Healthy Family  >  Taste the Season: From My Summer Kitchen to Yours

Taste the Season: From My Summer Kitchen to Yours

What do Superfood Kale Salads, Lemon & Coconut Bliss Balls, Mango Chia Pudding Parfaits, and Watermelon Burst Popsicles have in common? They’re all part of my new favorite rotations in the Kale & Chocolate kitchen. Aside from being chock full of nutrients, super hydrating and refreshing, there’s another theme happening behind the scenes…and I want to pass it on to you.

You see, I’ve spent the last 9 months alone in my kitchen (creating over 275 recipes), at my desk (writing the book!) and in my head trying to sort out the details, meet my deadlines, and just stay afloat. It’s been intense to say the least. So, now that I’m at the tail end of this project, it’s time to set a different tone as we move into the easy-breezy days of summer.

There is a saying that “the way you do one thing is the way you do everything.” Let’s start with the food on our plates (or in our bowls), with recipes that are simple, creative, fun, light and flexible…and carry on this relaxed attitude into our lives.

From my summer kitchen to yours, enjoy these 9 (+ one bonus) brand new nutritious & delicious recipes and tastes of the season that don't even require you to turn on the oven.

Mango Chia Pudding Parfait

Do you parfait? (Yes, it’s now a verb!) If not, then you’re about to discover a versatile (and easy!) way to prevent boredom with your healthy morning routine. The beauty of building a parfait is that you get different tastes, flavors and textures all in one dish.  As long as you prep the chia seed pudding in advance, you only need a few minutes to put together a satisfying & satiating meal. Use this recipe with mangos, lime, and cardamom as inspiration to learn the simple art of parfait making, and then come up with your own unique gorgeous creations in a jar. The possibilities are endless!

Green Smoothie Bowl

Sometimes you just need to dig in with a spoon…and that’s where this Kale & Chocolate staple comes in! While the smoothie bowl packs the same nutrition of the more traditional smoothies, it’s thicker in consistency with the addition of nutrient-dense toppings—the trick to keeping things interesting! Check out my list of fun (and nutritious) ways to creatively dress up your green smoothie bowl. Enjoy!

Superfood Kale Salad

When my artist brother Robert Sturman came to visit, I decided to step up my creativity in the kitchen and make {superfood} art with my kale salad. Use these measurements and ingredients as inspiration to create your own version of delicious food art. There are no rules here. (Have you ever added cacao nibs to a salad?) Use kale as your canvas and get splattering with as many colors & textures as possible. Have fun!

Zucchini Salad with Pesto & Cherry Tomatoes

Although this is technically not a new recipe, I just brought it back into the Kale & Chocolate kitchen rotation from a year ago. A modern twist on an old classic, this summery and easy to make zucchini pasta is refreshing, delicious & easy to make. It has become a staple in my house, as it is the perfect blend of sweet & savory with a punch of plant-based protein too. Thank you, Gena, of Choosing Raw, for the recipe!

Lemony Dijon Vinaigrette

All those fresh farmer’s markets rainbow salads cannot go naked all summer. Dress them up with my signature vinaigrette that can be tweaked and adapted with herbs & spices to work with almost any salad. I’ve been holding out on you for too long, and I finally posted the dressing you see peering out from the bottom of the mason jars or coating all those kale leaves. Whip up a batch on Sunday to last all week long.

Lemony Coconut Bliss Balls

Hands down one of my more popular recipes, and I just released it on Facebook and Instagram a few days ago! If my house is any indication of how much people enjoy these bite-sized treats, then plan on making a few batches a week. I can’t keep them in stock! The lemon flavor is much lighter and more refreshing than its chocolate energy ball cousin, but it still boasts the same nutrients to keep your blood sugar & energy stable in between meals.

Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie

When your garden suddenly bursts with strawberries, what else do you make but a strawberry smoothie that tastes like a milkshake?! Loaded with antioxidants and flavor, you’ll get a delicious boost of nutrients that will remind you of a tasty dessert. This is equally satisfying first thing in the morning to kick-start your day as it is as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

Watermelon Burst Popsicles

Summer wouldn't feel like summer without popsicles. These happen to be made with fruit and watermelon juice only. It’s perfect for the kid in all of us. Bonus that watermelon is super hydrating. Fun fact: did you know popsicles were invented by an 11-year-old?! Tell your kids. They’ll think it’s cool. (Pun intended.)

Spa Water

Speaking of hydrating, you know the drill. Personally, I get tired of drinking my weight in plain water. So, I always have a handy pitcher of spa water in my refrigerator. I've come up with some interesting combinations for you. My current fave is Raspberry Basil. If you want more of a grab & go option, fill up a few Mason jars each day with lemons, limes, cucumber, mint, watermelon and berries. Mix & match the flavors for a delicious way to get in your eight a day.

Bonus: Matcha Tea Latte

Technically not a seasonal recipe, but this list wouldn't be complete unless I shared my morning ritual that I will be carrying into summer. This energizing & delicious drink is made with young tea leaves that are filled with antioxidants and chlorophyll. The coconut butter adds amazing creaminess and a dose of healthy fats for a satisfying & nourishing cup of goodness. Wake up and smell the Matcha.

Summer is here!

Try one (or all!) of these recipes in your kitchen this week, and let me know if any of these colorful dishes are screaming your name. Or do you have an easy, fun, creative & flexible go-to summer staple that keeps you feeling good all season long? Share the summer kitchen love in the comments below.


  • Meredith says:

    Elise! Thank you for compiling the perfect summer recipes, which means I no longer have to think about What To Make For Dinner. What a relief.

  • liane says:

    Oh my! I can’t wait to make everything… starting with the Mango Chai Parfait today! Added all of these recipes to my pinterest “must try” meal board. With our farm share starting last week I was looking for fresh and new ideas to use all my greens. This is perfect.

  • Bonnie says:

    Aloha Elise,

    Just when I really needed more than a grab and go diet your luscious looking recipes arrived and I know I’ll
    feel revived again. And every time I fix a matcha latte I’m thinking of you. Thanks for including the recipe
    to remember it exactly and inspiring us all through the seasons!

    Love across the ocean, Bonnie

    • Hello Bonnie from across the ocean! I’m so glad that the timing is just right for you. I finally made that Matcha Latte an official recipe…with you in mind, of course. Thanks for joining the conversation here. It’s always good to hear from you. xxx

  • Michelle Cassini says:

    Hi Elise.
    I LOVE LoVE all of these recipes and I have now become obsessed with making homemade coconut water and almond milk…. I think of you all the time and your delicious recipes have totally transformed my husband because they offer him creative ways to be healthy and fell full at the same time!
    Thanks for always posting great ideas to make my home healthy and happy !!
    Xoxoxo michelle

    • Hi Michelle,
      Wow! I feel your enthusiasm and am thrilled that your whole house is benefitting from it. Thanks so much for sharing here. I look forward to hearing how you do with this new set of summer recipes in your kitchen:). xxx

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