Fresh from The Kitchen: Summer Veggie Recipes – July 7
Author: Carolyn Negley, RD
I hope you’re feeling happy and healthy this summer and taking advantage of all the fresh Washington produce that’s in season right now. Read on to learn nutrition facts and cooking tips for five of my favorite summertime veggies.
- Kale is considered one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables. It offers more than 100% of your recommended daily value of vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C, making it a key player in blood clotting, healthy vision and bones, and boosting your immune system. Try it raw in a salad or smoothie; or simply sauté it for a few minutes with a drizzle of oil, garlic and lemon juice for a tasty side. Pro tip: sautéed kale tastes great with eggs in the morning and helps you set yourself up for a healthy day! For a fresh summer entree, try these Stuffed Summer Squash Boats.
- Carrots are a rich source of carotenoids which are converted to vitamin A in our intestines. In addition to helping with eyesight, carotenoids also boost immune function. Carrots are delicious and healthy raw, like in this Moroccan Carrot Salad, but cooking them helps increase absorption of the nutrients even more. Try this Creamy Carrot Potato Ginger Soup. Did you know that you can eat the stems and leaves of carrots too? Wash well and blend them up in a chimichurri sauce or chop them up to include in your salad.
- Cabbage is a good source of vitamin C and vitamin K. Additionally, it’s full of phytosterols and insoluble fiber, making your digestive system happy and bowel movements regular. This also helps reduce “bad” cholesterol levels. The bulky, fibrous veggie takes up plenty of space in your stomach, which helps fill you up. Try replacing some of your greens in salads and wraps with cabbage and see how satisfying the crunch and fill are. Cabbage steals the show from greens in this Black Bean Wrap.
- Zucchini is a good source of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and folate. The real magic, though, is in how versatile zucchini is. We’re still not over the zoodle craze of replacing (or supplementing) spaghetti with spiralized or thinly cut zucchini. You can also shred it and sneak it into most baked goods—pancakes included!
- Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C and potassium. Potassium helps maintain normal levels of fluid inside our cells while supporting normal blood pressure and helping muscles contract. Lycopene (which makes those tomatoes so red) also does a lot for our bodies! Lycopene improves blood pressure, cholesterol and may lower cancer risk. For a hot take on a summer classic, try this Fire Roasted Salsa.
For more great recipes, check out The Kitchen Recipes by Ingredient page.