Caroline Byron 2016

Seasonal summer ingredients and what to do with them

Summer in New York City


Summer conjures up images of blue skies and sunshine, lighter clothes and longer days, barbeques and beach parties. But with it brings an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables and wonderful salad ingredients during a summer season that runs from June through September.

new york city in summer


It is so much better for the planet to buy fresh produce in season, saving miles in terms of how far our food travels before it comes to our table, and making the most of food that isn’t processed in order for us to have it all year round.


Across the world there are markets selling fresh local produce which is seasonal, often organic, and which comes from real farmers and food producers. Farmers’ Markets and Greenmarkets are buzzing, vibrant places to spend a morning shopping for great ingredients for your summer recipes. If you can’t find a local market, you can of course find plenty of seasonal goodies in the produce department of your local supermarket or store.


Local Markets


In New York we are lucky to have plenty of Farmers’ Markets and Greenmarkets to choose from. To name just a few in the NY area, we have:


Union Square Greenmarket: located in one of New York City’s great public spaces, in peak season 140 regional farmers, fishers, and bakers sell their products here and weekly activities include cookery demonstrations and book signings


New York Botanical Garden Greenmarket:  this market is in the Bronx and has seasonal vegetables, orchard fruits and berries and a wide selection of fragrant herbs, cider, homemade pies, breads and more. Family activities feature edible gardening.


Park Slope Farmers’ Market: This Brooklyn Market has fresh fruits and vegetables, pasture-raised meats as well as preserves, eggs, honey and dairy, plus fiber and yarn for local knitters and crocheters.


92nd Street Greenmarket: As well as all of the wonderful produce you’d expect from a local market, you will find a compost collection, recycling collection, responsible disposal of batteries, cords, cell phones, corks and cartridges at this planet-friendly location on the Upper East Side.


Wherever you shop, look out for farm fresh produce, including eggs and dairy, freshly picked fruits and vegetables, freshly caught fish, locally made wine and even home-baked cakes locally.


What’s available in the summer?




The list is almost endless! You can choose from apples, apricots, tomatoes, cherries, nectarines and peaches as well as luscious berries such as strawberries and raspberries. Fresh peas are a delight and all kinds of greens such as cabbage, chard and spinach are also good through the summer.


I’m going to share with you a delicious recipe for a summer roast chicken and crunchy red cabbage summer ‘slaw that I hope you’ll love. Add some grilled corn cobs and you have an easy sunshine meal to share with friends and family.


Summer Roast Chicken


Mix together in a large bowl 3 tbs olive oil, juice of 2 lemons (save the shells), a couple tbs chopped herbs such as thyme, parsley and basil and 2 cloves chopped or crushed garlic.

Add a large chicken to the bowl and baste with the oil mixture until well coated. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the vegetables.

Add to a roasting tin 2 red onions, quartered, large chunks zucchini, chunks of bell pepper, 12 cherry tomatoes and a couple handfuls of small potatoes.

Place the chicken on top of the prepared vegetables, throw the lemon shells into the cavity and drizzle any remaining oil mixture over the chicken and vegetables.

Roast for 1 ½ hours with the oven preheated to 400 degrees for about 1 ½ hours until no blood appears when the thickest part of the leg is pierced with a sharp knife. Rest for 10 minutes before slicing the meat, and placing on top of the roasted vegetables on a serving platter. (Serves 6-8.)


roast summer chicken


Crunchy Summer ‘Slaw


Finely slice and wash a small red cabbage (about 1Ib)

Coarsely grate 2 large carrots (peeled and washed) and 2 red apples (washed, skin on)

Finely slice 2 small peeled red onions

Finely chop a small handful washed flat leaf parsley


Mix together in a large bowl until well combined. In a small jar (with a lid) put 4 tbs mayonnaise, 2 tbs white wine vinegar and 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a little salt and pepper. Screw the lid on and shake vigorously until well mixed, then add to the bowl with the vegetables and mix well. Leave in the fridge until ready to eat. (Serves 8.)




I really hope you enjoy making these quick and easy summer recipes. For dessert I think that there is nothing more summery than a beautiful glass bowl filled with glistening red strawberries  or a fruit salad and a jug of cream to pour over the top, or even a big spoonful of greek yoghurt!


Do share your photos with me on Instagram, and let me know of your favourite twists on my recipes.


Have a wonderful summer!

5 Gluten-Free Post-Workout Snack Ideas

Why do we need to snack after our workout?


We know how important it is to get our pre-workout nutrition right so that we have energy to take us through our exercise routines and to build muscle and burn fat, right? Well, it’s really important to help our bodies recover quickly from our activity by having good snacks for after our workout too.


A really good rule is to learn to listen to our bodies which helps us to understand what we need, when to eat and how much to eat, but it’s not always easy, especially when you get started on a new healthy eating and exercise plan, and particularly when you have particular dietary needs such as gluten intolerance.


Gluten-free but not sugar or fat free!


What we are trying to avoid by having our post-workout snacks ready is a sugar crash. A sugar crash puts us at risk of eating too much of the wrong things in order to quickly raise our energy levels back up, but this quickly leads to a further crash and ultimately makes us feel worse and eat badly to achieve a quick fix. Often you can see that store bought gluten-free products have the wheat and the flour replaced by fat and sugar, which gives us an immediate energy high but doesn’t sustain us for very long.


One thing we do know though is that post-workout is the very best time to eat carbs as your body will quickly and easily convert them to energy rather than storing them as fat. But, of course, we don’t want to overdo it and wipe out all the effort we’ve put in by eating too many carbs, so again, balance is really important.


So, for our gluten-free recovery snacks, we want to achieve a good mix of protein and carbs, and these are my suggestions for some easy-to-prepare and easy-to-carry gluten free post-workout snacks:


Rice cakes with peanut butter


Go for smooth or crunchy (my favourite has to be smooth!). There are some great natural peanut butters on the market which don’t have so many additives, such as salt, sugar and hydrogenated fats. There are some really tasty alternatives to peanut too, such as cashew nut butter. Of course, this isn’t a good choice for anyone with a nut allergy, it goes without saying.



Chocolate milk


Regular chocolate milk made with dairy milk provides a great balance of protein and carbohydrate (soya milk doesn’t provide the carb and almond milk doesn’t provide the protein so don’t be tempted to swap!). An 8oz glass is perfect for a post-workout snack.


chocolate milk caroline byron

Fresh fruit


A bowl of fresh fruit with some unsweetened natural greek yogurt is an easy and so refreshing snack, with the fruit adding sweetness. Make sure you add some banana for a more slow-release snack. Your fruit can be prepared in advance and kept in the refrigerator in a tupperware container or similar.


Carolyn Byron 2016

Cheese and apple


Fresh, crunchy apple slices with some cheese or cottage cheese is a heavenly match, and you can choose a lower fat option if you want to. If you prefer the full fat options, then don’t have quite as much cheese, especially if you’re weight-watching (an ounce of cheese is about right). You can add some celery sticks too.


Dried fruit


A handful of dried fruits such as dates, raisins and apricots is a quick and easy store cupboard post workout snack – pop some into a bag and you’re good to go! If you have a sweet tooth this is a great snack but don’t overdo it, the sugar of the fruit is more concentrated when it’s dried.



Hydration is key




It’s important to remember to drink plenty of water throughout your exercise program and throughout the day. Water is so good for glowing skin and sparkling eyes, as well as being critical in helping your body perform at its best. I try to carry a bottle of with me at all times.


Don’t forget to share your photos with me on Instagram, and let me know the workout snacks that work best for you too. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!