Nutrition

10 healthy summer veggies

Author: Canadian Living

Nutrition

10 healthy summer veggies

Here are 10 healthy summer vegetables -- along with delicious recipes for each -- that will offer a definite boost to your nutrition lineup.

Carrots
By now you've probably heard that carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that your body converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A is vital for healthy hair, skin, eyes and bones and also helps protect your immune system. It's essential to include antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, in your diet for their cancer-fighting properties, so eat up!

Recipes:
Carrot and Lots of Garlic Soup
Creamed Fiddleheads and Carrots
Glazed Carrots with Thyme

Broccoli
To retain most of the vitamin C and other cancer-fighting phytochemicals that broccoli has in abundance, it's best to eat it raw, or steamed or stir-fried just until tender-crisp. Broccoli is also a good source of vitamin A and folate and is high in fibre and low in calories. Wonder vegetable? We think so.

Recipes:
Crunchy Broccoli and Feta Salad
Broccoli and Cheese Soufflé
Orange Broccoli Couscous

Zucchini
Also known as summer squash, the zucchini comes in both green and yellow varieties. It's low in calories and when cooked, it is a good source of folate and potassium and high in vitamin A.

Recipes:
Corn and Zucchini Pancakes
Zucchini, Red Pepper and Feta Frittata
Individual Zucchini Lasagnas

Cabbage
Studies have drawn a connection between the consumption of cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, and a lower incidence of certain kinds of cancer. No wonder high-fibre, low-calorie cabbage is a staple around the world.

Recipes:
Stir-Fried Cabbage with Chilies
Comforting Cabbage Rolls
Beef and Cabbage Borscht

Peas
As peas mature on the plant or sit at the store or in the fridge, their natural sugars turn to starch, making them chewy and less flavourful. For the best flavour, use peas the day you buy them, or refrigerate in a perforated plastic bag for up to two days.

Recipes:
Snow Peas and Carrots with Sesame and Garlic
Curried Potatoes and Peas
Spinach and Green Pea Pasta

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Sweet Peppers
By weight, peppers contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits. Although red peppers contain 50 per cent more vitamin C than green peppers, one green pepper still provides more than 100 per cent of the adult recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Red peppers are also a good source of beta-carotene. Did we mention that they're also delicious?

Recipes:
Bulgur-Stuffed Sweet Peppers
Two-Rice and Sweet Pepper Pilaf
Peppers Stuffed with Summer Vegetables and Couscous

Tomatoes
Tomatoes are a source of vitamins A and C and contain a carotenoid related to beta-carotene called lycopene, which is a natural cancer-fighting agent. Cooking a tomato releases the fat-soluble lycopene, so cooked or canned tomatoes – particularly those cooked with a bit of fat – offer more-intense benefits than raw.

Recipes:
Baked Tomatoes Gratin
Tomatoes Stuffed with Proscuitto and Vegetables
Salt Cod Poached with Tomatoes and Peppers

Spinach
Stirring the raw spinach into the hot rice at the last minute to wilt it preserves water-soluble nutrients, such as vitamin C.

Recipes:
Spinach Pilaf
Spiced Spinach Omelette
Roasted Pepper and Spinach Pasta

Garlic and Onions
Many of our recipes include garlic and onions -- and that is no accident. They're healthy and add key flavour notes to thousands of delicious recipes. They also contain sulphur compounds, some of which are believed to protect the heart and lower your risk of cancer.

Recipes:
Golden Onion Tart
Sweet Onion and Radicchio Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
Twice-Baked Garlic and Roast Tomato Soufflés

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Nutrition

10 healthy summer veggies

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