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Vegan Summer Guide: How to eat Seasonally, Stay Healthy, and Cook 28 Refreshing Vegan Recipes!

Oh, sweet summertime—

When the days last longer, the sun burns brighter, and the food tastes better. 

This beloved season is just around the corner. And you know what that means…

A whole season for delicious vegan recipes! 

Summer is the time to cookout, grill, go camping, prepare snacks for the poolside, and look and feel your best.

This article can serve as your guide for the best summer yet. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Eating Seasonally: A Short Guide
  • Feel Your Best: Calorie Density
  • 28 Vegan Recipes to Beat the Heat

Just thinking about this is making us hungry, so let’s get started. 

local farmers market

Eating Seasonally: A Short Guide

What is eating seasonally?

It's exactly what it sounds like! It's all about eating the produce that was grown recently and locally instead of preserved to eat at a later date. 

There is something sweet and nostalgic about eating an apple on a crisp autumn day or a handful of bright berries in the sweltering heat of summer… 

Besides being ultra-satisfying, eating seasonally has a few other benefits to consider. 

3 Benefits of Eating Seasonally

You may not see the point of eating seasonally right away, especially since our grocery stores are packed with all sorts of food every day… 

But—

Reading the benefits will transform your life in more ways than one. 

1. Save Your Pennies

If you are looking to cut the cost on your grocery bill, eating seasonally is a great method to try! 

When produce is at its peak, it's also in abundance at the stores. 

Abundance of produce = Lower costs.

Stock up on seasonal fruits and veggies while you can!

2. Scrumptious Flavor and Rich Nutrition 

Buying produce that is in season is also the best bang for your buck when it comes to flavor and nutrition. 

If your food is being shipped from overseas or across the United States, the produce is actually being picked before it is ripe.

Eating food that is picked when it is already ripe means that it will be the most nutrient-dense, and the flavor-rich.

3. Lower Your Carbon Footprint

Eating food that is in season increases your likelihood of eating local produce.

If you increase the amount of produce you purchase locally, that means less food will need to be shipped in from far-away lands. The number of miles our food travels accounts for up to a quarter of all human carbon emissions

By eating seasonally, you can lower your carbon footprint by up to 10%!

How to Eat Seasonally

Now that you know a few reasons why you should consider eating seasonally, let’s get into the good stuff—

The how. 

1. Eating Seasonally for Your Location

Eating seasonally means different things depending on where you live. 

The food that is ripe in the summer is not going to be the same between Alaska and New York! 

This seasonal food guide is an amazing tool that will help you find what produce is seasonal in your location.

This tool is comprehensive and allows you to search by the following:

  • Your state 
  • The beginning or end of each month
  • Specific produce you want to eat

A quick search on this tool will tell you all you need to know about the yummy summer produce near you! 

2. Shop at Your Local Farmer’s Market

There are few things as enjoyable as putting on your favorite summer dress, grabbing your reusable bags, and perusing the farmer’s market. 

If you want to elevate your summer produce game, take your shopping outside of the grocery store and pick it up from the local stalls instead! 

The produce from farmer’s markets is offered at a great price and it’s as fresh as can be.

Beyond that, it is also an amazing way to connect with your community.

Not sure if there are any farmer’s markets near you?

This tool will help you find out! 

3. Consider a Seasonal Meal-Plan

If you want to save some time and energy, consider looking into a seasonal meal-plan.

This will give you the foundation you need to eat seasonally and eat healthily. 

One Green Planet has an amazing outline for a summer meal plan that you can check out! 

Want another great resource?

Head on over to Girl in Calico’s youtube channel. She has a few videos on vegan seasonal eating as well. Her summer recipe video is mesmerizing to watch. 

 

french fries

Feel Your Best: Calorie Density

All year long, people are working on their “summer body.” 

Let’s get one thing straight—

Every body is a summer body! 

That being said, it’s important to feel confident in your own skin. 

Nothing is worse in the summer than feeling bloated, hot, and like you have a “food hangover.” If you are looking for a low-calorie meal plan to help you look and feel your best, there are tons of vegan options.

Try out this weekly shopping and meal plan guide by Veganosity to keep your calories low and your nutrients high! 

Another great way to stay on track is by focusing on calorie density. 

What is calorie density? 

Calorie density refers to the number of calories per pound of food. As you can imagine, french fries have a much higher calorie density than spinach. 

If you take the time to learn about the calorie density of different foods, you can eat twice the volume of food for half the calories

This will help you feel full all day long without overeating. 

