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10 Summer Blue Zone Recipes for Health and Longevity

July 2, 2024
Courtesy of Elizabeth Rider

Everyone is fascinated by the Blue Zones, and no wonder: People in these regions — including Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Loma Linda, California; and Ikaria, Greece — live longer, healthier lives than most of us. There are a number of lifestyle habits that factor into their longevity, one of which is diet. Though the regions are all over the world and the people eat different foods, there are some principles that are true for all. These Blue Zone recipes, perfect for summer, harness those principles to bring you truly healthy, nourishing meals.

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You asked: What foods do you eat on the Blue Zones diet?

Given that the Blue Zones are all over the world, the specific foods people eat in them varies. But there are some principles that are the same throughout the Blue Zones:

  • Eat a largely plant-forward diet
  • Eat mostly whole foods
  • Incorporate some seafood
  • Eat ½ to 1 cup of beans most days
  • Eat 1 to 2 handfuls of nuts per day
  • Go very light on dairy and sugar

These tasty recipes incorporate these ideas, with the ingredients and breeziness you crave in the summer.

1. Edamame Salad with Quinoa

Edamame salad with quinoa

Courtesy of Food By Maria

This vibrant salad is a powerhouse of plant-based protein and fiber, making it an excellent choice for a light and nutritious summer meal. It’s perfect for meal prep, too. The creamy mango dressing is so luscious, you’ll want to pour it over everything.

Try this recipe from Food By Maria.

2. Layered Ratatouille

Layered Ratatouille

Courtesy of Elizabeth Rider

This classic French dish is a summer veggie staple, and the presentation in this recipe makes it seem really fancy. (It’s actually super simple to make, though.) It’s also delicious hot or cold, so you can bring it to a potluck and impress everyone.

Try this recipe from Elizabeth Rider.

3. Citrus Shrimp Avocado Salad

Citrus shrimp avocado salad

Courtesy of FoodieCrush

A perfect blend of tangy citrus, creamy avocado, and succulent shrimp, this salad manages to be hearty and light at the same time. Enjoy it as is, or spoon it into corn tortillas as a taco filling.

Try this recipe from FoodieCrush.

Related: 7 Tips for a Longer Life, Says Famous Blue Zones Researcher

4. Finger-Licking Veggie Fajitas

Vegetarian fajitas

Courtesy of Happy Kitchen

With colorful bell peppers, onions, and portobello mushrooms, plus guacamole and black beans, you will not miss the meat in these flavorful fajitas. The recipe includes an unfussy spice blend, but you could use a premade taco seasoning to save a step (just make sure it isn’t loaded with sodium).

Try this recipe from Happy Kitchen.

5. Nutty Green Veggie Crunch Salad

Nutty green veggie crunch salad

Courtesy of Blissful Basil

With nuts in the salad and peanut butter in the tasty dressing, you’ll get your day’s worth of nuts and a ton of crunchy veggies in this salad. The recipe calls for fresh cilantro; swap parsley if you don’t care for it, or add some basil and mint to up the herbs even more.

Try this recipe from Blissful Basil.

6. Greek Salad Sandwich

Greek salad sandwich

Courtesy of Planted 365

Taking some of the classic Greek salad ingredients — chickpeas, tomatoes, red onions, kalamata olives — and turning them into a sandwich is a great way to give this dish a new spin. Make sure to use whole-grain bread to keep it Blue Zone-friendly.

Try this recipe from Planted 365.

7. Artichoke Tomato Salad

Tomato artichoke salad

Courtesy of Short Girl Tall Order

This tasty salad combines several favorites: Cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, chickpeas, fresh herbs, capers — and brings it all together with a simple vinaigrette. It’s so easy to pull together (it takes less than 5 minutes) and so satisfying, it’s sure to become one of your go-to recipes.

Try this recipe from Short Girl Tall Order.

Related: Do These 3 Things Every Day to Boost Longevity, Says Expert

8. Pan-Seared Cod in White Wine Tomato Basil Sauce

Pan-seared cod

Courtesy of Baker by Nature

Though Blue Zone recipes are usually all about the vegetables, seafood is also on the menu sometimes. This easy yet restaurant-worthy pan-seared cod also incorporates tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil, and lemon, so plant foods are represented as well. We’d use a touch of honey instead of the sugar listed in the recipe.

Try this recipe from Baker by Nature.

9. Blackberry, Avocado, and Arugula Salad

Blackberry, avocado and arugua salad

Courtesy of Crowded Kitchen

With the splashes of color in this salad, it’s as pretty as it is good for you. Blackberries, blueberries, and cucumber lend sweetness, alongside peppery arugula, creamy avocado, crunchy hazelnuts, and salty feta. A quick lime-mint vinaigrette brightens the whole nutrient-rich dish.

Try this recipe from Crowded Kitchen.

10. Grilled Tofu

Grilled tofu

Courtesy of Love and Lemons

Once you master this easy protein, you’ll want to make it all the time and use it in everything. Throw it on a salad, on a grain bowl, in a pita — with so many different ways to season it, you’ll turn to this plant-based protein all the time.

Try this recipe from Love and Lemons.

Read next: 7 Blue Zone Foods That Help Increase Longevity

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