Summer kitchen refresh guide

Fill up on a colourful bounty of summer foods with juicy flavours and hydrating ingredients.

5 steps to better summer meals

1. Make it easy

When decide what to prepare over summer, think about what’s quick to make, foolproof and tasty, and that incorporates the bounty of the season. Don’t get caught in a kitchen with blazing ovens and grillers firing – that’s a recipe for cranky cooks and food that’s too hot to enjoy.

2. Visit your local growers

Nothing says summer like hand-written road signs signalling fresh peaches, farms brimming with cherries, and sticky blackberries ready to be plucked. Celebrate the season by venturing off road to fill your haul, and then let the fruit be the star of the show. Grilled, sliced, frozen or baked, these multipurpose gems are the flavour of summer.

3. Say hello to the bowl

With simple being the name of the game in summer, it’s all about the humble bowl. Creating meals around a bowl is nothing new, but boy is it addictive. Throw in anything you’ve got on hand – a tin of beans, sliced ripe tomatoes, fresh herbs, a soft-boiled egg, stir-fried greens, crumbled feta… There’s nothing to them but knockout flavours and the bliss of a one-bowl clean up.

4. Enjoy grains of goodness

Kaniwa, sorghum, millet, amaranth and freekah – just a few of the grains, cereals and seeds spicing up menus around town. Don’t let your summer dishes miss out on all the fun – these beauties add texture, toasty aromas and flavour puffs, as well as helping dishes go a lot further in filling you up and lasting longer.

5. Take it on the road

When cooking in summer, keep in mind how you can take your culinary creations on the road. Prepping this way will keep your dishes light, simple and ready to be consumed on a sandy beach, in the backyard or under a shady tree in the local park.

5 summery flavour combinations

1. Sweet potato and cinnamon

If haven’t tried it, baked sweet potatoes tossed with a little sea salt and cinnamon is a flavour match sent from the gods. A must try for summer BBQs.

2. Feta and watermelon

While delicious on their own, when paired in a salad with a little mint and perhaps a squeeze of lime, the feta/watermelon combo works wonders.

3. Peach and blueberry

From crumbles to cobblers, stirred through Greek yoghurt or tossed into salads, perfectly ripe peaches and plump blueberries equal summer in a mouthful.

4. Apricot and basil

Dried or fresh, golden apricots embody the warmth of summer. This interesting combo offers sweet, tangy and peppery flavours, and works beautifully in salads and tarts – nicely matched with a little goat’s cheese.

5. Vegemite and avocado. Don’t screw your nose up! It’s creamy, salty and downright yummy – delicious on a slice of good sourdough toast.

Summer breakfasts

Many of us have plenty of room to improve when it comes to the first meal of the day. Instead of grabbing something on the run, think about making your breakfast a mindful, meaningful experience to help start the day off in the right frame of mind. Here are some ideas:

1. Use your Sunday nights to create unique grain mixes that you can top with fresh fruit, nuts and yoghurt each day for a quick, nourishing meal.

2. Get a head start on the Australian Dietary Guidelines’ recommended two pieces of fruit each day with a home-made smoothie blend.

3. Experiment with eggs. Whether it’s baked in a slice of ham to create a mini egg muffin, soft boiled with kale and hummus or as part of a brekkie salad with spinach, feta and mint, you can’t go wrong with nutritious, tasty whole eggs.

Foods for hydration

Keep these hydrating summer foods on your shopping list:

  • Cucumber
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Cantaloupe

Recommended reading - Issue Fifteen Autumn 2016

Experts

10 things you need to know about the mind

Psychologist Emily Toner takes us inside this mysterious mass of nerves and fibres in our heads.

Read more
Community

Forecasting the future of health

How Medibank's Chief Actuary uses data, trends and patterns to help the mission of better health.

Read more
Community

How happy is your melon?

Follow yoga teacher Masha Gorodilova in the journey into the art of yoga and mindfulness meditation.

