It’s the ‘dog days’ of summer and the heat can really take a toll on our willingness to cook hot meals. Watch my recent appearance on Let’s Talk Live DC as I show some of my favorite foods and snacks that are nice and cool and you don’t have to turn on the oven to enjoy them!
Read on for some fresh and flavorful foods and snack ideas to help keep your cool in this hot and humid summer weather.
Go tart – tart cherries that is! Tart cherries have been found in research to help ease muscle pain and improve sleep quality and they happen to be a great ingredient in some cold food recipes. We’ve seen tart cherry juice be effective for muscle recovery in both runners and cyclists, so no matter what your sport, this is a cool addition to your nutrition routine. Enjoy a refreshing homemade popsicle made with tart cherry juice and coconut milk. Not only is this an easy way to cool down for anyone in the family, but it’s a smart idea for after a workout too so you can get the benefits of easing muscle pain and inflammation associated with exercise. Chilled soups are hydrating and refreshing in this weather. Try making Tart Cherry Gazpacho which is a chilled soup made with tart cherry juice and frozen tart cherries – this is a really flavorful, cool way to start off a summer brunch or dinner party. Tart cherries naturally contain melatonin which helps improve sleep quality and duration.Tart cherries are easy to include in a variety of recipes, and they add a really nice tart flavor and nutrient punch to any meal. Visit Choose Cherries for many more delicious recipes and research on the health benefits of cherries.
Let Someone Else Prep
The Fresh Food line at 7-Eleven makes it convenient to eat a healthy bite, especially while on-the-go. The Fresh Foods line offers sandwiches, wraps, salads, whole and fresh cut fruit and yogurt parfaits, all made fresh. 7-Eleven’s salads are available in 4 different varieties all under 500 calories – like the BLT Salad loaded with crisp romaine lettuce and shredded red cabbage, grape tomatoes, real bacon and grilled chicken and served with avocado ranch dressing. They come in easy and portable packaging, which makes them a great lunch option and really affordable at $3.99. 7-Eleven’s sandwiches are all prepared locally and delivered fresh every day. They are made with fresh ingredients including premium meats and fresh-blended spreads – like tuna salad or smart turkey sandwiches. If you’re looking for a nutritious snack for on-the-go, 7-Eleven has a fresh selection of snack options like hard boiled eggs. You can also pick up yogurt parfaits and Carrot and Celery packs with dips. You can also follow 7-11 on Facebook to learn of Fresh Food in-store promotions .
Keep Cool with Smart Snacks
Keep cool between meals with smart snacks. Snacks are a great opportunity to get nutrients if you choose wisely. SunChips® multigrain snacks are made with 100% whole grains and are a great tasting option to have on hand at home for a quick snack or if you’re throwing a BBQ. Each 1-ounce serving of SunChips snacks contains 21 grams of whole grains, which is almost half the recommended amount of 48 grams per day. SunChips multigrain snacks can help you “keep your cool” by pairing with a protein-packed dip such as Savory Edamame Puree made with edamame, peas and ricotta cheese or with my Healthy Tuna Salad recipe made with tuna, hummus, spinach and other veggies. Visit Fritolay for more recipe inspiration and be sure to “Like” them on Facebook.
A Healthier Frozen Dessert
Ice cream and frozen yogurts can’t be beat in the summertime. This is one you can do at home, even if you don’t have an ice cream maker. My Banana Nut Crunch “ice cream” has two simple ingredients – frozen banana just pureed in a blender layered with KIND Healthy Grains Banana Nut Clusters. The clusters are like a better kind of granola packed with super grains! Made with a unique blend of Five 100% Whole Grains: Gluten Free Oats, Millet, Quinoa, Amaranth and Buckwheat. They are gluten free and available in 8 flavors like Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters, Vanilla Blueberry Clusters with Flax Seed and Maple Quinoa Clusters with Chia Seeds. You can also enjoy them with yogurt, milk, and on their own as a snack. Visit KIND Snacks for more
What are your favorite foods to keep your cool?
I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send a tweet to@ScritchfieldRD to share your favorite summer time tips and recipes for keeping cool.
Disclaimer: I was compensated by KIND Snacks, Fritolay, Cherry Marketing Institute, and 7-11 to do the tv segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.