While summer means longer days, weekends at the beach, and picnics with family, it can also mean heating up the house when you turn on the oven to cook. While at first this might seem to limit the foods you can prepare, you aren’t stuck eating sandwiches or going out for every meal. Fresh fruits and vegetables are in season, and it’s the perfect time to experiment with some flavorful new recipes to help you cool off on a warm day.
Snack on a Smoothie
When you’re feeling overheated, a smoothie is the perfect solution. Put your favorite fruit and chilled juice in a blender and mix up an ice-cold treat that’s high in vitamins and minerals. You can also throw in a few handfuls of spinach for some extra nutrients. If you want a high-protein smoothie, add a few spoonfuls of silken tofu or Greek yogurt. Top it off with a flavoring like vanilla extract, cinnamon, or coconut to give your smoothie a burst of unique flavor. For a recipe for a kiwi-spiked fruit smoothie, click here.
Find more smoothie recipes on our “Healthy Breakfasts” Pinterest board.
Make a Stovetop Meal
If you want a hot dinner but don’t want to use the oven, you can always make a stovetop dinner. Try a chili with fresh tomatoes and peppers served over brown rice, or a stir-fry with zucchini and mushrooms. You can even make chicken or eggplant parmesan on the stove-top by sautéing the chicken or eggplant until fully cooked, adding some shredded cheese and tomato sauce, and serving over spaghetti. For a vegetable chili recipe, click here.
Find more healthy dinner ideas on our “Healthy Dinners” Pinterest board.
Spice up a Salad
With all of the fresh, local produce available, summer is the perfect time to try out some new salads. Salads are healthy options that don’t require you to turn on the oven, and take hardly any time to prepare. Try using fresh herbs, like cilantro or parsley, or sliced strawberries or peaches to add some variety to a traditional greens-based salad. Salads don’t always have to include lettuce though! Try a quinoa- or couscous-based salad with fresh corn, black beans, and tomatoes for a refreshing meal. For a recipe for mixed greens with pears and Dijon vinaigrette, click here.
Need more salad ideas? Check out our “Salad Days” Pinterest board for more salad inspiration!
There are many ways to prepare healthy meals that will keep you cool and refreshed this summer. With all of the fresh fruits and vegetables available this season, this is the perfect opportunity to try out some new recipes!
Amy Sercel is student in the University of Vermont Master of Science in Dietetics program. She is completing her clinical rotations with Nutrition Services at the University of Vermont Medical Center.