One of the best ways to stay cool during the summer is by enjoying a cold and hydrating snack. What we eat directly impacts our health and ability to keep fresh in the heat. In our most recent blog, we provided tips to beat the heat. One of the ways we mention was by staying hydrated and enjoying cooling meals. Eating healthy and hydrating food during warm weather, when the body loses water and vital electrolytes through sweating, can help keep hydration levels up and provide essential nutrients. Here are some of our favorite nutritious recipes that are great for the summer months.
A fan favorite summertime treat is none other than the watermelon! Not only is watermelon tasty and filling. It is also 94% water and is excellent for preventing overheating. Due to its high water content, they can help us stay hydrated, which is essential if you plan on spending time outdoors.
Our Watermelon Pizza is a fun and refreshing take on the fruit. To make it use a sharp knife, cut off a slice of watermelon right down the middle, about 2-3 inches thick. Use a spatula to spread an even layer of yogurt around the watermelon, leaving a bit of empty space. Layer your fresh fruit on top as you please.
You can add as few or as many toppings as you like. We like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or cherries. If you use strawberries, cut them in half before adding to your "pizza." We recommend drizzling honey on it if you want a little extra sweetness. Pro tip: Using locally produced honey may help people with seasonal allergies.
Watch this HealthStart Snack Science video to make watermelon pizza with HealthStart Sharon!
Find the full recipe here.
Hummus is high in fiber that promotes digestive health and feeds your good gut bacteria. It is also a good source of plant-based protein so it will keep us feeling satisfied for longer, so we can focus on the day ahead. Carrots, cucumbers, and peppers are all full of vitamins and water.
Make your hummus cups by placing a few tablespoons of hummus at the bottom of a small container, then stand raw veggie sticks, like carrots, cucumbers, and peppers, in the hummus. Find the full recipe here.
Nothing says summer like a popsicle on a sunny day. These breakfast popsicles will satisfy any sweet tooth, and they are also nutritious. This treat is made with Greek yogurt, which has more protein and a thicker, creamier, and tangier flavor than regular yogurt. It also contains beneficial nutrients such as protein, calcium, potassium, and vitamin D.
Here's how you can make your own breakfast popsicles: first slice strawberries, blueberries, and kiwis into small pieces. Mix the cut fruit with yogurt. Pour the yogurt and fruit mixture into cups and pop them into the freezer. Don't forget to place a popsicle stick in the popsicle mixture before placing it in the freezer if you prefer eating the treat on a stick like a traditional popsicle. Once it's frozen, you can remove it from the cup and enjoy.
These popsicles aren't limited to the fruits we recommend. Each cup can be personalized with your own favorite fruit. Try mixing in granola for an added crunch.
Find the full recipe here.
Spinach Fruit Salad
Frozen desserts aren't the only snacks that can keep us cool during the summer heat. Vegetables also have high water content making salads a great source of water during the warmer months.
Leafy vegetables, like spinach, contain lots of water to help us stay hydrated, they also have properties that help boost our immune system. In fact, spinach is 91% water. It can help strengthen our bones, which is especially important for growing bodies, and it is rich in Vitamin K, which helps stabilize calcium in bones.
In a bowl, add fresh spinach, blueberries, strawberries, pineapple or peaches, walnuts, and red onions and toss it all together. In a small jar, stir together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to create the salad dressing. Gently mix the salad ingredients and the dressing, and then it's ready to enjoy. For exact measurement check out the full recipe.
Pumpkin Ice Cream
Ice cream tastes great when it's hot outside. Most at-home recipes for ice cream include some kind of dairy ingredient. Did you know you can make healthy and delicious ice cream without dairy by using frozen bananas? This banana-pumpkin recipe is perfect for those who want a frozen treat but can't have dairy. The pumpkin is also terrific for you because it is one of the best-known sources of beta carotene. Food with high amounts of beta carotene may help us by offering protection against asthma and heart disease.
Using a blender or food processor, blend the bananas, pumpkin, maple syrup, and pumpkin spice thoroughly. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for 24 hours. Let it rest on the counter for a while before eating to let it thaw so it will be easier to scoop
If you don't like pumpkin, you can substitute it with a cup of frozen berries to make a healthy berry ice cream. Find the full recipe here.
We hope these recipes keep you cool and comfortable. If you recreate any of the recipes, let us know by tagging us on any of our social media pages.
For more delicious recipes and tips for maintaining happy and healthy bodies, check out our Snack Science Video Series.