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Refreshing Summertime Foods

CherriesSummer is here, and there’s no better time to lighten up your meals with some refreshing foods. Enjoy these delicious low-calorie picks that begin with the letter “C.”

Cherries

Sweet cherries include the popular Bing and Rainier varieties that are ripe for the picking from May to August. Sour or tart cherries are only available for a week or two in June. Select firm cherries with stems attached and refrigerate up to 10 days.

Twelve cherries have only 51 calories and almost 2 grams of fiber. They are a good source of vitamin C and potassium.

Tips to enjoy:

  • Create a cherry shake by blending with a banana and fat-free vanilla yogurt.
  • Make a fizzy cherry spritzer by combining cold seltzer, ice, water and pureed cherries.
  • Grab a handful of washed whole cherries for an on-the-run snack.

Corn

Summer is not complete without corn on the cob! Corn is at its peak of freshness when picked from the stalk, so try to purchase at your local farmer’s market. Refrigerate corn with husks on or use within one or two days.

Corn contains a good amount of B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. Its sweet flavor makes it seem high in calories, but there are only 80 calories in a small ear along with 3 grams of fiber.

Tips to enjoy:

  • Make a corn relish as a summer side dish by combining with chopped red bell peppers, red onion and tomatoes.
  • Skip the butter and add flavor with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and herbs, such as chili powder or cayenne pepper, for a kick.
  • Throw corn on the grill to really bring out its natural sweet flavor. Go easy on the butter and use light butter or buttery spray instead.

Cucumbers

The expression “cool as a cucumber” is not without merit. Cucumbers can be up to 20 degrees cooler than the outside temperature. No wonder they are such a refreshing summer vegetable!

Cucumbers are also one of the lowest calorie and carb vegetables per cup on the market, with only 8 calories and less than 2 grams of carbs per ½ cup sliced. Refrigerate in a plastic bag and eat within a week.

Tips to enjoy:

  • Create a “cool” coleslaw by adding thinly sliced, peeled and seeded cucumbers to your favorite slaw recipe.
  • Stuff cucumber slices in a whole wheat pita along with chopped tomatoes and red onions. Don’t forget the turkey for a summer sandwich treat.
  • Did you know that you can even sautee cucumbers and serve warm with a dash of chopped dill!

Cantaloupe

These orange melons are high in vitamins A and C, and offer a good source of folate and potassium. Pick only fragrant, symmetrical fruits with yellow or cream undertones. Refrigerate cut melon in an airtight container for up to 5 days or store at room temperature for up to one week. One cup of cantaloupe balls has 60 calories and about 15 grams of carbohydrate.

Tips to enjoy:

  • Create a light summer salad by combining cantaloupe, mangos and avocados with red onion, a splash of 100 percent orange juice, lime juice and cilantro.
  • Make melon popsicles by pureeing cantaloupe with a dash of sugar and lime juice. Pour into molds and freeze.
  • Cool off with a chilled melon soup. Puree cantaloupe and add a hint of lime juice and mint.

For more information about how to use these foods and others in creative, yet healthy, ways, check out the great recipes on our website.

Categories: Cooper Updates
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