It’s well and truly summer now, which means we’re finding more and more excuses to be out of the kitchen and...well, pretty much anywhere else. This urge to be as far away as possible from the oven can make for a slip-sliding slope into some ugly eating habits: one Slurpee for dinner is ace; a whole week of Slurpee dinners is an intervention waiting to happen.
One way we tackle the summer cooking blues is by taking advantage of the best ingredients on offer. It’s a great time to visit your local farmer’s markets, check out neighborhood farm stands, or just spend some time cooling off in the produce section at your grocery store. Since summer is prime growing season, you’re getting the best of what nature has to offer: vitamin-packed fruits and veggies that are at their peak for flavor and health.
Ready to play? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite summer superfoods to get you excited about cooking again.
- Watermelon. Not only is this juicy fruit the chicest shade of millennial pink, it contains lycopene, which can help protect your skin from harmful UV rays. It’s also low in sugar and packed with Vitamins A and C. Plus, it’s mega-hydrating. Make a batch of Watermelon Lemonade and drink up.
- Kiwi. These fuzzy miracle balls (sorry) are loaded with potassium and fiber, and reach their peak sweetness in the summer months. We love them on a morning acai bowl for a pop of color, but are also excited to try them in these Lime and Ginger popsicles for a poolside treat.
- Blue-Green Algae. Technically a year-round ingredient, but eating blue food seems weirder in the winter. Just us? Either way, blue-green algae (also known as spirulina) contains all the essential amino acids, so it’s a killer source of protein, and it’s got plenty of Vitamin B for energy. This hydrating coconut smoothie is a Pinterest dream come true.
- Cherries. All stone fruits reach peak amazing in summer, and cherries have our whole heart. Their deep color means they are full of antioxidants and function as a fantastic anti-inflammatory. While they’re perfect on their own, we’re excited to try them as a savory salsa in this grilled sweet potato recipe.