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Summer Cooking Style

In summer, plants ripen and reach their growth.  At this time we can begin to use foods that have more active expansive energy, such as leafy green vegetables, summer squashes, sweet corn, and locally grown fruits.  Fresh salads can be served more frequently in summer or enjoyed in the form of marinated, pressed, or lightly boiled salads.  During the hot summer months, we naturally use simpler cooking methods such as boiling and steaming, and quick sautéing, which require less time in the kitchen.  Grain, noodle, bean, vegetable, and sea vegetable salads are used more often in the summer.  Sushi is especially enjoyable.  In hot humid weather, we often lose minerals through perspiration.  To replenish these nutrients, we may serve small amounts of strong condiments.  Umeboshi plums and umeboshi tea are excellent for this purpose and cool off the body better than soft drinks or other cold beverages.  Some dishes, such as somen or udon noodles may be served cool or chilled, but it is better not to prepare foods or drinks icy cold.  Instead, cooking effects can be created by light boiling, by shorter cooking times, and by using less salt or other seasonings.  Small amounts of chilled kanten (fruit gelatin), vegetable aspics, or cool tofu, garnished with scallions, tamari soy sauce, and ginger can be served often.  Fruit salads, fresh melons, and fresh cucumbers are also very refreshing when taken in moderation at this season.

From Aveline Kushi’s Complete Guide to Macrobiotic Cooking

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