Children are heading back to school and harvest vegetables are ripening on the vine. These late harvest vegetables are bursting with vine-ripened flavor and perfect for a late summer evening gathering with family or friends.
- Cucumbers: Tasty, crunchy veggies, perfectly balanced with jam-packed nutrition in every bite. Cucumbers are high in folic acid, calcium, iron, and especially B vitamins and a quick pick me up any time of the day.
- Heirloom Tomatoes: Brandywines, Green Zebras and Yellow Lollies. Yum! Heirloom seeds are the originals: the real McCoy! Heirloom vegetables provide 30 to 40 percent more vitamins and minerals than their conventional hybridized counterparts. Heirlooms offer a superior flavor profile with every bite. Heirloom tomatoes often look a little funny and come in all colors with having a different taste sensation. Head down to your local farmers market and give them a try.
- Watermelon: These hardy melons are super hydrating and so versatile. Enjoy watermelon all by itself or with a spritz of lime, blended into a Popsicle or even chopped and added to salads. Your immune system will thank you as watermelons are particularly high in antioxidants and help repair damaged cells.
- Asparagus: Asparagus is a powerful vegetable with some unique health benefits. Asparagus provides the body with minerals that may be lacking, such as Vitamin K, and is an anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal. A powerful remedy for arthritis and other joint inflammations asparagus also works to detoxify the body, especially the kidneys. When shopping for asparagus be sure to look for delicate thin spears, as they deliver the most nutritional benefit.
Enjoy the following recipes, which combine these late harvest vegetables any time of the day for a delicious side salad or main dish.
CUCUMBER SALAD WITH SHAVED WATERMELON
This dish is 100 percent ‘living’ and contains active enzymes. Adding more living foods to your plate will have you feeling energized and your cells nourished completely.
Appetizer: 2 servings
For the Watermelon Shavings:
2 Cups Watermelon
2 Tablespoons Raw Agave
Combine watermelon and agave and place in ice cube trays. Freeze for 2 hours.
For the Cucumber Salad:
2 Small Cucumbers- Sliced Thin on the Round
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt to Taste
Cayenne Pepper to Taste
2 Tablespoons Mint Leaves
Toss Cucumber, the juice of 1 lemon, the oil, sea salt and pepper in a bowl. Remove Watermelon cubes and using a zester, grate along the top of the cube to shave off the watermelon. Toss together and garnish with mint leaves enjoy. You may also serve at a dinner party with whole ice cubes. Try them in different shapes!
HEIRLOOM TOMATO AND ASPARAGUS
Appetizer: 2 servings
For the Dressing:
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar or Lemon
1 Tablespoon Dried Italian Seasoning
1 Dash Sea Salt
For the Salad:
2 medium Heirloom Tomatoes
6 Asparagus Spears
2 Tbsp Capers
1/2 Cup Chopped Basil
Thinly slice heirloom tomato, and place flat on serving plate. Using a Y peeler (vegetable peeler), peel back layers of asparagus to form ribbons. Toss ribbons in a coat lightly with dressing, chopped basil and capers. Add salt to taste. Serve over heirloom tomatoes and top with additional dressing.
Optional: Top with Basil Cheese or Rawmesean, (raw parmesan cheese alternative) just before serving.
Jenny Ross is author of The Art of Raw Living Food and executive chef at 118 Degrees, in Costa Mesa, CA. Follow Jenny on Twitter and Facebook.
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