Sensational seasonal meals to make the most of your summer

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(Image: Supplied)
(Image: Supplied)

Summertime and the living is easy… From sun-kissed skin to the promise of year-end holidays, we anticipate summer all year long. It’s also the season for social occasions and active days outdoors – which means delicious, nutritious salads and light meals are on the menu.

While the sights and smells of summer are intoxicating, so are the tastes – the plentiful fruits and vegetables in season are one of the best joys of summer months, packed with goodness to beat the heat, and also add vitality and freshness to the sportier side of the year. While summer is a fantastic time, it’s hot spells and demanding activities mean a different approach to eating, is best – crisp, nutrient-rich foods that up energy and keep you cool. 

Herbalife Nutrition has picked four of the ripest, tastiest recipes using the best local in-season produce to give your summer the nutritious start it needs. 

Crunchy summer salad 

You may not know it, but beetroot is one of summer’s specialities, coming into season around December time. Packed with iron, vitamin C and vitamin B9 that can help improve both energy and exercising stamina, it makes the perfect sweet and colourful base for an amazing salad. Pair will fellow superfood kale, a November vegetable, and toss with some water-packed summer herbs like watercress, French chives or even fennel. For extra creaminess, add avocado. Technically a spring fruit, avocados are in season from September to late November, but they’re often available and just as delicious well into January. 

Mediterranean finger foods supper

Both the French and Italians, who have glorious summers, have the same saying: ‘breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, sup like a pauper’. In the hot summer months, a light supper is not only best for digestion, it ups energy levels by allowing your hard-working gut a break in the evenings by not overfilling it with starch, which in small doses boosts sleep-inducing serotonin but in larger amounts can lead to sluggishness and a bloated, heavy feeling.

For this simple supper, just take nutritious, water-packed and diuretic asparagus, lightly poach and eat with summery, fibre-rich figs, prosciutto and some fresh green beans and mangetout – both summer vegetables that pack a serious punch nutritionally. Drizzle with olive oil and prepare to feel very Continental and surprisingly satisfied with this light lunch or dinner.  

Mango and peach frozen dessert 

Sometimes in summer, only a sweet cold dessert will do. Traditionally, frozen mango desserts were called fonne – French for ‘fool’ – but there are plenty of smart choices in this sweet treat. Rather than load up on unnecessary toxins and sugars with store-bought ice cream, why not try a homemade sorbet or frozen yoghurt? It’s especially easy with an ice cream maker. Mangos are rich in vitamin A and lesser-known nutrient Copper, essential in small doses for maintaining strong bones and teeth. Meanwhile, succulent peaches are also packed with antioxidants, and plenty of nutrients, not to mention they’re sweet and juicy. 

A little extra boost 

Of course, it’s difficult to get all the nutrients we need to maintain our often fast-paced lifestyles. The ‘silly season’ of summer in particular, with its many braais, parties and special occasions, can take a toll. That’s why it’s important to get a little extra boost from nutritious helpers like Herbalife, packed with natural ingredients that can help promote energy and an optimal balance of all the things you need to live your best life.

This post was written, supplied and sponsored by Herbalife 

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