Savor the Flavors of Summer

Friday, Jul 5, 2024 | Coaches, Featured, Meals

Hello everyone, Coach Jeri here! When summer comes to mind, we often think of barbecues, salads, cold treats, outdoor fun, and socializing. Some of us, however, might worry that all the tasty “summer stuff” will throw us off plan. Thankfully, we have the internet, where you can quickly find ways to lighten up your favorite dishes. Here at Healthi, we offer many platforms with daily delicious recipe posts to help you discover new foods and lighten up your favorites. In my weekly meetings, we always end with food finds. Members look forward each week to sharing their discoveries and how they use them. I’d like to share some of my personal favorite tips and recipes so you can savor the flavors of summer in a healthy way.

 

Lightened Up Summer Dishes

Salads often seem like a healthy choice, but they can sometimes be our worst enemy. Many summer salads are high in BITES and calories, like the “white salads” with heavy creamy dressings. Instead of just putting out a regular tossed salad with some dressings on the side, consider offering alternatives to the traditional “white salads.” Here are some of my favorites featuring fresh summer produce:

Asian Cole Slaw (adjust ingredients for more people)

  • Broccoli slaw package
  • Slivered almonds
  • Light Asian Sesame dressing
  • Dried cranberries
  • Orange slices

Apple and Carrot Salad

  • 2 apples, cored and sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 cups matchstick-cut carrots
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar or Truvia
  • Salt and pepper to sprinkle
  • 1 oz feta cheese

Pasta Salad (instead of macaroni salad)

  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1 small bottle of light Italian dressing (7 Seas)
  • 1 box of pasta (I use fat spaghetti, but rotini also works)
  • Season with Salad Supreme seasoning with cheese (McCormick, Durkee)
  • Prepare the day before and refrigerate

 

Fresh Summer Fruit

One of the best parts of summer is all the fresh fruit in season. While many desserts can be tempting, you can take charge by planning and being creative. Everyone loves watermelon, right? It’s so refreshing. Besides serving fresh-cut watermelon, you can make frozen pops by blending watermelon and pouring it into popsicle molds. This works well with pineapple too.

Here are some refreshing, plan-friendly desserts:

Pina Colada Cake

  • 1 box of Angel food cake mix or Vanilla low-sugar mix
  • 1 can of crushed pineapple (in its own juice)
  • 1/4 tsp coconut extract
  • Follow the cake mix directions.

Pineapple Cheesecake

  • 15 oz fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1 can of crushed pineapple in its own juice
  • 2 caps vanilla extract
  • 2 packets of Truvia or stevia
  • 1 pkg unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Cinnamon
  • Soften gelatin in the juice drained from the pineapple. Combine all ingredients and stir until smooth. Pour into a pan and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes. Refrigerate overnight.

By following these tips, you can turn your dreams into a healthy, slimmer you. With a bit of planning and creativity, you can enjoy the summer and all its flavors. Being smart about what and how we eat, and moving more, is the most realistic and safest way to get healthy. Substitutes like these are part of a healthy lifestyle, and you won’t miss out on any of the delicious flavors of summer!