As summer approaches that means the produce from your garden or the farmers markets only get better but that also means the weather gets hotter. Luckily there are plenty of ways to keep cool by utilizing the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Here are a few refreshing ways to use fresh produce:
A salad is easy to prepare, just grab your favorite greens, throw in some fresh fruit like apples or strawberries and drizzle over a nice vinaigrette for a refreshing meal or snack. You can even skip the vinaigrette and use some lemons or limes as a healthier alternative. For a kick try adding jalapeno peppers from a jar.
Adding fruits or vegetables to your water can turn boring water into a delicious and refreshing treat. There are plenty of water bottles that have infusers now that make it easy to take with you.
The most popular choice is to infuse water with cucumbers and mint. Peel and slice a cucumber, grab a few mint leaves and add it to a large mason jar or pitcher. Pour water over the cucumbers and mint leaves, stir and refrigerate for at least four hours to get the best flavor.
If you are looking for a savory and heartier meal that is refreshing and not heavy then cold soups should be your go to. With summer in full force, the best ingredient to utilize for cold soups is tomatoes. To keep it light avoid recipes that include heavy creams or other dairy products.
Smoothies can be refreshing, super filling and a great way to get some greens without the strong taste. They are also easy to put together and only require a few ingredients. A strawberry watermelon smoothie is a refreshing choice for the summer. Add one cup of watermelon, half a cup of frozen strawberries, half of a banana, and a fourth of a cup of almond milk to a blender and mix.
Juice is a great way to get a large boost of vitamins and helps you to cool off in the summer. To get the best benefits and to avoid too much sugar go for juice that incorporate both fruits and vegetables. Cucumber, apple, and kale is a good choice.
As you can see, there are plenty of options available to use up fresh produce that is light and refreshing. Salads, infused water, cold soups, smoothies, and juices all offer variety and are relatively easy to put together.
Share your favorite ideas for using your fresh produce in the comments below.