When you’re hosting a group or attending an event where you’re asked to help feed the masses, it can be tricky to know what to make. You also don’t want to monopolize your own precious time hiding in the kitchen! Use these quick and easy healthy summer recipes to please the crowds and even get them eating well.
1. Watermelon Salad
Five ingredients, featuring watermelon and avocado, make this recipe simple, refreshing, and quick. Only risk: Keep the salad chilled and serve immediately. Avocado doesn’t have a long shelf life—especially in the sun.
2. Spinach Parmesan Cheeseball
There are some special ingredient swaps in this tasty dip that make the cheeseball better than the average dairy indulgence—and your guests won’t be the wiser! Just remember to keep it cold, to mold, before serving. And include some healthier serving options, like cucumber and whole grain crackers.
3. Simple Citrus Salad
Grapefruit and oranges are the star of this colorful, flavorful show, which is all topped off with a beautiful vinaigrette featuring honey and lemon juice. Toss some fresh thyme over it all and you’re good to go!
4. Strawberry Shortcake
You heard us right: cake! There’s room for celebration and a little sugar in every healthy diet, but if you’re going to indulge, you might as well be smart about it. This recipe features controlled servings (if you stop at one cupcake!) and smart ingredient swaps to take down the sugar levels.
5. Peach Granita
Granita is another great route to go for a summer-time treat, especially in place of high-calorie ice cream. This recipe features peach, but if you’d prefer another fruit, go for it. All you need is the fruit, honey, and whole milk—plus time to freeze (and fork) it well.
6. Greek Veggie Pasta Salad
There are quite a few ingredients in this recipe, but the best part about it is you simply toss everything together and serve! And you can still enjoy it if you’re missing an item, or toss in other veggies to supplement. Try to include the chickpeas no matter what, though, because it’s a great punch of plant-based protein.
7. Summer Melon Salad
There’s a tool for every job, and another tool just to make things look pretty! Sure, you can cube up the watermelon and cantaloupe like you normally might, but if you want to take it up a notch, use a melon-baller. Don’t forget the lemon zest, either way. It will add more brightest and contrast to your sweet side.
8. Healthy Beverages
Ok, this is four recipes in one. But liquids are essential during sweltering weather, and water just isn’t very fun day-in-day-out. So get infusing, or try one of our mocktails to keep your group hydrated.
9. Grilled Shrimp Salad
You need protein to keep active! Grilling up a bunch of shrimp or chicken kebabs with veggies is a great way to liven up a typical summer salad. Make your own vinaigrette (details included) to decrease total calories.
4 Outstanding Reasons–and Recipes–to Eat More Blueberries
Heads up: It’s peak blueberry season. And no doubt you’ve heard that blueberries are totally beneficial super foods with almost magical health benefits. Well, it’s true. They’re considered “brain food,” with the ability to fight toxic proteins, and can harness their crazy-good antioxidants to fight harmful molecules and potential infections (so long, UTIs!). With all these benefits, and the United States’ role as the world’s largest supplier, there’s an entire month— July—dedicated to their greatness. Do you need more reasons to eat them? If so, here goes. Skip to the end for blueberry recipes, if you’re already convinced.
1. Digestive health. Blueberries have high fiber content. Enough said.
2. Weight loss support. That fiber also increases your general sense of fullness, and extends the sensation between meals, reducing overall appetite.
3. Better bone health. Bone structure, strength, and elasticity are all helped by the great combo of iron, zinc, vitamin K, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, and manganese found in blueberries.
4. Smoother skin. Say so long to some extra wrinkles thanks to the vitamin C that helps collagen improve overall skin texture, and acts as an antioxidant to help prevent skin damage from the sun and pollution.
5. Lower blood pressure. Blueberries contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which naturally decrease blood pressure. They do not include sodium, the concerning element connected to a high BP.
Here are five tasty ways to add more blueberries into your diet:
Toss Them in Fresh
A handful can be added to a salad, smoothie, oatmeal, or any number of other meals that could use a boost.
Breakfast: Vanilla Blueberry Yogurt Parfait
Take an idea from above for your first meal of the day, or prepare these delicious single-serving breakfasts.
Baked Goods: Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Muffins
Lemon and blueberries are both beneficial for your health. Enjoy the combo in this gluten-free side.
Snacks: Frozen Red, White & Blue Yogurt Bites
Take a break from Fourth of July activities with these colorful, cool morsels.
Dessert: Blueberry Mini Tarts
Enjoy a healthier dessert, and limit your sweets consumed— unless you pop too many!
Note: Beware of food that’s blueberry-flavored. It often doesn’t include actual blueberries. We want the real deal! And remember to hold off on washing the “dusty” fruit until you’re ready to eat them (to make them longer-lasting), and watch their juice; blueberries are a natural dye.
Sources: Medical News Today, Health.com and WebMD
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