Develop a Taste for Wellness This Summer

WatermelonOne of the things I love most about summer is the availability of so many delicious fruits and vegetables. I‘ve been indulging in huge portions of watermelon every day since July, leaving less room in my belly for ice cream.  After years of thinking of this fruit as mostly water, I was surprised to find out that it has worthwhile nutritional value.

According to DietaryFiberFood.com, watermelon is rich in carotenoids, including lycopene.  (Wikipedia says that carotenoids enhance the immune system.  Apparently, humans can’t synthesize them, so we have to ingest them.)  Additionally, several research studies report an association between dietary lycopene consumption and lower incidence in diseases such as prostate (not a problem for me, but good to know) and oral cancers. It may also help reduce risks of cardiovascular disease.   It’s fun to find something that tastes so good could actually improve my health.

Another fabulous food I enjoy in the warmer months is Gazpacho – yes that cold, chewy and a little bit spicy vegetable soup.  To be honest, I am not spending as much time in my kitchen in the summer, so I often buy it pre-made at Whole Foods. (BTW, a new fabulous one just opened in my town.  It really is a treat…but it’s not cheap).  So when I opened my e-mail this morning I found a great looking  Gazpacho recipe from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute  (not a delicious name in my opinion, but the recipe still looks good), so I thought I would share it with you:

GAZPACHO

This classic chilled tomato soup is chock full of garden-fresh vegetables, cholesterol free, and made with very little added oil.

4 C tomato juice*
1/2 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 small green pepper, peeled, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 small cucumber, peeled, pared, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 drop hot pepper sauce
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large tomato, finely diced
2 Tbsp minced chives or scallion tops
1 lemon, cut in 6 wedges

 

  1. Put 2 cups of tomato juice and all other ingredients except diced tomato, chives, and lemon wedges in the blender.
  2. Puree.
  3. Slowly add the remaining 2 cups of tomato juice to pureed mixture. Add chopped tomato. Chill.
  4. Serve icy cold in individual bowls garnished with chopped chives and lemon wedges.

Yield: 6 servings–Serving Size: 1 cup

Each serving provides:

Calories: 87
Total fat: 5 g
Saturated fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 593 mg*

*To cut back on sodium, try low-sodium tomato juice.

I’m going to try it this week.  Love to hear if anyone else has a good recipe or experience with this soup!

According to a Chinese proverb, “He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skills of the physician.”  So remember to eat well and enjoy the bounty of the summer …while it lasts.

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Date: Thursday, 25. August 2011 13:34
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Creativity & Fun Stuff, Wellness

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