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Summer Inspired Recipes

Summer Inspired Recipes

Ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine originating from India, teaches that eating locally grown, seasonal food supports health by bringing balance to the body. Modern science confirms these benefits, since fresh local produce remains rich in nutrients unlike out-of-season foods which are transported globally. Summer is the perfect time to appreciate the abundance of fresh produce by enjoying raw fruits and vegetables which require little preparation time.

Explore your local farmer’s market and stock up on fresh cherries, peaches, melons, organic corn on the cob, summer squash, and heirloom tomatoes- all of which abound during summertime. When purchasing corn, it’s essential to choose organic since non-­organic varieties are almost certainly GMO. GMO foods are engineered to withstand higher levels of pesticides, and these chemicals are known endocrine disruptors that can wreak havoc on your fertility and hormonal health, and in some studies, have even been shown to have carcinogenic effects. So be sure to go organic!

At the farmer’s market, some vendors may not display an “organic” certification, but they may very well still be pesticide free. This is because in many states, becoming “certified organic” is an expensive process that many small family farms can’t afford. So simply ask, and if they say they are a “sustainable farm” or “pesticide free” it’s often as good as, and in some cases superior to, “organic.” At the grocery store, however, unless it’s labeled organic, it’s conventionally (aka PESTICIDE) grown.

The following are some of my favorite examples of how you can whip up a delicious meal in no time, without heating up your kitchen. Experiment with proportions, spice to your taste and feel free to get creative and substitute your favorite fruits and veggies. The key is to use high quality organic ingredients and produce that is locally grown and ripe­- it’s hard to go wrong!

Heirloom Caprese

Fresh organic heirloom tomatoes, thickly sliced  

Fresh basil leaves

Red onion, thinly sliced

Sliced avocado or buffalo mozzarella

Extra virgin olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt

Arrange the tomatoes, basil, onion, avocado and/ or cheese onto a serving platter or individual plates, layering them in any order you wish. Drizzle with EVOO and vinegar, and a few grinds of salt and pepper. Serve with a crusty sourdough baguette.

Alternatively, you can use cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella balls (ciliegine size­ about half an ounce each), and arrange veggies and basil onto skewers for a well presented hors d’oeuvres when entertaining guests.

Stone Fruit Salad

Baby mixed greens, little gem or butter lettuce

Sliced stone fruits (peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots or pluots)

Pecan halves or pieces

Chevre, crumbled

Goji berries

Dressing of choice (raspberry or champagne vinaigrette, or a simple lemon and oil dressing work well)

Toss the salad greens in dressing. Add sliced stone fruit and sprinkle with pecans, goat’s cheese and goji berries. Serve with a tall glass of sparkling mineral water infused with fresh mint, cucumber slices or berries.

Easy Summer Smoothie (recipe serves one)

1 cup coconut, almond or rice milk

¾ cup frozen cherries

½ banana

1 TB almond butter

Dash cinnamon and cardamom

Heaping tablespoon of plain, or vanilla, protein powder of choice

Blend and top with raw cacao nibs and shredded coconut. Garnish with a few fresh cherries.

By Ivy Joeva

A graduate of UC Berkeley and the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Ivy is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor, Certified Birth and Postpartum Doula, Registered Yoga Therapist and the Nutritionist for the Berlin Wellness Group. As a holistic health counselor, she addresses all aspects of a client’s lifestyle that influence physical health and overall well being, taking a highly individualized approach. She specializes in working with pregnant and postpartum moms, as well as women trying to become pregnant, with special care for the unique concerns that arise during these periods. Ivy is passionate about helping guide people back to their own body-centered wisdom, and bringing families a new level of confidence, intimacy and happiness in the process.