Healthy Foods for Summer

Image copyright allisonmseward12.

How do you stay healthy during the summer? Kathy is talking about how she eats healthfully in the summer.

It has been a hot, dry summer in the east so far this year and I have to admit, it is affecting my desire to do a lot of cooking.  I am a huge fan of salads so I have been making a lot of those.  Even though there are so many things that you can do with them, they can get a little boring.  Here are just a few things that I have added to them just to freshen them up this summer.

Fresh Fruits – I have made salads with strawberries before and have even used strawberries to make my vinaigrette but I really didn’t think about all of the fruits that you can put on.  Blackberries, blueberries, apples, oranges, grapes, raisins, dried cranberries, just about anything you like can go on a salad.

Cheeses – I don’t use a lot of cheese on salads but I do like the flavor.  I am on a bleu cheese kick right now.  It has such a unique flavor and I like flavors that pop out at me on my salad.  That way I can avoid using too much dressing for flavor.  Shredded cheddar, mozzarella, provolone and american are also good.

Crunch – I like the different textures in my salad as well.  Croutons are what we usually think of but there are so many ways to add the crunch to your salad without too many fat grams and calories.  Nuts are a good source of protein and they add that little extra crunch.  Whole grain pretzels, crackers, baked pita chips are something different with extra flavor.  Seeds also give a nice flavor.  Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and chia can add flavor and protein.

Greens – Lets not forget the most important part of a salad…the lettuce!  Different varieties offer color, texture, taste.  I like a spring mix and I add a little spinach to it.  Iceberg lettuce was the way I would always go but it really doesn’t offer a lot as far as fiber and nutrition.  The darker, leafier lettuce has more of the vitamins and minerals.  Mixing it all up adds nutrition and taste.

Vegetables – There are so many different types to add to your salad.  You can use them fresh, marinaded and/or sautéed, anyway you like them.  (I sauté them in a skillet sprayed with olive oil in  a misto)

Protein – If you don’t want to turn on the grill, stove or oven for protein use beans.  Black beans and garbanzo beans are the ones that I use but chose your favorites.  Of course cheese, nuts and seeds can offer some protein as well.

When it comes to salads, you can put all of your food groups on it and make it a meal.  Simple, fresh and delicious for a hot summer evening.

Kathy has been posting with us every Wednesday and sharing her story and ideas for weight loss and a healthy life. Miss any of the previous posts?

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