In the mood to eat lighter? Me too. Here are some ideas for summer vegetarian recipes that also come with hidden health perks! With the warm weather comes the inevitable influx of fresh and seasonal summer produce. We all know that fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins and heart-healthy nutrients, but it’s not always easy to incorporate them into your favorite dishes for a nutritional boost.

But let’s make it easy — here are just a few simple summer-friendly recipes with hidden holistic health benefits.

Broccoli Salad With Honey Yogurt Dressing

If you love the idea of enjoying a salad more than the act itself, this recipe is for you. It’s chock full of healthy veggies, but the unique ingredients in the dressing keep the salad extra delicious — all without using mayonnaise. This fresh salad can be whipped up in just a few minutes as long as you have the ingredients on hand. The basic ingredients you’ll need for the salad include broccoli, cherry tomatoes, celery, red onion, edamame, raisins, sunflower seeds, and a few herbs and spices.

As for the dressing, there are just two main ingredients: Greek nonfat yogurt and honey. For those with allergies, try using raw and locally harvested organic honey. The likelihood that allergic rhinitis will spontaneously go away is approximately 1% per year, but research has shown that incorporating local honey into your diet may help keep certain allergy symptoms at bay. Pretty sweet!

This recipe is also ideal for women who are trying to conceive. Fertility starts to decline for women from about the age of 30, dropping down more steeply from the age of 35. The Vitamin C found in broccoli is proven to boost hormone levels and increase fertility. Vitamin C even reduces the risk of a miscarriage. The full recipe is available at SugarFreeMom.

Irish Colcannon Potatoes

Ireland is 32,595 square miles and has over 3,000 miles of coastline. If you enjoy the cultural cuisine of the Emerald Isle, you’re sure to love this creative recipe that miraculously doesn’t contain any animal or dairy products — it’s completely vegan! This recipe comes from FoodRevolution and just requires a handful of simple ingredients: potatoes, onion, garlic, cabbage, and a few spices. It’s recommended to use Yukon Gold potatoes in this recipe due to their richer flavor profile and high amount of potassium. FoodRevolution also has a cooking method that helps to preserve some of these valuable nutrients:

“It’s not essential, but ideally, we want to use the cooking water from the potatoes to steam the greens and mash the potatoes. This water has extra nutrition because when the potatoes are cooking some of their nutrients are leached out into the water,” writes Katie Mae.

Portobello Lettuce Burgers

Finally, portobello mushroom burgers are a great way to enjoy all that a traditional burger has to offer without the beef. According to the CDC, one in six Americans gets sick by consuming contaminated foods or beverages every year, and raw or undercooked meat is one of the biggest potential contaminants. Avoid the hassle and amp up the healthy benefits by using mushrooms instead! Portobello mushrooms are chock full of three essential B-complex vitamins: niacin, which promotes digestive and nervous system health, riboflavin, which preserves red blood cell health, and pantothenic acid, which helps to release energy from fat, protein, and carbs.

The only other ingredients you’ll need to bring this recipe to life are iceberg lettuce leaves, tomato, onion, and condiments of your choosing. You can also make a delicious marinade using garlic, olive oil, soy sauce, and lemon juice. The full recipe is available at NaturalFertilityInfo.

Now that you have some ideas for healthy summer recipes, you can go crazy in the kitchen and experiment with some of your own favorite ingredients and cooking techniques. Bon Appetit!

Love & light,