Golden rays glisten and reflect off the cool blue water at my feet. Dark glass for my eyes and an invisible layer applied each morning protects my skin. This special and beloved time of year comes with more than sunglasses and sunscreen. It also comes with the important task of nourishing our bodies from the inside out – replenishing ourselves after hours of fun in the sun. In our family, we have a favorite cool dish that marks the change to longer days and warmer weather – gazpacho.
photoFor years, gazpacho has been one of my favorite summer dishes. When the warmer weather comes around, my family works together on the weekend dicing peppers and tomatoes, slicing cucumbers, and preparing the tomato base. We make a huge bowl of gazpacho to provide morning, mid-day and evening snacks and meals throughout the week. We just cannot get enough of it! And of course that should be no surprise as it’s easy to make and filled with delicious, juicy ingredients from a wide variety of vegetables. As a mother, when you find a way to make a bowl of vegetables that your kids love and their friends eagerly devour, you know there’s something special about that bowl! A bowl of gazpacho is filled to the brim with phytonutrients. The variety of colors in gazpacho work together to excite the eyes and nourish the body. The 25,000 different phytonutrients, which is a fancy name for the natural chemicals that exist in plants foods, have a myriad of health benefits such as reducing the risk of cancer, reducing the risk of heart disease, providing tremendous amounts of antioxidants which aids in reducing the risk of cataracts, and so much more. Phytonutrients also provide the bright yellows, oranges, and reds in fruits and vegetables which excite the eyes and nourish the body!

One of the great things about gazpacho is how variable it is. It’s more than a strict recipe, always producing the same great taste. Rather, the fun of gazpacho is juggling the different vegetables and finding refreshing new combinations. Try switching the base from tomato to watermelon! This past weekend my son’s girlfriend came to visit and we topped off a bowl with avocado for some flare!

It’s a recipe that can change from week to week, based on the freshest produce you get, and one you can make sweeter or more savory depending on what you use for a base!

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Summer is in a four-way tie for my favorite season. I love summer. Warm weather, long days, and more time with my children make it a wonderful time of year. For my family, gazpacho is the dish of summer. It’s ease, refreshing taste, and remarkable nutrition secure its place as one of our favorite family dishes and so I could not more highly recommend this dish to all of you! It’s especially great for when you are having friends and family over. For more delicious, summer dishes and how to throw a sizzling and savory summer party, check out Fresh Focus’s Shedding a New Light on Entertaining.

It’s just another great way to have a Nourished Body and Mind!

 If you want more information on phytonutrients, feel free to browse the links below. I think the third link has the most extensive amount of information.

http://www.webmd.com/diet/phytonutrients-faq

http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=286

http://www.ars.usda.gov/aboutus/docs.htm?docid=4142

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