It always confuses me that people will gravitate towards artificially colored foods and will choose to pass up some of nature's most vibrant sources. The greens, reds, pinks, and purples of many of our most common foods are absolutely stunning if you take a step back and look.
The pink of dragon fruit is the most obviously vibrant – but what about the pink of a watermelon? Or the bright pink orange ombre of a grapefruit? Blue is cool in the form of blue green algae, but what about the color of blueberries? Blue potatoes? Or blue corn? The green of matcha is spectacular, but so are the colors of lettuces, beans and any number of herbs. Red foods are some of the most remarkable with strawberries, cherries and bright bell peppers all making us swoon.
The rainbow of food is absolutely stunning! These colors come from the carotenoids, flavonoids and chlorophyll that gives fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors. Each one of these colors provide a unique array of antioxidant and skin protective benefits and when you eat vibrantly colored foods, your skin and body will adapt that vibrancy. I've seen it happen many times. Someone will shift their diet from processed foods to a more vibrantly colored plant-based version and their skin will shine! Some people call it "getting the glow" but whatever you want to say, the foods you feed your skin make a huge difference.
I don't think that I would have been able to fully appreciate the remarkable variety and beauty of so many different fruits and vegetables it if it weren't for discovering raw food. Growing up, I was mostly exposed to your standard supermarket fruits and vegetables – although, the summer was exciting with strawberries and peaches. It wasn't until moving to California, and being exposed to raw food, that I really started to appreciate how wide the variety is.
When you start eating food in its most pure form, you start to appreciate the nuances of different varietals. Not all strawberries, or peaches, or lettuces taste the same. We are taught to think of food in groups, not necessarily about the difference within themselves.
"Super Foods" get a lot of attention and are typically exotic – but I believe that some of the best super foods are in our backyards and best sourced seasonally.
Eating fruits and vegetables in season is not only the most delicious, it is absolutely the most nutritious, and most nutrient dense. When we think of food seasonality, we also think of eating the foods that serve us best for any given time of year.
Take Summer for example. Summer is bright, vibrant, and full of foods that are great for hydration and full of antioxidants. Berries, melons, stone fruits, summer squash, herbs and lettuces galore! These foods are all the best for your skin, and the best for this time of year. Explore different varietals and eat things you may have never had before. Summer is the perfect time to expand your palate and explore more fruits and vegetables in their most pure or raw state. You could also say that these foods aren't raw at all. They are "ra" or cooked by the sun. I really love thinking about it this way.
As in most things, the beauty is in the simplicity. Try eating the foods of the season in their most pure state.
Here is one of our favorite recipes for raw zucchini hummus, severed with as many summer vegetables as you feel inspired to serve. Zucchini is abundant this time of year, and if you've ran out of ways to prepare it, this is the easiest option! It tastes great on sandwiches, as a dip, or even over pasta.
RAW ZUCCHINI HUMMUS //
1 large zucchini, chopped. (Peeled or unpeeled is fine)
1/2 cup raw tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 clove garlic
Generous pinch of sea salt
1 handful of fresh herbs of your choice (I love using basil)
1/4 cup olive oil
In a food processor or blender, process all ingredients except olive oil until well combined. You want it to be smooth. Then add olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with crudité or crackers of your choice.
Makes approximately 2 cups.