We find balance in summer weather by eating foods that are bitter (cooling, moist), such as: unsweetened cocoa, olives, dandelion, kale, celery, amaranth, quinoa, and millet. It is also important to take time to rest, sit in the shade, breathe deeply, and absorb the green color that surrounds us. These are the healing properties of summer herbs:
Basil - Contains orientin and vicenin, two water-soluble flavonoids, which have been found to be powerful antioxidants and to support healthy immune function. Basil is rich in volatile oils that help protect (the plant and you) against invaders
Cilantro - The leaf of this plant has been cultivated and used as a culinary herb in cultures from India to Europe for centuries. The seed, coriander, has similar effects to cilantro. This phytonutrient-rich herb supports healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Cilantro and coriander are also rich in volatile oils.
Parsley - Rich in Vitamin C, folic acid and beta-carotene, parsley helps to ease inflammation and support a healthy immune and promote cardiovascular health. Parsley's volatile oils have been found to be rich in antioxidants and to ease the burn of insect bites and stings. It's also great at soothing common digestive complaints.
Rosemary - Contains rosmarinic acid, which supports immune and circulatory health and improves digestion. Rosemary an also help ease inflammatory conditions.
Velvety Green Soup
You will need:
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced
- 2 large zucchini, sliced
- 1 bunch chard, chopped
- 1 pound fresh or frozen peas
- 3 cups water and 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- 1 teaspoon each: salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch fresh basil (1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
- In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the shallots and onions.
- Cook, covered, until they are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Add zucchini and sauté for 5 more minutes.
- Add the chard and peas.
- Add the water and stock and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
- Add the basil.
- Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender.
- Chop the rosemary and use as garnish.
Serve with cooked quinoa or potato salad. This soup is excellent chilled, too!
Kohlrabi Potato Salad with Pesto
You will need:
- 1 pound potatoes or any kind
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small kohlrabi, chopped
- 1 cup roughly chopped kohlrabi leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup herbed pesto (recipe follows)
- Steam potatoes in until tender, 18-20 minutes; set aside.
- Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add kohlrabi pieces; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 5-7 minutes.
- Add reserved potatoes, the chopped kohlrabi leaves, salt, and pepper; cook until leaves are wilted, 1-2 minutes more.
- Toss with herbed pesto.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Herbed PestoYou will need:
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup pumpkin OR sunflower seeds
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Place basil, seeds, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor.
- Make a coarse pesto and set aside.
Writer Lisa Mase is a culinary medicine coach, food writer, translator, and folk herbalist living in Vermont. For articles and recipes, visit Lisa at www.harmonizedcookery.com.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or to sell any product.