Sunday, June 24, 2007

Ah... Summer Vegetables

I live in the South - that is, the southern part of the United States, so eating vegetables in the summer is a joy. If vegetables tasted like this in the winter, I would be one happy camper, and probably have few problems keeping to a sensible diet. Another wonderful thing about summer and vegetables is that the vegetables and fruits are usually cheaper now.

What wonderful things should you be eating?

Cucumbers: marinate them in apple cider vinegar with onions. Or make cucumber soup with unflavored yoghurt (also good for you), a bit of sour cream (use the low fat) and onions. A quick favorite I never get tired of: cucumber sandwiches. Make them with very thinly sliced low calorie bread, low-fat mayonnaise and fat free cream cheese.

Tomatoes: full of all kinds of vitamins and good stuff: make my BLT by using the same low-fat mayonnaise, thinly sliced bread, lettuce, tomato, and use VEGGIE bacon. Protein, low-fat, low-cholesterol, these are great.

Strawberries: put them in a smoothie or eat them plain. If you have to have something a bit sweet with them, do NOT douse them with sugar. Instead, serve them the way I always did for my nephew: slice them into halves and eat them with an oyster fork with a ramekin of sugar in front of you. Lightly touch each bite with sugar before you eat it. I'll guarantee you'll savour each bite, get the full flavor of the strawberry still, and eat much less sugar than you would if you mixed it in a bowl with the strawberries.

Corn: boil it and eat it on the cob. If you use butter, you'll use far less than you would if you took the kernals off the cob first.

The rule of thumb for eating fresh in the summer is to do the least cooking of any fruit or vegetable that you can safely get by with. You'll enjoy the food, and be eating healthfully, too.

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