When it is hot outside, the last thing you want to do is make meals that heat up the kitchen. Keep your cool with these fresh and tasty low calorie treats that are easy to make and loaded with nutrition. Summer’s abundance of fruits and veggies provides a wealth of healthy options to help you achieve your fitness goals.
Farmers Market Finds
Shopping for fresh produce at the farmers market has many benefits. Besides a little exercise, sunshine and connection with your community, you have access to the freshest ingredients possible. Most farmers harvest the day before or morning of, and the fresher it is, the more nutrients it will have. Make the farmers market a family outing and enjoy the fresh samples along the way.
Summer’s Top Produce Pick
Nothing says summer like fresh sweet corn. Two antioxidants—lutein and zeaxanthin—found in corn filter some of the sun’s damaging rays and lower your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Corn on the cob is best when it is fresh, so cook it the day you buy it. To give it a kick without the calories, put lime juice on it along with chipotle chili powder or cayenne pepper.
You don’t have much control over what’s in store-bought blends, but when you make smoothies at home, you can reduce sugar and load up on protein and fiber. This keeps you full and provides antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Try one with natural peanut butter, fresh blueberries, kale (stem removed), chia seeds, unsweetened cacao powder and plain almond milk. Refuel muscles by adding protein powder and drinking 30-60 minutes after your workout.
Grill Your Grub
Drizzle tofu, fish, chicken or grass-fed beef with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and place it on a preheated grill for several minutes. Tuck corn on the cob alongside the protein and top with olive oil instead of butter. Toss sliced veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper and use a cooking grate designed for grills.
Popsicles are a summertime treat and homemade ones can be healthy and flavorful. Popsicle molds can be ordered online or you can make your own with disposable cups. Avoid excess sugar, artificial colors and imitation flavors by using pureed strawberries, blueberries, or pineapple and fresh-squeezed orange juice.