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Published: June 8, 2024

Fifteen Healthy Summer Recipes to Stay Cool, Hydrated, and Nourished

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BBQs, beaches, long days, and late nights… The dog days of summer are here, and the heat (on the grill) is on! While the official start to summer is behind us, it's never too late to stock our pantries and fridges with all the deliciousness this season has to offer.

In the warm months of summer, our bodies naturally crave lighter, easier-to-digest foods. According to Ayurveda, it’s a great time to fuel ourselves with salads and fruits that help cool the body. Yes, even the occasional ice cream!

As you consider your weekly meal and BBQ celebration planning, consider shopping at the local farmers’ market or seeking out what’s in season at your grocery store. We talked about the importance of eating seasonally in this post, and the benefits ring true in all four seasons. While you can eat any vegetable anytime of the year, the flavor you’ll get from eating what’s in season and local should not be missed.

Summer produce is the most bountiful and diverse of them all, so it’s easier to make nutritious choices. Be on the lookout for some of our favorite seasonal goodies, including:

  • Beets
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Green Beans
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini

Check out a more comprehensive list here and don’t forget your reusable tote.

We know that scouring the Internet for recipes can be exhausting, so we started a list of some of our favorite seasonal recipes. We tend to love anything you can throw on a grill or that doesn’t require turning on the oven.

Tell us your favorite summer dishes by tagging us on Instagram @nutritionschool!

Fifteen Healthy Summer Recipes

Summer Beverages and Smoothies

Basil Berry Infused Water


Don’t forget to stay hydrated this summer with this better-than-plain-water alternative. Basil can be easily grown in your window box or garden, which makes it the perfect summertime ingredient.

Watermelon Lemonade


IIN grad Maria Marlowe knows that drinking plain water can be a bit boring – but hydration cannot be sacrificed! Enter this refreshing drink of watermelon and lemon juice, which also retains fiber from the blended watermelon, supporting digestion and gut health.

Splash of Sunshine Smoothie


IIN grad Sarah Ann Stewart shares her favorite way to start the day – with this bright and fresh smoothie packed with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C for healthy summer skin.

Summer Salads and Main Dishes

Tomato, Peach, and Burrata Salad


Sweet, juicy peaches. Creamy, savory burrata. Need we say more?

Pomegranate Peach Salad


Amp up the flavor and nutritional value of this salad created by IIN grad Annette Derovanessian by adding your favorite protein, whether tofu, tempeh, grilled chicken, or grilled shrimp.

Summer Pasta with Zucchini, Corn, and Cilantro Pesto


This light pasta dish is the epitome of summer. Plus, the pesto can be used as a dip with crudité or a sauce for any protein!

Arugula, Watermelon, and Feta Salad


The peppery arugula is the perfect complement to the sweet hydrating watermelon and tangy feta cheese in this easy-to-make salad.

Fresh Corn Salad


This crowd-pleaser is perfect for your next BBQ or as a side for weekday lunches or dinners.

Warm Asparagus Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette


IIN grad and visiting teacher Andrea Beaman created this recipe as an ode to an abundant summer vegetable: asparagus! Its sweet flavor and crunchy texture lend itself perfectly to this salad with a savory, spicy, and sweet dressing. It also pairs perfectly with a grilled burger or piece of fish.

Grilled Veggie Skewers


All the seasonal things on one stick…what’s not to love? These skewers are great for when you need to serve a crowd with varying food preferences!



While burgers have a bad rap for being “unhealthy,” we kinda love ’em. Especially if they’re made with high-quality meat. So throw a few on the grill, add your favorite toppings (the options are limitless), and enjoy!

Summer Desserts

S’mores Four Ways


For nostalgia purposes, we couldn’t resist including s’mores. Level up yours by adding organic marshmallows and dark chocolate. Or take it a step further and create a play on a peanut butter cup.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp


We love a crisp all year round, but especially welcome it when it’s filled with tart rhubarb and sweet strawberries picked straight from the garden.

Coconut Berry Ice Lollies (Ice Pops)


IIN grad Emma Hollingsworth wants you to stay hydrated and cool with this simple three-ingredient recipe. Coconut water is full of electrolytes and perfect for when you’re sweating in the heat.

Upside-Down Strawberry Cake


Turn that frown upside down! This delicious (and gluten-free!) cake is IIN grad Neeyaz Zolfaghari’s way of celebrating the sweet produce of the season.


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