Five Summer Food Necessities

Healthy Summer Food 6-18-14

By: Kaitlin Cofer

It’s summer!  Time to break out the sunblock, fire up the barbecue and get outside!  But, what are you going to eat on those hot, sunny days?  Below is a list of my top 5 summer food necessities for you to incorporate into your next cookout!

  1. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are 95 percent water and are ideal for hydration.  Here are a few examples of how to consume your cucumbers this summer:

  • Cucumber-infused water
  • Cucumber used as “bread” for mini sandwiches
  • Cucumbers eaten by themselves
  • Cucumber salad with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and vinegar
  • Cucumber with hummus

 

  1. Strawberries

Who doesn’t love strawberries?!  Unless you are allergic, this fruit is best enjoyed as is. But, of course, they can be incorporated into many tasty summer treats, such as:

  • Dark chocolate-covered strawberries
  • Strawberry-infused water
  • Cut up and  mixed with plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Strawberries and honey

 

  1. Kale

This super green is also super yummy.  Kale has recently come into the spotlight after being hidden behind the equally awesome spinach for so long.  Kale is a great source of vitamins A, C, and K.   There are many ways to enjoy kale that kids and adults alike will love, such as:

  • Kale Chips: Wash kale, add extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil and garlic salt, bake at 350 for 10 minutes
  • Kale salad: Use kale as salad base
  • Kale smoothies: Mix in strawberries, ice, kale, and orange juice
  • Steamed kale with garlic
  • Egg white omelets with kale and tomatoes

 

  1. Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a healthy, yummy and refreshing summer legume.  They are high in protein and are one of the earliest cultivated legumes.  Below are some ways to enjoy your chickpeas:

  • Hummus
  • Tuna and chickpea salad
  • Black bean and chickpea salad
  • Crunch roasted chickpeas
  • Chickpeas and carrot salad

 

  1. Salsa

Salsa is a food item that can be enjoyed year round, but there is just something about salsa and summer that go together.  Salsa can be prepared in a variety of ways, but the basis is tomatoes.  Below is a basic salsa recipe that can be used on its own or for flavoring:

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ jalapeno, diced
  • Cilantro
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • Garlic
  • Dash salt
  • Dash pepper

Directions:

In a bowl, combine all ingredients together and keep refrigerated until use.

Try to incorporate all 5 of these refreshing and healthy foods into your summer dishes!  Happy eating!