Everyone one has fond memories of summer - picnics, 4th of July parades, beaches, family gatherings, and of course, great food. Perhaps some of the best memories of summer are associated with food. I remember as a child we always had a large garden and one of the fondest memories is walking through the garden, picking and eating fresh veggies. My grandfather, who was a grand gardener said, "the best meal is a walk through the garden with a salt shaker".
Summer – the time of lazy days, warm weather and relaxation. But when it gets so hot that you can fry an egg on the sidewalk, no one wants to sweat and cook in the hot kitchen, so what do you eat?
It's over 90 degrees, what do you fix for a meal? When the heat turns up, your body needs to sweat in order to keep you cool. Thus, you are more likely to get dehydrated quickly. In addition to drinking plenty of water, make sure to stay away from excessively salty or sugary foods, because these will only serve to further dehydrate you, ultimately causing headaches and lethargy.
Especially in the summer when everyone is enjoying hot dogs and hamburgers at a barbeque, make sure to balance out the salt with fruit and veggies, as well as drinking more water than soda. There are many fresh summer fruits and vegetables that will not only make a great salad, but also provide you with enough water to keep you hydrated. In addition, these fruits and vegetables are all very nutritious when eaten fresh. They will provide you with crucial vitamins and minerals to keep you feeling energized and not weighed down by the heat.
On those days that just call for a picnic, potato salad is always a hit when it is warm outside. If your potato salad has eggs or mayonnaise, use plenty of ice to keep your food cold not only for the taste but for safety against food poisoning/botulism. Veggies and dip are also great at a picnic and are a good substitute for salty potato chips.
Some of the best foods to eat when it is hot are also the best for your health. Foods such as radishes, bell peppers, cucumber, and watermelon are all high in water content, fiber, minerals and vitamins. These will hydrate you as well as give you the nutrients and minerals you need during those hot spells. In addition, they all taste great raw with some veggie dip!
If you are near a stream during your picnic, put your watermelon in the stream and after your picnic lunch a cold watermelon tastes better than any dessert. Have fun this summer, get out and enjoy what nature has for you after having endured a long cold, wet winter.