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Summertime Watermelon Salad with Cucumber, Feta, and Blueberries

Do you know what you are making for the fourth of July celebrations? This is a great one to take to an outdoor cookout or other Summer events! It is booming with colors – RED, WHITE and BLUE! It is juicy, flavorful and refreshing.

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Summertime Watermelon Salad with Cucumber, Feta and Blueberries


Ingredients

Scale

4 cups watermelon, cut into cubes

1 cup fresh blueberries

1.5 cups cucumber, diced

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Mind and basil leaves to your liking, chopped

Honey lime dressing:

Juice of 1 lime

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp honey

Salt to taste


Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients of the honey lime dressing vigorously until well combined.
  2. In a large serving bowl, combine cubed watermelon, blueberries, diced cucumber, feta. Toss with the honey lime dressing.
  3. Serve and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 15

Starting Your Backyard Vegetable Garden

Springtime is here and it is time to plant your summer garden. Planting a backyard garden might sound a little daunting, but it is easier than you think it might be. Even if you don’t have enough space in your backyard, you can plant plants like tomatoes or herbs in containers on your deck or patio. Other than it is a great hobby, there are lots of reasons why you should have a backyard garden even if it is a couple of plants. Fresh, ripe produce is right at your own convenience. You are more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables because you investing time and energy into your garden. And most importantly of all, home-grown produce tastes so much better than what you can get at the grocery store!

Pick Your Plants

Depending on where you live in the States, certain fruits and vegetables grow better on the climate and time of the year. In Oklahoma, we have a climate where we can grow a large variety of produce. Below is a list of fruits and vegetables that thrive in this climate.

Vegetables and Fruits to Plant in the Spring/Summer

  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Herbs
  • Kale
  • Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Onions
  • Cabbage
  • Zucchini
  • Radishes
  • Green Beans
  • Beets
  • Cucumbers
  • Okra
  • Summer Squash
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries

Pick The Right Area

When picking a location, it is important to keep in mind two things: sunlight and water access. Most vegetables and fruits need about 6-8 hours of sunshine a day while some only need 3-6 hours. Depending on what fruits and vegetables you choose to plant, it will dictate where you should grow your garden.

Prep Your Soil

You may not think that prepping soil is important for growing a garden, but the soil is where plants get most of their nutrients. To prep soil for gardening, organic fertilizers like compost are the best to incorporate.

  1. Add an organic fertilizer like compost.
  2. Mix compost into the soil at least 2 inches deep. This will aerate the soil making it easier for vegetables and fruits to grow.
  3. While you are mixing the soil, pick out any rocks, large twigs, and other objects. These items can inhibit the growth of root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and potatoes.
  4. Once you have finished prepping your soil, you are ready to plant your seeds or seedlings!

Watering Your Plants

Watering your plants is crucial especially in the hot Oklahoman summer heat. One way to sure your garden is getting enough water is to water it in the morning before the sun fully rises. This way the plants can absorb water more efficiently and you will use less water. If you are using containers instead of planting your plants in the ground, make sure your pots and containers have drainage holes so excess water can be drained from the plant.

Now you are set to plant your seeds or seedlings! Hopefully with our gardening tips, your garden will flourish this summer. Comment below on what you are planning to grow this year! AN

5 Safe Ways to Detox this Summer

Detoxing was once only known as a medical procedure to rid the body of dangerous, often life-threatening, levels of alcohol, drugs, or poisons.

Over the years, this term has been touted as a way to rid the body from toxins that cause symptoms from headaches to joint pain to depression.

The truth is, a detox lacks essential nutrients, such as proteins and fatty acids to keep our body healthy. In a healthy body, the skin, kidneys, lymphatic system, gastrointestinal system, and most importantly, the liver make up an astoundingly complex and sophisticated detoxification system.

Our lungs detoxify by removing gases, skin provides a barrier to protect us from outside substances, the colon detoxifies by eliminating waste from our bodies, kidneys filter toxins out of the blood into the urine and the liver detoxifies by filtering blood as well as secreting bile for digestion.

Here are 5 Safe Ways to Detox this Summer

1) Cut Back on Alcohol

In 2018, researchers found that 40 percent of American adults consume excessive amounts of alcohol. Ethanol has been identified as a known carcinogenic and can increase the risk of cancers in the mouth, liver, and breast.

