Now summer is here you’ll probably have noticed your craving different types of foods. Gone are the days of wanting a comforting soup or thick stew like meal, Instead we crave fresh invigorating food which are packed with nutrients. Here are some of my favourites that have been filling my fridge/pantry recently.
1- Summer Vegetables
The fresh produce out and about now is amazing the choice of salads are mouth wateringly good. Keep your eye out for the following:
Rocket/Arugula - Great with some Balsamic vinegar and parmasan shavings
Cucumber - A refreshing addition to any salad or great to cut into slices and use for dipping
Avocados - Probably the best food going to accompany some good meat or chicken
Mushrooms - In summer more variations crop up. Great to add to meat dishes especially when grilled
One thing you will find with vegtables that come into season in the summer is that they are all very water based and hugely refreshing in contrast to the more startchy and filling winter vegtables.
2- Grass Fed Beef
Although its not stricly a summer food its something I have been greatly enjoying recently. Now I know there is a load of stuff going round about how red meat is cancer causing etc etc…..Now I agree with this to an extent; Poor quality beef from ill and steroid filled cows is indeed bad for your health, this I have no doubts. On the other hand if you pay a tad exta and buy quality from organic grass fed cows then your eating some of the most healthy food known to man.
The US Department of Agriculture has approved the feeding of sawdust, plastic chips, industrial waste, sewage, cement dust, and dead animal parts to commercially raised animals. These are toxins, and the body stores toxins in fat.
This causes the animal to pack on tremendous amounts of fat because all animal bodies, including humans, use fat to wall toxins off away from the nervous system and the vital organs. When they sell these animals, they don’t do body fat checks on them and say that some are too fat.
So what they’re essentially doing is selling us huge amounts of toxic fat. Red meat isn’t bad for you, but commercially raised and poisoned meat is.
I think the above just about sums up what I have been talking about. Enjoy your grass fed/organic steak whenever you want and rest assured its one of the best sources of nutrition you can find.
3- Hot Peppers
Now I know these are just another vegtable but they are especially useful in summer. Some say hot food cools you down in the summer by making you sweat, others say spicy stuff fires off your bodies internal cooling mechanism……. Who knows? To me there is no coincidence that people who live in hot countries like India and Thailand have a knack for spicy foods, after all you don’t see nordic dishes that are too spicy to handle.
I like to keep a bottle of dried chilli flakes in my pantry for sprinkling on a variety of dishes. I find they work best with tomato based dishes or they are great sprinkled on vegetables before roasting especially things like parsnips and sweet potato. Here are some benefits from spicy food:
Improved Circulation - Thanks to the increase in blood flow caused by the spice which gets your heart pumping.
Improved Sleep - Some research has shown that spicy foods can help you nod off at night and even wake up more easily.
Better Digestion - Although some people claim they can’t handle spicy foods due to the heart burn it causes this is actually not true. Spicy food actually improves secretion of stomach acid allowing for better digestion and breakdown of food.
If you can its always best to stick to fresh hot peppers which can be added to most any dish you like. Plus the best thing is their is no limit to how much yu can add, just go by your taste buds and how much you like spicy food.
These are two of the best foods to use in the summer thanks to their versatility and ability to be made at home fresh.
Both these awesome recipes are so easy to make. Use them to dip some fresh summer vegetables like cucumbers, carrots or celery and your in for a great snack or starter before a meal. The Paleo Hummus is especially good when used with some roast chicken.
I find that in summer my consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables increases dramatically in comparison with the winter months. I am not sure if this is natural cravings coming through or just the fact that there is so much good stuff available now. I have been feasting on fresh strawberries, blueberries, apricots and peaches and starting meals by eating an assortment of fresh raw vegetables. This has meant my meat intake has somewhat decreased as the volumes of fiber in my diet has gone up whether or not this is beneficial I am unsure but I think it tends to make me lean out more just in time for summer. Its amazing what our bodies do naturally without prompting to adapt to the weather/seasons. If anyone else has experienced similar cravings I would be keen to hear……