Fun & Food: Guilt Free Summer Entertaining

Fun & Food: Guilt Free Summer Entertaining

Summer is here, which means lots of fun with barbeque season.  We love to spend time outdoors with family and friends, and being outside on a deck under the sunny blue sky is relaxing for the body and the mind.

It is hard not to get tempted with juicy steaks and burgers on the grill. But beware!  Grilling meat forms harmful carcinogens, and if you don’t want to be exposed to these risky chemicals then fruits and vegetables, meatless burgers, soy patties and meatless hot dogs are the way to go.

Grilling veggies can be joyful and safe, especially during the summer harvest when they are in abundance.

Asparagus, zucchini, red peppers, tomatoes, onions, fennel, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, also pineapples, peaches etc. are all fabulous fruits and vegetables for grilling.

VEGETABLES

Asparagus

Delicious with its delicate flavour and texture. It contains folic acid, vitamin C, and glutathione, which have antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties.  

Red Peppers

Sweet and juicy with an abundance of vitamin C, and are a good source of Beta carotene, fibre and B6.

Tomatoes

A source of vitamin C, E, Beta carotene, calcium, magnesium and lycopene, which has a cancer fighting properties. Our body absorption of lycopene is higher when tomatoes are cooked.

Onions

Contain Allyl sulfides, a sulphur compound that may lower blood pressure. In addition onions contain quercetin, a potent antoxidant that may lower cholesterol and discourage tumour growth. Furthermore onions are anti-viral and anti-bacterial and the good thing is that they do not lose potency when cooked.

Sweet Potatoes

My favourite! Especially, high in Beta carotene, and carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxantin. They are an excellent source of fibre, vitamin C, B6 and manganese.

Butternut Squash

Rich in beta-carotene, fibre, vitamin C, and magnesium. Grilling brings out the sweetness. Butternut squash is easy to prepare: scoop out the seeds and cut the squash into squares or chunk size pieces.

You can place vegetables in a heavy-duty foil, sprinkle with olive oil and your favourite herbs. Dry Oregano, Basil, Marjoram and Rosemary are my favourites.  You can also use bamboo skewers, and  thread vegetables onto them. They are colourful and fun to make.

Especially, grilled vegetables can be mixed with quinoa or brown basmati rice as a risotto dish, or even mixed with brown or wild rice pasta. You can serve grilled vegetables with your favourite dip, or marinate them in lots of garlic and cold pressed extra virgin olive oil for a salad. 

FRUITS

Peaches

If you like having fruit on your barbeque then peaches are delicious. Peaches are a symbol of longevity in China. In addition, they are rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene. Just peel, halve and pit peaches and place them on the grill. You can brush them with your favourite juice or sauce, and sprinkle with cinnamon. In addition, top them with whipped cream or ice cream.  

Pineapples

Pineapples are loaded with vitamin C, beta carotene and folic acid. Moreover, they contain the antibacterial enzyme bromelain, which aids digestion of protein and it also has anti-inflammatory properties.

White Bean Dip

White Bean Dip is delicious with all grilled vegetables. Beans provide low fat protein, fibre, magnesium, and iron. In addition, beans lower blood cholesterol, reduce the risks of heart disease and stroke and are excellent for the relief of constipation.

 

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  I encourage you to buy organic fruits and vegetables that are grown in nutrient-rich soil, free of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Organic food still contains live enzymes, is unprocessed and natural, and does not contain genetically modified organisms. Studies show that organic food produces higher levels of vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, using chemicals, pesticides and herbicides deprives our foods of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and the macronutrients.

Enjoying summer fun parties does not have to be a challenge for healthy eating.  Try these suggestions and appreciate the gifts that nature provides for us.

  Love & Light

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