Fuel your summer activities with five brand-new recipes created by registered dietitians and dietetic interns. The perfect balance of nutritious, delicious, and fun – these recipes are sure to please your whole crew.
Lavender Lime Mocktail
Warm sunshine, longer days, and fun with your family – summer exudes happiness. While you’re lounging by the pool, hydrate with this refreshing kombucha mocktail to share a little of that happiness with your gut. The human gut is home to trillions of bacteria, and research suggests that keeping these bacteria content may help support your mental health and mood.
Kombucha is fermented tea loaded with probiotics, which are good bacteria that help maintain a healthy gut. Become a mixologist and shake this mocktail up with different kombucha flavors, like mango or watermelon. Some kombucha beverages are laden with added sugar, so always check the nutrition label and choose a kombucha with as little added sugar as possible.
Recipe developed by: Ria Thakur, RDN
Website: Feel Good Nutritionist
Makes 1 serving
Optional: strawberries or blueberries
- Cut one lime into wedges. Rub one lime wedge around your favorite glass and set the rest aside.
- Dip the rim of your glass into Tajín.
- Juice the remaining lime and add it to the glass. If you prefer a less tart beverage, add only ½ of the lime juice.
- Add ice and top with lavender kombucha.
- Garnish with a wedge of lime and a sprig of lavender or some blueberries.
- Optional: add muddled strawberries or blueberries to your mocktail before topping it with kombucha.
Pineapple Mango Salsa
When you can’t escape to a tropical destination, mix up this pineapple mango salsa to transport yourself to paradise. This healthy and vibrant recipe displays every color of the rainbow, which means it’s packed with tons of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients (plant compounds) that help keep you feeling your best this summer. Enjoy as a summer snack with whole-grain chips or incorporate it into your meals as a garnish for grilled chicken or fish tacos.
Recipe developed by: Andie Scherer, RDN, Theralogix Nutrition Team
Makes 8 servings
1 cup diced pineapple
1 cup diced orange bell pepper
1 cup diced Roma tomato
⅓ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup minced red onion
1 tbsp diced jalapeno
Juice from 1 lime Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix pineapple, mango, bell pepper, tomato, cilantro, onion, jalapeno, and lime in a bowl.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve chilled with pita or tortilla chips.
Strawberry Cheesecake Nice Cream
During the dog days of summer, nothing hits the spot quite like ice cream. Mix it up this summer by giving “nice cream” a try. Frozen bananas create a similar texture to traditional ice cream, but the natural sweetness from the fruit eliminates the need for added sugars. Pro tip: use extra ripe bananas – they’ll make your treat even sweeter. When your banana peels start to turn from yellow to brown, they’re begging to be crafted into this simple summer dessert.
Let your creativity run wild with this one – switch out the toppings for a sprinkle of chocolate chips, peanut butter, berries, or all three. You can also easily make this treat dairy-free and vegan by using plant-based milk and vegan cream cheese.
Recipe developed by: Mackenzie Burgess, RDN
Website: Cheerful Choices
Makes 4 servings
3 ripe bananas, sliced and frozen
2 tbsp milk of your choice (cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, banana milk, etc)
2 tbsp cream cheese of your choice (Greek cream cheese, regular cream cheese, light cream cheese, or vegan cream cheese)
1 cup strawberries, diced into large chunks
Crushed graham crackers, for topping
- In a food processor or blender, blend frozen bananas, milk, and cream cheese until smooth. Scrape down in between blending as needed to ensure all banana chunks are incorporated.
- Add in strawberries and pulse until just dispersed throughout, with some strawberry chunks still remaining.
- For soft-serve consistency: top with crushed graham crackers and enjoy right away after blending. For a harder ice cream consistency: pour the mixture into a large bowl or 9×9 baking pan and freeze for at least 4 hours. Scoop out and top with crushed graham crackers before enjoying.
- Store leftover ice cream in a tightly covered container for up to 3 months. It will harden over time, so you may need to let it sit out for about 10 minutes before scooping.
Cucumber Feta Dip
Creamy and cool, this dip is the perfect addition to your summer picnic. Most dips use mayonnaise or sour cream as their base, but this one features low-fat plain Greek yogurt. This heart-healthy swap lends a similar taste and texture but packs more protein and cuts down on saturated fat. You probably won’t even notice the difference, but your heart will!
Recipe developed by: Hannah Dungan, Dietetic Intern
Makes 8 servings
1 large cucumber
1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
½ cup reduced-fat feta cheese crumbles
Juice from 1 lemon
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
*Optional: fresh dill to garnish
- Chop the cucumber into 1-2 inch cubes and place in a food processor. Pulse until cucumber is finely grated. Alternatively, leave the cucumber whole and finely grate using a cheese grater.
- Wrap the finely grated cucumber in a cheesecloth or a clean dish rag. Squeeze the rag over a bowl or the sink to remove as much liquid as possible.
- Place the grated cucumber in a separate bowl and combine with the remaining ingredients. Stir well.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
- Serve with whole-grain pita chips or vegetables and enjoy.
Salmon en Papillote with Summer Vegetables
Don’t let the name fool you. Although it sounds incredibly fancy and gourmet, salmon en papillote is actually very simple to make. “En papillote” is a French cooking method that utilizes built-up steam inside a parcel of parchment paper. It’s easy to overcook and dry out delicate proteins like fish, but this moist-heat cooking method can help make your healthy summer dinner a five-star experience.
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids to help support healthy heart, immune, and joint function, this recipe is ready to become a part of your easy weeknight dinner rotation. Keep it fresh this summer and beyond by switching out the vegetables as the seasons change.
Recipe developed by: Erin Jung, Dietetic Intern
Makes 4 servings
4 3-ounce salmon filets
⅛ tsp salt
⅛ tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
½ red onion, cut into small wedges
½ medium zucchini, sliced
½ medium yellow squash, sliced
1 Roma tomato, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare 4 sheets of parchment paper and brush with olive oil. Check out this tutorial for tips on preparing your parchment.
- Season the salmon with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic.
- Place one salmon filet on each piece of parchment paper. Divide the red onion, zucchini, yellow squash, tomato, lemon, and basil evenly and place on top of each filet.
- Close the paper over the ingredients to form an envelope. Make sure the edges are well sealed. This will prevent the juices from leaking out. You can revisit the tutorial if needed to help you create the perfect parchment parcel.
- Place the closed package on a baking sheet and cook for 13-16 minutes. You may use a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 145°F.
Make sure you have all of our healthy summer recipes on hand. Check out part one of the summer recipe series: “Healthy Summer Recipes That Will Make Your Mouth Water.”