It’s summer time and the cooking is, well, easy and super healthy. If you can light a barbecue, you can cook. That’s what I like to tell myself, and friends who think they can’t cook.
The truth is, the vast amount of fruits and veggies available in the summer months make it easy for you to load up on antioxidants without having to spend a lot of time cooking—you don’t want to be heating up the kitchen with an oven when the sun is baking outside. For that matter, you don’t want to be spending a lot of time cooking inside if you can be playing outside.
As a working mom, I’m always rushing home to get some summer fun in with my kids before the end of the day. So here are some reliable, antioxidant-rich and easy recipes, that won’t cut into your fun time.
A recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggested that organic tomatoes have higher antioxidant value than conventional tomatoes. So be sure to buy organic and load up on your antioxidant intake with this gazpacho recipe.
Indulge in any greens you like. Greens are excellent sources of fiber, folate and carotenoids, which have been associated with inhibiting the growth of certain types of cancer cells as well as decreasing the risk of developing certain cancers. 'Tis the season for rainbow chard, kale, arugula, watercress and all types of lettuce. Mix it up and use these easy recipes for salad dressing.
Grilling everything & anything
Next is the grill. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, a fish or meat eater, here are a selection of recipes and how to's for grilling fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.
And we can never forget dessert to round out the flavors of summer. Berries are starting to be in season, which means wonderful and flavorful options for both dinner and dessert (I'm a big fan of putting berries in my salads as well).
Berries are rich in antioxidant properties, including having high levels of anthocyanidins and flavonoids, two substances that have been attributed to a delay in cognitive aging. In fact, a recent study by Harvard researchers found that women who had a higher intake of strawberries and blueberries displayed less-rapid cognite deterioriation as they aged.
So if you don't have time to maintain your mental acuity over a game of chess, try at least eating a lot of berries each day—that's not so hard. Enjoy these healthy summer berry desserts, including homemade blueberry lemon sorbet, or my favorite Mixed Berry and Mint Granita.
Bon appétit! What are your favorite summer recipes? Share in the comments.