The first day of summer is on the horizon! As the days get longer and more active, we want to eat healthy, tasty, and nutritious meals. Healthy summer recipes are the order of the day, so we asked our Nature Made® Team to send us their favorite healthy summer meals.
Jonathan Mun, Ph.D., Principal Nutrition Scientist
Hot summer days always put me in the mood for Vietnamese grilled pork vermicelli with eggrolls (Bún Thịt Nướng). Cool, light, refreshing, complex in flavor and balanced in texture, this dish wows my tastebuds every time.
Crisp, pickled daikon and carrot contrast the soft, chilled rice vermicelli noodles. The vinegar's acidity cuts the fat of the grilled pork. Aromatic herbs, seasonal produce like romaine lettuce, and julienned cucumber explode with the summertime vibes of fresh vegetables. Fish sauce may wrinkle the noses of the uninitiated but blasts the dish with savory, umami richness unlike any other cuisine. Top it all off with the crunch of an eggroll every couple of bites, and you've got a meal that will fill you up without filling you out.
If I want to try my hand at making some healthy summer meals at home, I love Hungry Hu's home-cooked recipe, but preparation can be a pretty time-consuming process that I'm not always up to. Thankfully, I live near Little Saigon in Orange County, California, which is home to the largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam and offers a ton of great options, so I can always go out or order in! Check your local Vietnamese restaurants to see if they have it on the menu.
As a nutrition scientist on the Nature Made® Team, I recognize my diet has multiple nutrient shortfalls because it's hard to get enough fiber, calcium, magnesium, and choline , as well as other nutrients in our daily diets, especially if we avoid certain foods. The CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) shows that I'm not alone in having inadequate micronutrient intakes and that dietary supplements help fill these nutrient gaps that may be missing from our diets. I hope you find this helpful in your personal nutrition journey, and I hope you have a great summer of culinary adventures!†
Kira Gaines, Sr Manager, Consumer Engagement
Some things are just meant to go together: peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies, and my favorite summer combination: tomatoes and basil! Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family, so besides providing gut-loving fiber, nightshade vegetables (some of which, like tomatoes, are actually fruits!) also offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, like carotenoids and vitamin C. They're delicious, and they're good for you!
Tomatoes and basil are staples for me in my summer garden. Planting basil next to your tomatoes is one of the best ways to grow healthier and tastier tomatoes. These two are a perfect example of companion planting: they grow better together and taste better together too! There is nothing like walking out into your backyard, picking a fresh harvest, and cooking up the best of what summer has to offer.
The blog, Saving Room for Dessert's Savory Tomato and Basil Cobbler, is one of my favorite summer dessert recipes; it's a savory twist on a sweet, classic dessert. To make this recipe my own, I substitute homemade basil pesto for the thyme in the filling and use a mix of heirloom, beefsteak tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes like chocolate cherries and Sungolds!
Kalyn Williams, Science & Health Educator
For me, the best part of summer is coming out of winter "hibernation" to spend time outdoors with family and friends. That's why I keep things as simple as possible when it comes to eating healthy in the summer. One of my favorite summer salad recipes is hardly a recipe at all – it requires minimal ingredients and prep time, as well as no cooking in front of a hot stove!
The recipe is called Prosciutto and Melon - or Prosciutto e Melone in Italian, where it is one of Italy’s traditional summer dinner recipes. The ingredients are simple: thinly sliced prosciutto (Italian dry-cured ham), your favorite melon (I prefer cantaloupe or honeydew), balsamic glaze or honey, and fresh herbs to garnish (basil is best, although mint can also be yummy).
No matter the season, one of my best tips for making healthy choices is to focus on seasonal produce, and summer fruits and vegetables are some of my favorites. Melons are their sweetest and juiciest in the summer and will also be at their peak nutritional value. Cantaloupe is a great source of vitamins A & C, potassium, and fiber. I love pairing this dish with a green arugula salad and some herbed potatoes for a balanced meal & enjoying it with family and friends.
Surviving summer will be easy with the Nature Made® Team’s healthy summer meals. These summer recipes will provide you with your fill of seasonal produce; maybe you'll find a new favorite too!
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Amy has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University in Los Angeles and is a credentialed English teacher, though she left the classroom to write full time. She especially enjoys creating educational content about health, wellness, and nutrition. Her happy place is in the kitchen, and when not writing, you can find her trying out “kid-friendly recipes” and “healthy desserts for chocolate lovers” from her Pinterest board.
As a member of the Medical and Scientific Communications team, Sandra educates healthcare professionals and consumers on nutrition, supplements, and related health concerns. Prior to joining Pharmavite, Sandra worked as a clinical dietitian at University of Chicago Medicine in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Sandra received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Science, with minors in Spanish and Chemistry from the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. She earned her Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from RUSH University in Chicago, IL. As part of her Master’s program, Sandra performed research on physical activity participation and correlates in urban Hispanic women.