Vegetables and fruits are an essential part of our daily balanced diet. They are full of vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, minerals, and other nutrients essential for good health. A regular diet with adequate servings of fresh vegetables and fruits can also reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
It is high summer in July, and the markets are full of colorful fresh produce. The delicious berries, cucumbers, squash, melons, corn, green beans, and juicy stone fruits are more than enough reasons to change your mind about using canned, frozen, or junk food to prepare healthy and fresh home-cooked food.
For this summer nutrition, we bring you 2 delicious and healthy recipes – one savory and a dessert, using fresh summer produce.
Lemony Peppery Green Beans
Considered a superfood, green beans are loaded with soluble fiber. Fiber is essential for the proper digestion of food and lowers LDL and total cholesterol levels. It is also rich in Vitamins K, C, and A, alpha-carotene, and calcium. Lemon is high in Vitamin C, fiber, and other plant compounds, which are good for heart health, respiratory health, and digestive health, and aids in weight loss. Pepper has anti-inflammatory properties and is great to lower cholesterol levels, regulating digestion, and regulating blood sugar.
- Fresh green beans – 1 pound, cleaned and cut into 2-inch pieces
- Butter – 2 tbsp
- Sliced almonds – ¼ cup
- Lemon pepper seasoning – 2 tsp
- Steam the green beans over boiling water for around 10 minutes. The beans must be tender and firm. Drain and keep aside.
- Take a large skillet and melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the almonds and saute until it is toasted with a light brown color.
- Add the beans and the lemon pepper seasoning.
- Stir and mix the beans and almonds well with the seasoning.
- The Lemon Pepper seasoning is typically a mix of dried lemon zest, salt, and pepper. You can also add other herbs or spices like onions, garlic, thyme, etc.
- If your calorie count permits, you can add some goat’s cheese, feta, ricotta, or parmesan on top before serving.
- Walnuts, pecans, or pine nuts can also be added to it.
This recipe gives 6 servings.
Nutritional Facts: (for 1 serving)
- Calories – 81
- Protein – 2.3 g
- Carbohydrates – 6.3 g
- Fat – 5.9 g
- Dietary Fiber – 3.1 g
Strawberry Yogurt Bark
Fresh berries in summer are like a blessing for good health and deliciousness. Strawberries are packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, good to keep cholesterol, heart diseases, and cancer in check. Greek yogurt is a low-calorie food rich in calcium and protein. It helps in building muscle mass, aids digestion, is good for bone health, and boosts metabolism. Apart from being just delicious, chocolate is loaded with antioxidants. So, indulge in this guilt-free healthy version of a chocolate berry bark.
- Plain whole-milk Greek yogurt – 3 cups
- Strawberries – 1 ½ cups, sliced
- Mini chocolate chips – ¼ cup
- Pure maple syrup or honey – ¼ cup
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
- Line a 10-by-15-inch rectangle baking tray with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, vanilla, and maple syrup. Mix well gently.
- Spread it over the baking tray evenly.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips on it and arrange the strawberries over it.
- Freeze them for at least 3 hours or until they are firm.
- Break or cut the barks into around pieces.
- If you are storing it for future consumption, make sure you line the pieces in an air-tight box with parchment paper between each layer of pieces.
- It can be stored for around a month in the freezer.
- You can use low-fat Greek yogurt to keep fat and calories in control.
- You can add other berries, peppermint, or a bit of pepper for the extra flavor and taste.
This recipe gives 32 pieces of 1 3/4-by-2 1/2-inch size.
Nutritional Facts: (for 1 piece)
- Calories – 34
- Protein – 2 g
- Carbohydrates – 4 g
- Fat – 1.3 g
- Dietary Fiber – 0.2 g
Recipe source and ideas from – Allrecipes.com