Easy Recipes for Sacramento Summers

blog-post_300x250_easy-recipesThe farmland surrounding Sacramento county provides a bounty of local produce for California’s capital. An abundance of seasonal summer crops are ready for you to use in Sacramento’s best recipes, where succulent corn, golden summer squash, and fragrant melons get to shine.

Need some inspiration for the delicious, local fruits and vegetables you’ve brought home to your kitchen? Here are three easy recipes that showcase the best of what Sacramento’s farmland has to offer.

Mango Honeydew Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a chilled soup that is delightfully refreshing on a warm summer’s day. This cool dish may have originated in Spain and Portugal, but it takes on a Sacramento twist with seasonal honeydew melon and local honey.

Did you know that honeydew melons are relatives of cucumbers and squash, two other seasonal summer crops? This lovely pastel melon has a very high water content, perfect for keeping hydrated in the hot Sacramento season. With as much potassium as a banana, honeydew is an effective way to maintain blood pressure health as well. As a good source of vitamin C and copper, honeydew can aid in collagen production and tissue repair for healthy, glowing skin.

This recipe for Mango Honeydew Gazpacho is the perfect first course for a dinner party with friends, or a beautiful light entree on a hot night when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen.

Shaved Herbed Squash Salad

Golden tender-skinned summer squash combined with fresh herbs, creamy feta, fresh olive oil, and bright lemon juice makes a delectable summer salad. This Shaved Herbed Squash Salad is another no-cook dish that will keep out of a hot kitchen when the temperatures soar.

When you think of antioxidants, berries may spring to mind. Summer squash, however, is an important source of antioxidant nutrients such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and the vision-protective carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. Antioxidants help protect the body from free radical cellular damage that can lead to aging and illness, and are particularly helpful in combating the oxidative stress that occurs with exercise.

This seasonal Sacramento recipe is a quick,  easy, light, and delicious way to replenish antioxidants after your next workout.

Steamed Grouper with Corn, Tomatoes, and Basil

Flaky, white grouper is cooked en papillote, in paper, resulting in a moist and tender fish that steams in its own aromatic juices in this recipe. Sweet corn kernels, juicy ripe tomatoes, and peppery basil add a distinctly summertime flavor to this delicious and healthy dish.

Fish such as grouper are an ideal source of low-calorie protein, essential for repairing bodily tissue and promoting muscle growth. Eating more high quality protein can also help with weight loss, as protein increases resting metabolism, reduces the urge to snack, and leaves you feeling fuller, longer. Sacramento’s local sweet corn offers a good source of fiber to this recipe, which helps slow digestion and supports your weight loss efforts.

This recipe for Steamed Grouper with Corn, Tomatoes, and Basil not only highlights the mouth-watering delights of Sacramento’s local produce, it is also the perfect meal to keep you on track with your fitness goals.

In the late summer months, your favorite farmer’s markets and local grocery stores will be overflowing with apples, beans, berries, corn, cucumber, melons, bell peppers, summer squash, and stone fruits such as peaches and plums. Get inspired by these healthy ingredients, find the best fruits and veggies for weight loss, and shop smart at the store with the help of our free Healthy Grocery Checklist. Then, head on home to prepare the best summer recipes that Sacramento has to offer. Bon appetite!

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