 

vegan summer recipes

28 Vegan Recipes to Beat the Summer Heat

Summer is the time to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.

That’s why we have compiled a list of vegan recipes that can be enjoyed al fresco!

Appetizers To Impress

Heading to a summer bash and expected to bring a dish?

Here are a few appetizers that will impress even your non-vegan friends! 

1-3. Snack boards have been a party classic for ages. Try out these three vegan snack boards that will taste (and look) perfect at any summer party by Liv B. 
4. This Ramp and Brazil Nut Pesto with Socca by One Green Planet will be the appetizer that nobody knew they were missing… until now! 
5. Cook up a few of these Crisp Cauliflower Arancinis from the Great Canadian Cookbook for your next summer soiree! (Maybe cook up a few extra just for you… you know, just in case.) 

Cool as a Cucumber

Sometimes summer can make you feel like you’re melting…

The solution?

These refreshing and simple cucumber based recipes!

Cucumbers have been renowned for their refreshing taste for years. But who knew they could be so versatile, as well?

6. Bring along this creamy vegan cucumber salad by My Favorite Recipe to enjoy by itself, or on top of bread.
7. For some extra zing, mix up this Asian cucumber salad by Chef de Home. 
    8. If it’s fried, it probably tastes good. Check out this fried cucumber recipe by Create Mindfully for the perfect craving-buster. 
      9. This avocado, pineapple, and cucumber salad by Running in a Skirt is as refreshing as a cold glass of lemonade. 
        10. Strangely addicting, you’ll need to be careful not to eat all of this classic Mediterranean cucumber salad by Keeping the Peas. 

          That’s a Wrap

          Easy to prepare, easy to eat, and beyond tasty— 

          Wraps are the summer treat to beat! 

          1. Forks Over Knives has perfected this bbq summer spring roll
          1. These colorful vegan summer rolls by Ela Vegan will be a showstopper at your next meal. 
          1. A twist on the old classic, this refreshing vegan caesar wrap by Courtney’s homestead will not disappoint. 
          1. This southwest veggie wrap with vegan ranch by This Savory Vegan is another great crowd-pleaser. 

          The Queen of Quinoa

          Quinoa is a vegan staple for a few reasons:

          • It’s easy to cook and store
          • It’s a vegan “complete protein” source
          • It’s versatile and takes on flavor well 

          Quinoa can be served hot or cold, making it the perfect meal-base to transition from spring to summer! 

          Here are our favorite cold quinoa salad recipes for the season:

          1. Try this refreshing lemon quinoa cucumber salad by Veggie Society to snack on all summer long. 
          1. Get in a serving of greens with this quinoa spinach power salad by Mommy’s Kitchen. 
          1. This crunchy Thai peanut and quinoa salad recipe by Cookie and Kate is anything but boring. 
          1. Add a bit of color with this quinoa brussel sprout beet salad by Stephanie Sain.

          Can I Grill It?

          Alright, alright! We get it… 

          Summertime is all about cooking outdoors. 

          Camping and summer cookouts and barbecues are the quintessential American pastime. 

          Traditionally, meat is the center of these events. 

          But—

          With these killer vegan recipes, it will need to step aside.

          19. These grilled ratatouille kebabs by The Fitchen are a new take on the old French classic. 
            20. Satisfy your hunger with these bbq bean sausages by the Avant Garde Vegan. 
              21. Looking for something simple? These grilled vegetable fajitas by A Couple Cooks couldn’t be any easier. 

              22-24. We’ve said it once, we’ll say it a million times. Nothing beats a good veggie burger. Try out these three vegan burger recipes by Madeleine Olivia for some inspiration! 

              25-27. In charge of the whole meal? Madeleine Olivia has another video that goes over 4 delicious vegan cookout recipes. These recipes include a potato salad, kebabs, portobello mushrooms, and a vegan burger.

              28. When in doubt, try out this spicy and sweet grilled watermelon recipe from the Food Channel.

                vegan summer salad

                Celebrate Summer in Style— Vegan Style

                Summer just got even sweeter with all of these new tips and tricks. 

                Things to keep in mind when you’re cooking up a storm:

                • Eat seasonally when you can
                • Don’t skimp on nutrition
                • Try a twist on the old summer classics

                Next time you’re at a summer party, remember to flaunt your vegan cooking style with pride! 

                Planning a summer vacation? Check out our post "The Top 20 Vegan Snacks for a Successful Vacation [Recipes from Popular Bloggers]"

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