Eat fresh – it’s the perfect time
July in southwestern Ontario is a prime time to take advantage of all the fresh fruits and vegetables available at farmers’ markets, farm gates and even in the grocery stores. When you add fruits and vegetables, you add vitamins, minerals and fibre to your diet. These delicious items added to your diet also help protect you against cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
The list of in-season food is pretty long and many of the foods can quickly and easily be combined into fantastic, tummy-satisfying sides or main courses.
Tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, potatoes, plums, peppers, peas, peaches, onions, melons, lettuce, garlic, cucumber, corn, cherries, celery. cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, blueberries, beets and beans.
Now, who can’t find a salad or a produce-heavy main course from that?
Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries piled on top of crisp lettuce with chopped carrots, cucumber and celery. That almost doesn’t need any salad dressing but if you insist, how about a light lemon juice and olive oil? Add some almonds or other nuts and you have a fast, delicious main course.
Blanch some corn, sweet peas and green beans – blanching means dropping in boiling water for a very short time – cut the corn off the cob then toss everything with some roasted potato chunks. Add some chopped onion, if you’re into that sort of thing, then dress with your favourite salad dressing. But go easy on the salad dressing – that’s where so many of the calories come from and you need to let the flavour of the vegetables shine through!
Salads are as varied as the produce that’s in season. Cold salads are terrific for the summer months as they don’t heat up the kitchen; they’re fast to make and go great with a wide array of proteins. Some barbecue chicken on top of that leafy green salad? Some sliced pork loin on the side of that fruit salad? Some grilled tofu topping that tomato and cucumber salad?
Ever thought about grilling peaches, plums and melon chunks? So delicious! Half the peaches and plums, remove the pits, put in a bowl with your melon chunks. Toss with a light sprinkling of olive oil, even some salt and pepper if you’re feeling daring, then place on the barbecue grill. It doesn’t take long to get beautiful grill marks and enhance the flavour of these fruits. What a great side dish or dessert!
Get inspired by all the great fresh produce available in July in southwestern Ontario. It will do your body good.
If you want to eat better but don’t know how to start, make an appointment with the dietitian at Our Clinic to learn what will work for you and your healthcare goals.