How to Prepare Healthy Summer Recipes

As temperatures rise, summer recipes focus on freshness, lighter cuisine, and making full use of summer produce bright colors. And the beauty of summer is that a focus on healthy foods that taste great is easiest of all when our appetites aren't so inclined to seek stodgier carbs or fats to keep warm.

Make the most of the summer months to improve your diet through cooking; take advantage of the ways suggested here for preparing and enjoying healthy summer recipes.


  1. Image titled Farmers Market
    Take advantage of local farmers' markets. If you're not already familiar with a local farmers' markets, look for one. They're a large gathering of tent or stall food vendors and merchants whom sell fresh and farm-made produce at prices that are often better than the supermarket. Some of the most common foods sold at farmer's markets include potatoes, apples, bananas, green beans, fresh berries, peaches and other stone fruits, lots of greens, and corn husks, although the list is endless really! Specialty items that you might find at a farmer's market include honey, jams, olive oils, boutique or gourmet produced meats, breads, dips, infused oils, and more. Some vendors are ethnic food orientated, such as Indian, Thai, Korean, or Spanish, providing you with the opportunity to try foods you've not yet tasted.
    • You can find out more about your local farmer's market by searching online, or calling your local chamber of commerce or municipality for more information.
    • Even if the produce isn't as cheap as a supermarket, the benefit of a farmer's market is freshness, low mileage in terms of getting the produce from farm to table, and direct support for local growers. All of these are good reasons to try a local farmer's market!
  2. Image titled Steaming
    Focus on how to make your summer cooking more healthy. Summer is a time of relaxation and that atmosphere should also invade the kitchen. When focusing on methods for cooking, think easy. Some of the healthiest cooking ways are the easiest, such as raw food (salads, etc.), grilling, steaming, and barbecuing (which gets you out of the kitchen). Focus on using food at its freshest and on replenishing it quickly so that everything you eat still contains lots of nutrients.
    • Purchase a book on seasonal cooking. This will help you to easily pinpoint summer oriented recipes without having to flick through the entire book. Another easy approach is to buy what is in season and to search for recipes using that ingredient online; simple but not always thought of!
  3. Image titled Grilled sausage and veggie pasta
    Grill fruits, vegetables and fish instead of meat. Just about any vegetable, such as corn on the cob, peppers, asparagus, and onions can be easily grilled in minutes. Make fruit kebabs for kid lunches or put a slab of salmon on a grill instead of steak. Here are some ideas:
  4. Image titled Summer Salad
    Eat light. You don't need to gorge yourself with a huge meal to be satisfied. Create healthy balanced salads as an appetizer or lunch. The possibilities of salad toppings and additions are endless, such as chopped pecans, low-fat salad dressing, dried fruit, and fresh vegetables.
  5. Image titled Fruit smoothies in a row
    Use fruit in different ways. Rather than just peeling or cutting it up into pieces, drink fruit smoothies or use fruit as a salad ingredient. Follow some of these refreshing ideas:
    • Watermelon lemonade
    • Watermelon mint raspberry salad
    • Cherry pie salad
    • Banana smoothie.
  6. Image titled Blueberries 1abc
    Use more berries in your cooking. Berries are abundant during summer and they're really good for you. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and more can be used in hundreds of different ways. Here is just a small sample of ideas:
    • Strawberry salad
    • Banana raspberry pie
    • Blueberry julius
    • Strawberry dressing for salads
    • Fish with berries
    • Blueberry muffins.
  7. Image titled Food for the trail
    Eat more trail mix snacks or fruits. Nuts, raisins, and dried fruit are the best combinations for a treat or "on-the-go" snack. Drop an apple or a tangerine into your bag or a handful of grapes into a sandwich baggie. Having healthy options easily available will remove the temptation to eat nutrient-deficient foods in their place.
  8. Image titled Your Popsicle's Melting
    Keep the kids happy with fruit popsicles or fruit flavored ice cubes. Add fruit ice cubes to a glass of orange juice or fruit punch for more flavor.
  9. Image titled Rim of the glass
    Re-hydrate with water. Try to stay away from energy and sports drinks, especially for children. Despite the fact that they may replenish electrolytes and fluids, they also contain carbohydrates and caffeine amounts that lead to obesity and high blood pressure.[1] As well, curb the soda drinks and flavored milks. Water is healthy, rehydrates instantly and keeps your body in great shape.


  • Always try to use fresh fruits and vegetables instead of packaged or frozen.
  • Prepare snacks in advance and place baggies in the refrigerator overnight. Using this method will keep them cool and ready when you leave.
  • Try out the trend of "meatless Mondays" and add veggie burgers to a grill instead of regular meat hamburgers.

Things You'll Need

  • Farmer's market
  • Suitable storage space for fresh food
  • Recipes

Sources and Citations

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