Read more
Community

On track to better health

A new online tool pools info on nutrition and exercise for healthy living and cancer prevention

Read more
Travel

The 10 best places to eat and play in Tokyo

Blogger Hello Sandwich shows us her top picks of Tokyo.

Read more
Community

Happy Melon Studios: Mindfulness meets exercise

Discover the yoga, pilates and meditation centre Happy Melon Studios.

Read more
Community

Smiling Mind: Mindfulness made easy

Making mindfulness meditation free, Smiling Mind improves the mental wellbeing of young Australians

Read more
Community

Maggie Beer on autumn flavours

Looking to incorporate some seasonal produce this autumn? Maggie Beer has some ideas to share

Read more
Experts

Carbohydrates: Good or bad?

Confused whether carbs are good or bad? We break it down here.

Read more
Experts

Myopia: Myths and facts about short-sightedness

What’s the best way to manage myopia? Professor Kathryn Rose explains the facts of short-sightedness

Read more
Lifestyle

Conscious threads

Live simply, travel mindfully and keep active - Patagonia creates for exploring responsibly.

Read more
Lifestyle

7 ways to enjoy pomegranates

Interested to try pomegranate in some new ways?

Read more
Experts

Do you really need to quit sugar?

Thinking about quitting sugar? Here are some tips on the best ways to manage sugar intake.

Read more
Community

Tastes of the Amazon

Sambazon is an acai company who has a fair trade partnership to protect the Amazon rainforest.

Read more
In Brief

Introducing the Medibank Better Health Index

Australia’s biggest quarterly health index provides valuable insights into our nation’s well-being.

Read more
Experts

Flowing vitality: The Chinese medicine approach to exercise

How to balance gentle movement and intense exercise for energy, flow and nourishment.

Read more
Community

Master and commander

An insight into sailor Jack Macartney's experiences, including capsizing during a race.

Read more
Experts

How to relieve foot and heel pain

Sports podiatrist Emily Smith gives advice on how to treat foot and heel pain.

Read more
Recipes

Stracci pasta with braised lamb ragù recipe

Craving a hearting meal? This tender lamb ragu will hit the spot.

Read more
Recipes

Corsican pie with courgette flowers recipe

This corsican pie with courgette flowers is sure to impress your dinner guests!

Read more
Experts

How taste works

Interested to know how your taste buds work? We talk to the experts

Read more
Travel

The best canoeing trips around the world

Add to your bucket list of glorious destinations around the world with these five canoeing spots.

Read more
Recipes

Glazed pears with marscapone recipe

Love fruit for dessert? Try glazed pears with marscapone for something a little fancy

Read more
Experts

On-screen dementia support

Support for dementia is evolving - meet telehealth technology; the future of dementia care.

Read more
Recipes

Bircher muesli with poached dried apricots and pistachios recipe

Enjoy a healthy start to your day with bircher muesli and poached dried apricots

Read more
Lifestyle

Modern family

What is a "family"? We take a look at the history and future of Australian households.

Read more
Recipes

Beef pie with red wine, fennel and green olives recipe

You'll love this Australian favourite of beef pie with seasonal flavours.

Read more
Community

Mobile mindfulness

We look at how technology, meditation and mindfulness can work together.

Read more
Lifestyle

How to grow a better garden

Grow your skills as well as your garden, with helpful advice from a green-thumbed horticulturist.

Read more
In Brief

How to prevent hearing loss

Hearing Awareness Week: hearing loss affects 3.5 million Australians - know your facts.

Read more
Recipes

Fennel with goat’s curd recipe

If you're looking for a tasy side or light meal, Maggie Beer has the recipe for you

Read more
Recipes

Aubergine with black garlic recipe

For a succulent veggie dish, try aubergine with black garlic

Read more
Experts

The real deal on meat and cancer

We've got the truth about meat and cancer

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.