Summer is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s the season of family get-togethers and reunions, holidays abroad, weekend beach trips to the ocean or the lake, and of course, delicious summer-time foods. I don’t know about you, but I’m picturing an ice cream that you have to devour before it melts all over your hands.
Now, if you’re new to keto you may think that navigating your summer plans might present challenging roadblocks for your journey to wellness. While we may no longer be able to indulge in some of the sugar-laden treats of summer, you will absolutely be able to treat yourself while on your keto lifestyle. Here are some amazingly delicious summer keto recipes that will not only satisfy your summer cravings but also work to maintain ketosis:
Meat is typically a staple at any summer gathering, but a grass-fed beef truly reigns superior. Cattle fed a natural diet of grass in the summer and alfalfa in the winter offer meat that is much more nutrient dense than grain fed cattle. It is high in B-vitamins and nutrients, zinc and iron. In fact, beef from grass-finished cows contain so much more of the good fats we need to protect our heart and overall health. This is likely due to a higher amount of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats in grass-finished cattle as well as fat-soluble antioxidants like vitamin E and other antioxidants, like lutein and beta carotene, that we see so much more of in grass-finished beef.[*][*][*]
Veggie-based fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi are great ways in which to maintain a healthy gut microbiome. Also, nourishing your microflora (probiotics) is a fabulous way to reduce bloating over time, plus fermented foods also support healthy liver function.[*]
Eggs are a great tool in the summer keto toolbox. Eggs are satiating, they support blood sugar levels, and the yolk contains antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which support eye health. Mix hard-boiled eggs, thoroughly-mashed avocado or avocado oil mayo and your favorite spices for a healthy twist on this classic dish.[*][*][*][*]
Vegetables and Dip
Even the most discerning eaters will consume veggies when paired with a delicious dipping sauce! Keto-friendly veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, celery and bell peppers offer a variety of benefits including decreasing insulin resistance, providing antioxidants and reducing inflammation. Also, studies show that the workout your jaw gets from crunching on fresh veggies not only helps relieve stress, but it also tricks your brain into thinking you’ve consumed more energy than you really have. Pair them with my good-fats ranch dressing.[*][*][*][*]
A protein-rich, nutritious snack; cheese contains calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B12, zinc, phosphorus, and riboflavin. High-quality cheeses, from grass-fed sources, also contain conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which may support fat loss. While cheese is high in saturated fat, it has not been shown to increase the risk of heart disease.[*][*]
Avocado is truly my favorite fruit and a staple in my home; and my guacamole recipe is always on the menu at our summer get-togethers. Avocados are packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, soluble fiber, and phytosterols that can help balance your cholesterol levels. Rich in micronutrients and antioxidants, a cup of avocado can help you meet your daily needs for blood-building vitamin K (39%) and folate (30%), adrenal-supporting vitamin B5 (21%), collagen-building vitamin C (25%), pressure-reducing potassium (21%), and even energy-boosting manganese (11%)! My guacamole recipe sneaks in veggies and herbs such as watercress and parsley to amp up the nutritional value and flavor, so in each bite of my guacamole, you’ll take in the best that real, fresh, whole foods have to offer.[*][*][*]
Sweet Summer Treats
Nothing quite hits the spot like a cold treat on a hot summer day. Here are some keto-friendly recipes to satisfy any guilty pleasure:
Creamy Keto Ice Cream: This incredibly simple ice cream recipe consists of good fats, such as eggs, butter and MCT oil to help keep you cool you down while keeping you in a state of ketosis.
Citrus Creamsicle Crush: This vibrant smoothie not only tastes amazing, but it is also keto-friendly and packed full of some powerful ingredients that boost our energy levels, our metabolism and our brain health.
Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie: This smoothie replicates the smooth, satisfying texture of cheesecake without putting us in an endless cycle of sugar cravings. With this makeover of classic strawberry cheesecake, I created a smoothie that provides the luscious, creamy, and rich essence of cheesecake while optimizing the good fats from high-quality dairy, MCT oil, omega 3’s from flax seeds and the bonus nutritional boost of powerphenols, such as those found in citrus bergamot.
Orange Coconut Sorbet: A delicious, dairy-free sorbet for a tasty treat on a hot summer day! This recipe incorporates the best of the good fats from MCTs and avocado to fuel your body and brain.
Coconut Vanilla Bean Smoothie: This smoothie reminds me of coconut vanilla ice cream, it is creamy and luscious but unlike ice cream, this smoothie is highly nutritive and filling.
As you can see, keto won’t rain on your summer parade. It actually can be incredibly fun and satisfying. You can still enjoy many of the tastes and textures of your favorite summer foods while supporting your body, your brain and your journey to wellness. Enjoy!