Healthy Kitchens Healthy Lives

Summer Harvest


The warm months of summer offers us cooling foods with high water content for hydration such as peaches, melons, tomatoes and cucumbers, just to name a few.

Depending on where you live, the August choices can vary. In hotter climates spinach and cilantro might have already bolted, but in cooler climates they are at their peak. Don’t forget to season with fresh herbs whenever you can. Americans consume too much sodium and often times reach for the salt-shaker instead of other seasoning choices such as lemon juice or flavorful fresh herbs.

One simple fact to remember is the fresher the vegetable the more nutrition and enzymes it contains, so peak of season and local are best. It’s also important to consume raw veggies, as fragile enzymes, important for health, as well as the water-soluble vitamins B and C, can be diminished with cooking.

Peak of harvest fruits, vegetables and herbs for most parts of the country for mid-summer are:


Peaches and other stone fruit




Blackberries and other ‘brambles’

Watermelons and other melons



Summer squashes such as zucchini, patty pan and crookneck






Leafy Greens such as Chard and Kale

Many lettuces













Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that has been shown to help prevent certain types of cancer. Cilantro is a natural chelator, which helps to remove heavy metals, and cucumbers contain vitamin C and are high in water content.


Be sure to use peak of season veggies for this delicious cold soup. Even if you don’t think you like gazpacho, do try this recipe. It will change your mind!

Serves 6

2 cups chopped tomatoes

1 cup cucumbers, peeled and coarsely chopped

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 -1 jalapeno

1-2 large garlic clove

2 cups tomatoes, finely chopped

2/3 cup cucumbers, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped

1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup parsley, or cilantro, finely chopped

Place the first 7 ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

Pour in a bowl.

Finely chop the remaining ingredients and stir into the smooth ingredients. Serve.

There is no gluten in brown rice, so this is a non-gluten (and delicious!) pizza crust. Also, brown rice is an intact-grain, always the best grain choice. Fresh herbs really do lend a lot of freshness and flavor. If you are a vegetarian simply leave out the ground turkey. For a complete protein, sprinkle some white beans on top of the marinara sauce; beans and rice together offer all the necessary amino acids to make a complete protein.

Zucchini Pizza

Serves 6

4 cups grated zucchini

2 cups brown rice, cooked

1 1/2 cups Monterey jack cheese, or mozzarella, grated

2 eggs, beaten

1 pound ground turkey, optional

1 medium onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups marinara sauce

3 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried

3 tablespoons minced fresh oregano or1 teaspoon dried

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Combine the grated zucchini, brown rice, jack cheese and the eggs. Press into a greased 15X11X1″ jelly roll pan. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, in medium skillet, brown ground turkey with onion and herbs. Set aside.

Pour marinara over crust, sprinkle with turkey mixture and top with cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.




View all posts by


You must be logged in to post a comment.