Staying Cool for the Summer

The sun has begun to shine! It is officially summer, and the rays are starting to make their appearance here in Portland. I’ve noticed that when summer comes, people (myself included) don’t like to cook as much due to the heat. Hot foods like soups and stews are great in the winter, but for summer, we can turn to fresh vegetables and fruits and other great cooling foods!

There is a great trend going on right now in the nutrition world that I think is here to stay for good – eating seasonally. There are endless cookbooks, nutrition books, dietary plans, and articles out there that give eating with the seasons a big gold star, and I count myself among the proponents as well! Eating seasonally means responding to what the earth is giving us at that time, as you’re eating the freshest food from your region. So not only are you supporting your local farmers, but you’re also giving your body the most nutrient-rich foods (they also tend to taste the best!).

Speaking of our local farmers, another great thing about the warmer months is the profusion of farmer’s markets that pop up! I love my local markets. It is so great to interact with the people who are actually growing and caring for the food I’m putting on my table. It’s nice to know I can support them AND get the best foods available for the best prices! If you haven’t found your local farmer’s market yet, I would suggest going to localharvest.org. It’s a great resource for finding all of the markets, CSAs, and family farms nearest you!

So what are some great foods for the summer to help us stay cool? I have so many great suggestions for cooling foods that I’m happy to share with you.

Some great summer fruits include watermelon, cantaloupe, oranges, lemons, peaches, apricots,  and tomatoes. There are also tons of great vegetables, like bok choy, broccoli, asparagus, sprouts, cucumbers, sprouts, snow peas, watercress, radishes and spinach. Throw in some corn, some summer squash, and some fresh mint, and you have a kitchen stocked with the best cooling foods around!

Coming up next week, I’ll share with you a FANTASTIC recipe I have for a cooling summer salad. I’m positive you’re going to love it!

What are some of your favorite foods for the season? Are there some foods that just scream summer for you? I’d love to hear about any of the foods that you associate with cooling down and chilling out in the sunnier months!

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