Summer is the perfect time for fresh local produce. We all have our favorite summer seasonal treats such as ripe tasty tomatoes, refreshingly sweet watermelon, crisp corn on the cob, popsicles & ice cream, and sipping lemonade from your neighborhood lemonade stand. But let's go a little deeper. We tend to crave certain foods in the summer and there is a very logical reason for that.
The heat of summer affects our hypothalamus, which regulates our tempreature as well as our appetite. When we are hot, the body and the brain prioritize and choose to regulate our temperature and therefore our appetite is a bit suppressed. My son’s favorite summer food is pizza. For me personally, I like meals like gazpacho (recipe at bottom of page), tarator (which is a cold Bulgarian cucumber soup), grilled anything... lol, fresh sliced tomatoes with basil and either blue cheese or mozzarella with basamic vinegar, and of course peach cobbler (recipe at bottom of page) for dessert or just a bowl of fresh berries.
Ayurveda is the five thousand year old Vedic “science of life”, which is the traditional natural healing system of India (Ayurveda and the Mind, Dr. David Frawley). Today Ayurveda is often referred to as mind body medicine. In Ayurveda it is explained that each of us have a body type or Dosha, and the three constitutional types are Pitta, Kapha, Vata. In addition, each of body type requires certain foods to achieve maximum health. It is fairly involved, but logical. Each season also has a preferred type. For example; summer is a Pitta Dosha, fire element, which requires cooling foods such as cucumber and watermelons. We naturally crave what our bodies want and need and these needs change throughout the year.
There are exceptions to every rule of course, but it's important to tune into your body and listen to your intuition. If you are feeling dehydrated or thirsty, try drinking water with sliced lemon and cucumber. Also avoid spicy foods if you are feeling overheated. And I highly urge you to visit your local farmers markets during the summer. Talk to the vendors and ask about foods you are not familiar with. I recently discovered purple daikon radishes. You might discover new foods or new uses for foods you might not otherwise know about. Usually the farmers are up early in the morning picking and cleaning the produce for your purchase that very same day. It does not get much fresher or better than that!
Enjoy these long days as they pass by quickly! If you are not a fan of the heat try, dipping in a pool or a run through the sprinkler. Let your inner child come out to play. Fall will be here before we know it and it will be apple picking and pumpkin carving season. But, for now, stay in the moment, make the best of the dog days of summer and feed yourself refreshing, cooling seasonal foods. We want to fuel our bodies so that we can enjoy the outdoor activities that summer entices us with such as paddle boarding, swimming, kayak or canoeing, and walking after dinner or first thing in the morning.
The Best Gazpacho
4 cans of tomato juice, chilled
1 sm sweet onion (finely minced)
2 cans rotel, drained & chopped
1 green pepper, finely minced
1 cucumber, finely minced
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1 heaping tsp. of local honey
2 T Red wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried basil
Dash of cumin
Dash of tabasco
Salt & pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients & chill.
*note: the green chilis in the rotel give this quite a spicy bite so feel free to use mild if you prefer non spicy.
Submitted by Libby McAvoy
Easy Peach Cobbler
3/4 cup flour
Pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups of fresh peaches, sliced
2 cup blueberries (blueberries are optional, but I like both)
Pre heat oven to 350.
Place melted butter in a 8x8 (or similar size) baking dish. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Add 1/2 cup sugar slowly and stir in the milk to make a batter. Pour the batter over the butter (do not mix together).
Mix the fruit with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and then carefully spoon over batter.
Bake 1 hour
Submitted by Libby McAvoy
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