Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Summer’s Sweet Gifts

Jun 29, 2022 02:47PM ● By Sharon Bruckman

I have fond memories of mixing up a batch of Kool-Aid on hot summer days as a kid. It was simple: Grab the old metal pitcher, a few cups of water, a cup (or two) of sugar and a packet of Kool-Aid mix and give it a good stir with the big wooden spoon. Voila! A refreshing drink to share with siblings and friends was at the ready. For an extra treat, we poured the brightly colored concoction into ice cube trays and stuck in toothpicks to make DIY popsicles.  

On special days, I remember hearing the tinkling bell of the ice cream truck, begging my mother for change and dashing out to score an icy confection. The best part of my childhood innocence was the absence of any concern over the amount of sugar and other unhealthy additives in these tasty treats. It never occurred to me that something so delectable could be bad for me.

By the time I had kids, I knew more about good nutrition. Getting creative in the kitchen with ingredients we had on hand, my children loved making frozen pops by mashing fruits and other healthy ingredients in a bowl, then pouring the mixture into molds and freezing them. I think the satisfaction of making their own creations made them taste even better. In this month’s Healthy Kids department, “Cool Treats for Hot Days: DIY Recipes that Even Kids Can Make,” you’ll find some great ideas to create your own goodies like Rainbow Fruit Kabobs, Mixed Berry Pops, Orange Cream Pops and Vegan Watermelon-Beet Pops starting on page 32.

Our Healthy Food Edition also highlights the rising consumer interest in locally produced, healthy comestibles. In our feature story, “The Healthy Food Movement: Pandemic Trends Are Shaping Better Local Food Systems,” Bob Benenson reports that supply chain disruptions and food insecurities have led to a booming interest in local farmers and regionally produced foodstuffs. Perhaps more encouraging, e-commerce entrepreneurs have been developing innovating solutions to get nutritious provisions into more hands and neighborhoods—a welcome silver lining, for sure. Read more on page 24. 

After reading “Flower Power: Edible Blooms Add Flavor and Color to Summer Fare” on page 28, you may start looking at flowers differently. April Thompson inspires us to add fun and color to dishes by decorating ice cubes or homemade chocolate bars with pansies and violets, tossing marigolds into scrambled eggs, adding nasturtiums to a salad for peppery pop or flavoring vinegar with wild violets and chive blossoms. Get creative yourself with the Flower Spring Rolls and Magnolia Salad Cups recipes starting on page 29. 

Summer is officially here, along with the boom and sparkle of Fourth of July fireworks. What will you do to experience some summer delight this month? I love sitting at the beach long after sunset, paddleboarding with frequent swims to cool off and lounging by a window with a good read during a summer storm. Pay attention to the sweet little offerings from life this month and perhaps linger a little longer.

Happy Summering, 

Sharon Bruckman