Feed Your Family This Summer
with These Simple and Healthy Recipes
By Gabriel Patel of HealthWellWise.com
Summer is the season of sunshine and spending time outdoors. It’s also the perfect time to expand your family’s palate with new recipes featuring fruits and vegetables fresh from harvest. The best way to involve your children is by having them help out when it comes to preparing meals. Cooking with your kids demystifies healthy eating so they can carry the habit with them well into adulthood.
Try these healthy and delicious side- and main-dish recipes that are perfect for the whole family.
Mason Jar Sauerkraut
Fermented foods are staples in diets around the world, but Americans have traditionally been slow to catch up. When you eat foods rich in probiotics, it improves your gut health and immune system. Sauerkraut is a tasty side dish that helps kids become more comfortable with the idea of eating fermented foods. Use it as a topping on hot dogs, stir it into salads, or just eat it by the spoonful. You can also try making batches with different types of cabbage as a way to mix things up!
What You Need:
l About 3 lbs cabbage
l 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
l 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
l 2-quart mason jar
l Canning funnel (optional)
l A smaller jar that fits inside the larger mason jar
l Clean stones or marbles for weighing down the jelly jar
l Cheesecloth for covering the jar
l Rubber band or twine for securing the cloth
What To Do:
- Cut the cabbage into quarters before trimming out the core. Next, slice each quarter down lengthwise so you have eight separate wedges. Slice each wedge crosswise so you make very thin ribbons of cabbage.
- Combine cabbage ribbons and salt in a mixing bowl. Work the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing with your hands. After 5-10 minutes of massaging, the cabbage should be watery and limp. Add caraway seeds.
- Pack cabbage into 2-quart mason jar and weigh it down with jelly jar and weights. Cover the jar with cloth and allow it to ferment in a cool, dark area for 3 to 10 days, packing and adding water as needed.
For more detailed instructions, visit The Kitchn.
Grass-Fed Beef Kebabs
The farmers market isn’t just about the produce. Most of the time you can also find local ranchers who are able to give a great price on grass-fed beef. Grass-fed beef is leaner and healthier, but should still be eaten in moderation. These kebabs help you do just that by creating a 3:1 vegetable to beef ratio so you know you aren’t overdoing it. Let the kids help out by skewering the ingredients in an assembly line -- just make sure their little hands are clean!
What You Need:
l 1 ¼ lb grass-fed beef
l Assorted veggies like mushrooms, peppers, onion and zucchini
l 1/3 c Balsamic Vinegar
l 4 Tbsp olive oil
l Salt and pepper
l Kebab skewers
What To Do:
- Cut beef into 1-inch chunks and toss in mixing bowl with oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Let the beef marinate while chopping up assorted vegetables.
- Thread the beef and veggies on kebab skewers. Place one piece of beef for every three vegetables.
- Either grill kebabs over indirect heat or bake in a 450-degree oven until done to your preference.
Grilled Peaches and Ice Cream
Grilling is the epitome of summer eating, and lends itself to delicious, healthy recipes. Hamburgers and hotdogs are always crowd favorites, but why not mix things up a bit and make a dessert on the grill? This easy summer recipe should be served immediately after the fruit is grilled so you get the warm, sweet flesh of the peach contrasting against the cold of the ice cream. Never leave children with a lit outdoor grill unsupervised and always keep a fire extinguisher close. Kids can help by scooping the ice cream and sprinkling the cinnamon as a final touch.
What You Need:
l 4 large peaches
l Vegetable oil
l 8 scoops vanilla ice cream
What To Do:
- Using a chef’s knife, cut peaches in half and remove the pits. Brush oil onto the cut sides of the peaches.
- Place peaches cut side down on the grill for 3 to 4 minutes or until grill marks appear.
- Remove peaches from grill and immediately top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Serve immediately.
For some people, healthy eating might seem a little intimidating, especially if they’ve eaten unhealthy food for a long period of time. Thankfully, there are many resources online that can guide you to a healthier tomorrow. Additionally, you can seek out the professional expertise of a nutritionist who can work with you to develop a menu for your specific needs. What’s more, if you have a senior loved one in your household, they might qualify for nutrition therapy through Medicare. Additionally, if they’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, they might have access to benefits such as healthy meal delivery services.
Summer is a great season to cook healthy meals with the kids. Simple recipes encourage kids to enjoy food without the bells and whistles. From a quick sauerkraut to a dessert made on the grill, there are lots of ways to get creative when it comes to summer cooking.
Gabriel Patel helped create Health Well Wise to help inspire others to find health and happiness in their lives.