Your Ultimate Guide to the Perfect (Healthy) Summer Spread, Part 2

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Continuing with our series of tasty summer recipes that are healthy, easy and so very pinnable – Katie Shields, MS RD of Honestly Nourished put together some of her favorite summer fare, which includes the very fun to eat: grilled artichokes and refreshing fruit-infused ice cubes. Be sure to check out our previous Fourth of July themed recipe here!

SIMPLE GRILLED BABY ARTICHOKES

Servings: 8 halves, 16 quarters | Prep time: 25 minutes (pre-grill steaming) | Grill time: 8 minutes

While they look intimidating and certainly require more to prepare than other vegetables, artichokes are worth the trouble. Artichokes are already exceptionally high in antioxidants but steaming them increases their antioxidant content nearly threefold. They are also high in inulin, a prebiotic fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut and helps limit the proliferation of undesirable bacteria.

Ingredients:

4 baby artichokes
4-6 lemons
3 tbsp avocado or coconut oil (any oil with a high smoke point, using coconut oil may introduce a slight coconut flavor)
sea salt and black pepper

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Instructions:

  1. Prepare artichokes. Rinse well and trim sharp pointed leaf tips with kitchen shears. With a sharp knife, cut of the top inch each artichoke. Squeeze lemon juice over exposed all cut areas to prevent browning. Trim stem to 2-inch length and peel outer layer of stem with a vegetable peeler (this gets rid of the bitter part). Slice artichokes in half. Using a spoon, completely scrape out the furry interior choke, which is inedible. Squeeze more lemon juice over artichokes to prevent oxidation.
  2. Fit a large pot with a metal steaming basket and fill with water just below the basket. Once artichokes are prepared, place into large steamer basket leaf side up. Make sure the artichokes are arranged in a single layer along the bottom of the basket. Bring to a boil and steam for around 25–35 minutes until tender but not too soft. If you use the larger artichokes, you will need to steam them longer. Check their doneness by piercing the stem with a knife or sampling one of the leaves.
  3. Grill ‘em! Take steamed artichokes, brush with high smoke point oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill leaf side up for around 6-8 minutes. The artichokes were essentially already cooked during the steaming process, grilling is what imparts that summertime smoky flavor. Serve with fresh lemon wedges, sea salt and pepper.

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INFUSED ICE BLOCK SPRITZERS

Serves: 10-12 (two ice cubes per glass) | Prep time: 5 minutes

Seriously simple and oh-so-pretty fruit-infused ice cubes.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
Filtered water
Sparkling mineral water
Fresh mint leaves (optional)
Large square ice cube trays
Festive paper straws (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Rinse fresh berries and mint leaves. Fill ice cube trays 2/3 full with filtered water. Place a few pieces of fruit into each ice cube well. Freeze overnight.
  2. Fill tall glasses with sparkling mineral water and place two ice cubes in each glass with a few fresh mint leaves if desired. Finish with a decorative paper straw.

Keep checking in throughout the month of July to get more yummy, nutritious recipes from Katie!

Photos by: Jonathan Massmann

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