Preparing for summer with Simple Food Suggestions
Red is the colour that corresponds with the Fire Element and so red foods are supportive of the summer season. Good news that most of the red vegetables and fruits are in season during the summer! Interestingly, modern nutritional research demonstrates that the presence of specific vitamins and minerals in food is often associated with the colour of food itself.
While winter draws our attention inwards and spring brewing our focus to action, summer invites us to move outwards towards others. Summer associates with the Fire Element and like the natural movement of fire, your view tends to be turn outwards to relationships and community. Summer offers abundant variety, and our lifestyle and what we eat should be attuned with the season and with our internal rhythms:
Wake up early in the morning and reach to the sun for nourishment to flourish as the gardens do.
Work, play, travel, be joyful, and let the world outside enter and enliven us.
Take advantage of the abundant season and eat plenty of brightly coloured summer fruits and vegetables. Interestingly, modern nutritional research demonstrates that the presence of specific vitamins and minerals in food is often associated with the colour of food itself.
Fruits: Strawberries, raspberries, cherries, watermelon, papaya, red grapes, cranberries, pomegranates, plums, rhubarb, guava,red apples, lemons, and limes
Vegetables: Red peppers, tomatoes, chillies, radishes, beets and red onions, raspy, carrots, cucumber, salads, sprouts (mung bean, alfalfa, and soy), fruit, tofu
Teas: flower and leaf teas including chrysanthemum, peppermint, and chamomile
The Fire Element: The flavour of Fire is bitter, so bitter-tasting foods are also supportive of the Fire Element.
Bitter taste has a Water Element and cools excess Fire: romaine lettuce, chicory, dandelion, bitter melon, citrus peel, unsweetened cocoa and quinine (used in tonic water)
Did You Know?
Coldness causes contractions; it holds in sweat and heat, and interferes with digestion. Iced drinks and ice cream basically stops digestion. Summer heat combined with too much cold food weakens the digestive organs.
Most red vegetables contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, which has been credited with reducing cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and in men, prostate cancer and infertility.
Vegetables are more leafy in the summer
Higher concentration of sugar > more exposure to light so more photosynthesis, more chlorophyll
tips for cooking and eating in the summer
To be comfortable, drink hot liquids and take warm showers to induce sudden sweating to cool the body.
Avoid heavy food as it causes sluggishness: includes meats, eggs, and excesses of nuts, seeds, and grains
Eating less and lightly on hot days is a natural, healthful practice
Summer involves more movement and energy i.e. high calorie fruits with sugar that burns energy more quickly, sweeter greens (as opposed to bitter greens in the Spring diet)
Eat dispersing hot-flavoured spices are considered appropriate in the summer; it initiates more warmth, but ultimately, they bring body heat out to the surface to be dispersed.
When sautéing, use high heat for a very short time and steam or simmer foods as quickly as possible.
Use red pepper sticks with dips instead of crackers or chips
Have a bowl of tomato soup for lunch or add tomato puree to soups and stews
Roast cherry tomatoes, red peppers and red onions in olive oil and herbs on the hottest days, eat more cooling fresh foods
Great for boosting immune system, promote cardiac function and replenish lost body fluids
How to prepare: Soak in water for a few hours until fresh/dry Ginseng pieces are soft. Cut into thin slices; add to chicken soup or brew up a healthy tea.
Ingredients: 8 slices fresh/dry ginseng root, honey (to taste), 5 cups water
Instructions: If you have a tea ball, then shave pieces of fresh ginseng root and put them into the tea ball. Steep in very hot (but not boiling) water for 5 minutes. Add honey to taste.
Recommended for those with lung issues and arthritis in the winter time as a preventative. Good to drink after an intense workout and hot summer days.
Mung Bean Soup
Great for treating facial acne and irritability. Can also serve as a liver detox and good for those who run hot in the summer
How to prepare: Rinse the beans several times and then soak with clean water for around 1 to 2 hours. Drain and set aside.
Ingredients: 1 cup mung beans, 1/4 rock sugar (or honey to taste), a small pinch of salt, 3 L water
Instructions: Using a stewing pot, place 3000 ml water, mung bean and sugar (optional) and turn to high heat & bring to a boil. Place to the side to rest for 20 mins., then turn to medium high and cook for another 20 to 30 mins. until the mung beans are almost blossomed. Add a tiny pinch of salt and wait to cool down naturally.
Recommended to drink a bowl every day for the months of July & August.