Depending on who you are, drinking alcohol, moderately and responsibly, can lower cardiovascular risk

2) Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables provide dietary fiber to help maintain bowel regularity. Fiber is even found in nuts, seeds, and whole grains. A variety of these foods support the body’s natural detoxification.

3) Unplug

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the instant gratification literally at our fingertips. We have the ability to order items and have them delivered within hours. We mindlessly scrolling through feeds without realizing how much time has passed. You CAN detox simply by putting down the phone and connecting with the people around you. Unplug for an hour or even an entire day, if you can. 

4) Move Your Body 

You don’t need to pick up a rigorous plan. Ride your bike, walk in the park, go for a swim. In reality, the best physical activity is one you enjoy, but also the one you can easily fit into your daily schedule.

5) Get your ZZZ

Sleep deprivation has been linked to weight gain in adults and children. Children as young as 4 years old can have adverse effects from lack of sleep. A 2013 study published in Science, showed that during sleep the glymphatic system lets fluid flow rapidly through the brain. The glymphatic system helps control the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a clear liquid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The glymphatic acts as a “flushing system” to remove toxins, which appears to be the most active during hours of sleep.

 

If you have questions about how you can better support your body’s detoxification, contact our dietitians at Banister Nutrition. We can provide personalized nutrition counseling to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.

 

Xie et al “Sleep initiated fluid flux drives metabolite clearance from the adult brain.” Science, October 18, 2013. DOI: 10.1126/science.1241224

Low FODMAP Icebox Lemon Blueberry Tart

flat lay icebox lemon tart

 

You can still enjoy the sweet (and sour) of life on a Low FODMAP Diet. Today, we want to share an adaptation to one of our favorite IBS and FODMAP dietitian’s, Kate Scarlata. Here’s our Low FODMAP Icebox Lemon Blueberry Tart.

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour + 1/3 cup fine ground cornmeal, mixed with a fork
  • 1/3 cup Trader Joe’s lemon curd
  • 8 ounces lactose-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • Fresh mint (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour 10-inch tart pan. Using a mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, mix to blend.

In 1/3 increments, mix in dry ingredients (mixture will become thick and sticky). Press mixture into the bottom of the tart pan. Bake tart for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and the middle is set. Remove the tart and allow to cool. In a small bowl, cream together cream cheese and lemon curd until evenly creamy. When the tart is cooled, spread cream cheese mixture on top of tart allowing a little edge of crust to remain uncovered. Garnish with blueberries and mint. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

    Summer Salad Meal Prep

    Break out and try something new with these easy salad recipes! Summer is a great time to try a variety of light and easy meal prep options that won’t weigh you down while you’re out in the heat. Here are four summer salad recipes to try out, and the best part is they are practical and cute when you save them in a mason jar! All of these recipes are packed full of nutrient dense fruits and veggies for every occasion.

    1. Southwest Chicken Salad: 2 Tbs southwest ranch, 1 roma tomato (diced), 1/4 C cucumber (diced), 1/4 C corn, 1/2 C black beans, 1/2 jalapeno (sliced), 3/4 C grilled chicken breasts (diced), 1/4 avocado (sliced), 1 C chopped romaine lettuce.
    2. Greek Salad: 2 Tbs balsamic dressing, 1 tomato (diced), 1/4 C cucumber (diced), 1/2 C chickpeas, 2 Tbs diced red onion, 3/4 C grilled chicken breasts (diced), 1/4 C kalamata olives, 2 Tbs feta, 1 C chopped romaine lettuce.
    3. Chicken Quinoa Berry Salad: 2 Tbs raspberry vinaigrette, 1/4 C quartered strawberries, 1/2 C cooked quinoa, 1/4 C blueberries, 3/4 C grilled chicken breasts, 1/4 C goat cheese crumbles, 1/4 avocado (diced), 2 Tbs almonds, 1 C arugula.
    4. Thai Peanut Chicken Salad: 2 Tbs peanut dressing, 1/4 C red bell pepper, 2 Tbs green onion (diced), 1 carrot (shredded), 1/2 C cooked quinoa, 2 Tbs cilantro (diced), 1/4 C mango (diced), 3/4 C grilled chicken breasts (diced), 1 C romaine, 2 Tbs chopped cashews.

    Notes* Add all ingredients in the order in which they are written to keep fresh

    For additional details check out the recipes at https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/four-mason-jar-salads-with-just-bare-chicken/

    -KM