Cool and Crisp Veggies for Warmer Months
How do you stay cool in the warmer months? Besides frequenting my favorite swimming spot, I always eat more raw foods when it’s warm. Cool and Crisp Veggies for Warmer Months such as salads, smoothies and cold soups are on my summer menu.
Raw vegetables and fruit are cooling to the body.
Because of this you can keep it simple in the summertime with less cooking and fewer and fresher ingredients. I end up making a lot of dressings and sauces to create more interesting meals and to vary flavors. One of the ingredients I almost always use is umeboshi (ume) plum vinegar, which you’ve probably noticed is listed often in the ingredients of my recipes. Ume vinegar is not technically vinegar and the “plum” is really more like an apricot. The liquid left over from pickling of the Ume fruit in salt and shiso leaf (a red colored herb) is what this “vinegar” actually is.
You can eat the pickled fruit, as they do in Japan on a daily basis, or use the liquid as a unique flavor in dressings and sauces. It is delicious – it’s salty and sour and brings out the subtle sweetness of vegetables. Much like “an apple a day” in the U.S. Umeboshi pickled plums are a medicinal and a daily part of a healthy diet in Japan.
Umeboshi pickled plums are a digestive aid, an anti-aging food, antioxidant, and a remedy for colds, flus, hangovers, morning sickness, and stomach upset . They are alkaline and contain vitamin C, potassium, calcium and iron.
So, here is a simple recipe to take to a party or a quick appetizer at an informal and spontaneous happy hour gathering. Just about everyone I have served this to, including children, love it!
The Kitchen Goddess’s Quick Pickles
- Yellow squash
- Radish (watermelon radish makes this beautiful!)
- Ume vinegar
Cut washed vegetables in rounds and place on a plate. Then, just before serving, sprinkle with some ume vinegar and serve. That’s it! Enjoy!