recipe for classic eggplant dip.

Eggplant dip

Ingredients

• 1 large eggplant
• 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
• 4 teaspoons of wine vinegar
• 3 cloves of garlic, minced
• sea salt
• freshly ground pepper

Yield: about 1 1/2 cups.

Procedure

  1. Pierce the eggplant with a fork and char on the grill, or over an open flame (alternatively, broil for 10-15 minutes) until the eggplant turns black and is very soft. Set to cool and drain on a rack with paper towels underneath.
  2. As soon as it can be handled, peel by hand (the skin will come off easily), and transfer to a bowl. Chop the pulp into small pieces with a knife, and mash with a fork. With a wooden spoon, stir in oil and vinegar slowly, alternating between them, until well blended. Stir in garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Serve chilled or at room temperature, with pita wedges, slices of crusty bread, and/or fresh vegetables, garnished with black olives and a sprig of parsley.


Summertime can be one of the best times of the year. So stay healthy by eating all the fresh fruits and vegetables available on the market at reasonable prices. Stay healthy and cool all at the same time.