Summertime calls for evening gatherings, baseball games, and warm weather fun. And when it comes to eating, the options that are available to us during summertime are the foods that dreams are made of. But while many of us crave some classic summertime foods that aren’t the healthiest options, like a charred hot dog or an ice-cold glass of sugary homemade lemonade, there are some healthy summer foods that are just as nutritious as they are delicious.
Which Foods Are in Season During The Summer?
When people think of summertime produce, juicy, flavorful, and chock-full of color typically come to mind. The best ingredients for summertime salads, fruit platters, and even produce-packed desserts are front and center on our mealtime tables during these sunnier months.
Here are some of our favorite seasonal picks to enjoy:
- Bell peppers
The Healthiest Foods to Add to Your Plate This Summer
Good news — there’s no shortage of healthy summertime foods. Whether you’re heading to the farmer’s market or growing your own, fresh fruits and veggies are in season and ripe for the picking! That said, when it comes to taste and nutrition, we’ve got some favorites! If you are trying to support your health this season while eating absolutely delicious seasonal food, here are the healthiest choices that you 100% need to enjoy.
For a boost of hydration along with some important nutrients like vitamin C and lycopene, watermelon is a must. Plus, it’s one of the most hydrating foods, containing around 90% water! And with no added sugar (yet totally sweet), it is a no-brainer why this fruit belongs on your summertime plate. From a watermelon Caprese salad to a simple watermelon juice, noshing on juicy watermelon is the ultimate summertime food.
Here are some flavourful ways to enjoy this juicy melon:
- Blend it into a no-added-sugar mocktail with lime and coconut water
- Freeze watermelon puree into popsicles with the addition of berries or kiwi
- Chop it up and add it to salad alongside spinach, avocado, pumpkin seeds, and chicken
- Add it to your favorite shrimp or fish taco recipe
- Sprinkle it with chili and lime juice, and enjoy it plain
From a fresh gazpacho bowl to a juicy classic tomato sandwich, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy this summertime delicacy. Tomatoes are low in calories, and they contain nutrients like vitamin C, calcium, and vitamin B6. Bonus? Red tomatoes contain a carotenoid called lycopene, which may help support healthy skin.
Here are some yummy ways to try this sweet summer delight:
- Make a simple salad with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and balsamic
- Add them fresh to salads or sandwiches
- Grill them with pesto, balsamic, or a drizzle of olive oil
- Make a fresh salsa
- Use them in place of canned tomatoes for a seasonal pizza topping
- Roast and blend them into a homemade tomato sauce
Fiber, magnesium, and vitamin C are just a few of the many nutrients found in summer squash. And since they are incredibly low in calories and naturally fat-free, adding them to your summertime casseroles, soups, and sandwiches can help support your weight loss goals. If you haven’t tried summer squash after it has been marinated and grilled, be sure to put that on your menu this season!
Here are some ways to enjoy summer squash:
- Make them into zucchini noodles and enjoy them as a low-calorie, low-carb alternative to pasta
- Grill it alongside other veggies like eggplant, bell pepper, and sweet potato
- Add them to a veggie lasagna
- Make them into zucchini or squash boats and stuff them with tomato sauce, cheese, and protein of choice
- Bake them into low-carb fries with a sprinkle of parmesan and a grain-free breadcrumb topping
Biting into a juicy peach on a hot summer day isn’t something that many people need a lot of convincing to do. And the great news is that eating peaches offers up a satisfying sweetness with no added sugars. Plus, this summertime goodness contains fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A, and a slew of other nutrients! This makes enjoying these fruits one of the healthiest things you can do.
While they’re delicious on their own, peaches make a nice addition to salads, smoothies, and many sauce recipes. Here are some other yummy ways to enjoy them:
- Grill them until golden brown and serve with Greek yogurt or banana nice cream
- Add them to healthy summer smoothies with other ingredients such as almond milk, nut butter, spinach, and banana
- Add them to a fruit salad with other seasonal fruits like fresh berries and melon
- Use them as a fresh or sauteed topping for yogurt, oat bowls, or chia seed pudding
- Serve them as a topper on your favorite summer salad
Adding some crispy fresh cucumbers to sandwiches and salads is a quintessential summertime thing to do. Similar to watermelon, cucumbers help you stay hydrated since they’re rich in water (around 95%). Plus, they contain satiating fiber, which can keep you feeling fuller for longer to help you meet your health goals.
To enjoy crispy cucumbers, whip up a refreshing gazpacho, enjoy them sliced with a homemade yogurt-based dip, or simply eat them on top of your veggie salad.
Here are some other ways to enjoy them:
- Juice it into a green juice with other ingredients such as spinach, lemon, and ginger
- Make a cucumber salad with a Greek yogurt dressing
- Mix them with avocado, dry-roasted nuts, and soy sauce for an Asain-inspired side dish
- Add sliced cucumber to sandwiches, salads, and burgers
- Use them as a dipping vehicle for your favorite dip (such as guac or salsa)
- Smear them with hummus or avocado for a simple summer snack
Eating Healthy During The Summertime
Eating healthy summer foods isn’t a huge challenge, thanks to the abundance of good-for-you produce options that are ripe and in season during the warmer months of the year. No matter whether you are snagging your food at your local farmers market, you hit up the local grocery store, or you get your produce delivered, be sure to include our top picks to your list if you are aiming to support your health while enjoying some fun in the sun this year.