Grab These 5 Healthy Summer Foods


Summer brings to mind certain food staples: hot dogs, ice cream, funnel cake, etc. However, you don’t have to sacrifice healthy eating just because of the time of year. Author M. Shannon Hernandez shares some healthy (and fun!) options in “Grab These 5 Healthy Summer Foods.”

Summer brings to mind certain food staples: hot dogs, ice cream, funnel cake, etc.  However, you don’t have to sacrifice healthy eating just because of the time of year.  Author M. Shannon Hernandez shares some healthy (and fun!) options in “Grab These 5 Healthy Summer Foods.”

Ahhh, the dog days of summer have arrived, and to many that means a halt to cooking big meals and slaving over a hot stove. To others, it means taking advantage of all the local, healthy produce and creating fresh specialties when the opportunity arises.


As a local member of my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), I look forward to my veggie pick-up each Thursday. Every Thursday afternoon, around 4 PM, you will find me at my local community park in Park Slope, Brooklyn, gathering my vegetable share from the farmer who has just dropped off the week’s crop. It is always a surprise to see what Farmer Ted has brought to the city each week, but one thing is for sure – it’s fresh, it’s organic and it’s never disappointing.

I’d like to share with you today 5 recipes with a twist, which all use summer produce in an innovative way. As a vegetarian, you won’t find any meat in these recipes, but don’t let that fool you! They are packed with flavor, nutrients and satisfying nonetheless.

5 Healthy Summer Foods (With A Twist)

  1. Tomato, Onion, and Cucumber Salad: Packed with color and perfect for picnics and cookouts, this recipe will take you less than 10 minutes to prepare.
  2. Fava Bean and Sweet Corn Risotto: What says summer faster than juicy sweet corn still on the cob? Risotto is one of my favorite foods, and a quick search online will yield risotto recipes for every season of the year.
  3. Chocolate Avocado Pudding: Wait! Don’t skip over this one. This is one of the BEST uses of avocado, and if you love pudding, but don’t want or can’t have the dairy, you must try this recipe. I promise you will not be disappointed.
  4. Watermelon Gazpacho: Do you ever buy a watermelon, and then wonder what you are going to do with all that fruit? This happens to me often, so I did a little searching online and came across this lovely gem. It’s spicy, sweet and savory, all at the same time, and is perfect for blazing hot evenings when a light meal is desired.
  5. Fruit Salad Ice Pops: Remember the popsicles of our youth – the ones packed with sugar and holding no nutritional value whatsoever? Ditch those and make these – you won’t be disappointed!

I encourage you to give these recipes a try, and when you do, please leave a comment and let me know how you liked them!

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
I was raised on Southern food, which meant lots of fried, fatty meals, meat of all varieties, and tons of butter and gravy. When I decided it was time to make a change in my diet, I started by taking very small steps in the kitchen Рreplacing fried veggies with saut̩ed, losing the gravies, and reducing the amount of meat and fat in my diet.

What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
I appreciate that I have the time to try new recipes in the kitchen. I think lack of time, and inspiration, are what keeps people eating as they always have, even when they want to make a change in diet.

What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
Because of my love for cooking with bold flavors, I have been able to convince many people to discover a more healthy way of eating. I often cook vegetarian and vegan meals, invite several friends over (because food should be shared!) and they always ask for the recipes. A goal I still have? Maybe one day I’ll write a cookbook!

What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?
I think everyone in the world should go vegetarian, mainly because of all the health benefits, and sometimes I might be a little too vocal about this, especially toward people who aren’t quite ready to hear it.

How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my kitchen island! It is where I spend several hours each day, on most days, and it allows creativity and innovation to flow.

Photo credit:  Brian Glesen

About the author

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M. Shannon Hernandez

M. Shannon Hernandez is the founder of The Writing Whisperer, and her mission is to help business owners and authors become thought leaders, through the use of strategic content, so they can positively impact more people. The Writing Whisperer was named one of Top 100 Websites for Writers by The Write Life in both 2014 and 2015. Shannon continues to inspire others as a content strategist and copywriter through her blog, guest blogs, and podcast appearances, and she has been featured on CBS Radio, Reinvention Radio, The Huffington Post, The Write Life, and Melinda Emerson’s Small Biz Lady. She travels the nation and speaks regularly at conferences, association meetings, and networking events.

Shannon’s memoir, Breaking the Silence, chronicles her exit out of public education, after 15 years. Shannon is currently working on her second book, where she is exploring what it means to live courageously and how to create a life you LOVE. Throughout her travels, volunteer work, and everyday experiences, she will face personal fears, examine the feelings associated with those fears, and explore her role in society, as well as what she learns about humanity along the way.

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