Summertime brings a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
It also brings a bounty of hot temperatures. Here are four refreshing and healthy recipes that use fresh fruits and vegetables to take a bite – or several bites – out of the summer heat this year. Enjoy!
Cold Asparagus Soup
This delicious soup is great for a hot summer day and comes with many health benefits. Asparagus contains a number of beneficial nutrients for the body and mind. These nutrients help combat diseases such as arthritis, asthma, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.
1 pound of fresh asparagus, cut up
1 sliced onion
1 cup of boiling water
1 cup of milk
1 cup of light cream
1 teaspoon of sea salt
Cook asparagus and onion for 15 minutes. Do not drain.
Combine the asparagus and onion mixture, and all other ingredients into a blender. Cover and blend until very smooth.
Chill for 4 hours.
Stir before serving.
Refreshing Fruit Salad
Mix up an easy and refreshing summer favorite in the form of fruit salad, made with a bounty of cool and healthy melons.
Cantaloupe and honeydew are excellent sources of vitamin C while watermelon provides ample amounts of vitamins A, C, and the beneficial phytochemical lycopene.
1 lb. watermelon
1/2 lb. honeydew melon
1/2 lb. cantaloupe
4 Tbsp. diced feta cheese
2 Tbsp. finely chopped mint leaves
Juice of 1-2 limes
Sea salt and pepper to taste, if desired
Whole sprigs of mint leaves for garnish
Seed the melons and cut into bite-sized pieces. Arrange them on a platter or 6 salad plates. Sprinkle with the feta and chopped mint. Season with lime juice and, if desired, a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with sprigs of mint.
For extra cooling, cover and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours. Note that refrigerating longer than 3 hours may result in the fruit becoming mushy.
Makes 6 servings.
Golden Fruit Salad
Every single ingredient in this refreshing fruit salad has health benefits, and the salad tastes great too.
1 medium mango, peeled and cubed (or 2 cups frozen cubed mango, defrosted)
1 Gala or Golden Delicious apple, cored and thinly sliced
1 Asian pear, cored and thinly sliced
1 peach or nectarine, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red seedless grapes, sliced in half
1 Tbsp. finely chopped candied or preserved ginger
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Place the cubed mango in a large serving bowl. Add the apple, pear, peach (or nectarine) and grapes. Toss gently to combine. Add the ginger, orange juice and vanilla, then toss again.
Let the fruit sit 15 minutes at room temperature, so flavors can meld. Serve immediately or for added cooling, cover with plastic and refrigerate 1 to 3 hours as suggested in the previous recipe.
Makes 6 servings.
Ginger-Cantaloupe Frozen Fruit Pops
When making your own healthy fruit pops at home, you are limited only by your imagination and creativity. You can create a rainbow of colors and good tasting fruit pops by using healthy items such as the ones in the following recipe, and basic kitchen tools.
Molds can be made from paper cups or ice cube trays, or use molds made especially for making frozen pops. As a bonus, you can make smoothies with leftover ingredients.
8 ounces fresh cantaloupe, seeded, peeled, and diced
8 ounces fresh papaya, seeded, peeled and diced
12 ounces almond milk
1 ounce ginger root, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons granulated organic sugar
Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth and then pour into the molds. Before freezing tap sides of mold with fingers to remove air bubbles. Add popsicle sticks. Freeze until solid (up to 6 hours).
To serve, run mold under warm water for about 15 seconds, let stand for 5 minutes and then remove from mold.
Note: For the very healthiest recipes, be sure to use organic ingredients as much as possible.