Celebrating summer

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It’s officially summer, and that means two things in southwestern Ontario: local strawberries and asparagus! I’ve been eating a whole lot of both over the past couple of weeks.

Aside from the environmental and economic benefits of buying local and the obviously superior taste of seasonal produce (Ontario strawberries are sooo sweet and juicy!), both of these foods are extremely nutrient dense, so you can feel triply good about eating them!

In addition to being chalk full of phytochemicals and flavonoids, asparagus is a great source of vitamin K (which helps our blood clot), vitamin E (which protects our heart and eyes, among other things), and folate (which works in conjunction with iron and B12, and is especially important in young women – especially those who are or are trying to become pregnant!).

Strawberries are super high in vitamin C, an important antioxidant, and have a low glycemic index, meaning that despite their sweet flavour, they won’t cause a huge spike in your blood sugar. This helps prevent “crashing”—that feeling you get when your blood sugar drops and you end up consuming more sugar just to balance it out. Plus, both strawberries and asparagus are good sources of fibre, which helps you feel full after a meal and keeps you regular!

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My favourite way to prepare asparagus:

·      Wash stalks under cold water and snap off woody ends (don’t be surprised if you lose about a third of some of the stalks!). Do this by hand, as opposed to cutting off the ends with a knife -- the asparagus will snap at its natural breaking point.

·      Toss with olive oil, a hearty splash of lemon juice, black pepper, and parmesan cheese.

·      Saute for 3-5 minutes (depending on the thickness of the stalks) or cook in an aluminum foil pan (or grill basket) on the barbeque.

Couldn’t be quicker, and makes a great side to any meal!

My favourite way to eat Ontario strawberries: just as they are!! Alternatively, layer them in glasses with whipped cream.

 These pretty, red and white strawberry parfaits are super easy and would make a classy Canada Day dessert!

These pretty, red and white strawberry parfaits are super easy and would make a classy Canada Day dessert!

Enjoy, and feel good about yourself as you do so!

Bisous,

Sam

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