Fuel with the Fruits of Sum­mer

4 recipes for the height of the sea­son

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CON­TENTS - by Matthew Kadey

From epic group rides to cut­ting a per­fect line through sin­gle­track, there is a lot to love about sunny, flipflop sea­son. But what should re­ally get a hun­gry cy­clist ex­cited is that it’s no longer nec­es­sary to rely on fresh fruits from who-knows-where when in need of a post-ride smoothie or some­thing sweet to top off a bowl of oat­meal. At this very mo­ment, a bounty of de­li­ciously sweet lo­cal fruits are ripe for the pick­ing and ready to make your sum­mer bet­ter tast­ing than ever. And it just hap­pens that most are loaded down with the nu­tri­ents needed to keep you ahead of the pack. With fleet­ing sea­sons, here are four sun-kissed fruits not to miss out on.

Peaches

Let’s face it: those im­ported mealy peaches you find in the pro­duce aisle dur­ing the win­ter gloom suck. They’re sad knock-offs of the fra­grant and haz­ardously juicy peaches you can now find at lo­cal mar­kets. Fresh peaches are one of sum­mer’s ul­ti­mate ed­i­ble plea­sures, in­deed. Beyond great taste, this mem­ber of the stone-fruit fam­ily is a nu­tri­tional bell ringer. Peaches will add fi­bre, potas­sium, vi­ta­min A and vi­ta­min C to your sum­mer menu. One study in the Euro­pean jour­nal of nu­tri­tion found that higher in­takes of vi­ta­min C may im­prove VO2 max (max­i­mum oxy­gen up­take) in ath­letes and also lessen mus­cle dam­ag­ing ox­ida­tive stress in re­sponse to train­ing. So feel free to eat peaches by the bushel­ful.

Make: Tuna Salad Peach Bowls Place two cans white tuna in a large bowl and flake with a fork. Stir in ⅓ cup plain Greek yo­gurt, one chopped cel­ery stalk, one chopped red bell pep­per, one chopped green onion, ⅓ cup chopped pars­ley, ¼ cup chopped wal­nuts, 1 tea­spoon curry pow­der and a cou­ple pinches of salt and pep­per. Slice some peaches in half, re­move pits and scoop out a bit of the flesh from around the cav­i­ties. Stuff peaches with tuna salad.

Can­taloupe

Here’s proof that beauty isn’t only skin deep. It’s the in­side that re­ally counts when it comes to can­taloupe. The ul­tra-re­fresh­ing sweet flesh of this melon will not only work at keep­ing you hy­drated dur­ing the dog days of sum­mer (after all, can­taloupe is about 90 per cent wa­ter), it will also boost your im­mune sys­tem cour­tesy of a pay­load of vi­ta­mins A and C. And with just 90 calo­ries in a one-cup serv­ing, you can eat a farm­ers mar­ket worth of can­taloupe with­out any waist­line reper­cus­sions.

Make: Can­taloupe Gaz­pa­cho In a blender or food pro­ces­sor, blend to­gether the flesh of one medium can­taloupe, one orange bell pep­per, two medium orange or yel­low toma­toes, ½ peeled cu­cum­ber, white parts of two green onions, one minced gar­lic clove, 2 ta­ble­spoons white wine vine­gar, ¼ tea­spoon each of cayenne, salt and black pep­per. With the ma­chine run­ning on low speed, pour in 2 ta­ble­spoons olive oil slowly through the feed tube. Chill for at least two hours. Serve in bowls gar­nished with fresh mint, feta and chopped pis­ta­chios.

Blue­ber­ries

They might be blue, but there is noth­ing sad about just­picked Cana­dian blue­ber­ries. On top of be­ing a good source of bone-strength­en­ing vi­ta­min K, these health bombs are laced with com­pounds that have an­tiox­i­dant prop­er­ties called an­tho­cyanins. A raft of re­search stud­ies have linked in­creased in­takes of these plant chem­i­cals with im­proved brain func­tion­ing. You see, smart peo­ple do eat blue­ber­ries by the hand­ful. Other stud­ies show that an­tho­cyanins can help bol­ster heart health by quelling in­flam­ma­tion in the body and also

im­prov­ing blood choles­terol num­bers. If you come across pints of the smaller, wild blue­ber­ries at mar­kets and don’t mind the splurge, pick some up since these are even more an­tiox­i­dant-dense. When the fruit is abun­dantly avail­able at bud­get-friendly prices, con­sider load­ing up on lo­cal blue­ber­ries and freez­ing ex­tras for use when the snow starts fall­ing. To freeze, sim­ply spread the berries out on a bak­ing sheet and place in a freezer un­til solid. Trans­fer to a large zip-top bag for stor­age in the freezer. (Wedges of fresh peaches can be frozen the same way.)

Make: Blue­berry Salsa In a food pro­ces­sor con­tainer, place one cup blue­ber­ries, one quar­tered red bell pep­per, ¼ of a red onion, one small, seeded and chopped jalapeno, six basil leaves, zest of one lime, juice of one lime and a cou­ple pinches salt. Pulse the in­gre­di­ents a few times un­til you have a chunky mix­ture. Stir in one cubed av­o­cado. Serve over grilled fish or chicken or as a dip for post-ride tor­tilla chips.

Cher­ries

Few fruits say “sum­mer” like cher­ries. Grab­bing hold of the stems and pop­ping them in your mouth is a sure­fire way to add a dose of vi­ta­min C and potas­sium to your diet. The min­eral potas­sium works with sodium to bal­ance the flu­ids and elec­trolyte lev­els in your body. In other words, it’s some­thing that sweaty cy­clists should not skimp on. Sweet cher­ries are the most com­mon at mar­kets, but keep an eye out for pucker-wor­thy tart cher­ries. Stud­ies show that these are espe­cially rich in cer­tain an­tiox­i­dants shown to help im­prove ex­er­cise re­cov­ery.

Make: Cho­co­late Cherry Cheese­cake Pan­cakes Blend to­gether two large eggs, one cup ri­cotta cheese, ¼ cup milk, ¾ cup oat flour, ½ cup al­mond flour, 1 tea­spoon cin­na­mon, 1 tea­spoon bak­ing pow­der, ½ tea­spoon bak­ing soda and ¼ tea­spoon salt un­til smooth. Pour into a bowl and stir in 1 cup chopped cher­ries and ⅓ cup dark cho­co­late chips. Pour ¼ cup bat­ter for each pan­cake into a greased skil­let and cook over medium heat for two min­utes per side, or un­til golden. Re­peat with re­main­ing bat­ter, greas­ing pan as needed.

“You can eat a farm­ers mar­ket worth with­out any waist­line reper­cus­sions.”

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