Summer is peeking around the corner, which means our favorite summer foods are about to make their grand debut! Summer barbecues, ice cream dates, and refreshing drinks on the beach or by the lake are a few summer favorites to name. There are plenty of nutritious summer foods that quench thirst and salty cravings without the added sugar or salt.
Check out these six simple swaps you can make to keep yourself nourished while still enjoying the fun flavors of summer:
Bubbly Water: Swap out the soda with your own bubbly creation! Make your own spritzer by combining your favorite flavored sparkling water (La Croix, Bubbly) with 1 spritz of citrus, crushed fruit, and herbs such as mint or basil. Try a lemon flavored sparkling water mixed with a spritz of fresh lemon, crushed strawberries, and a basil leaf. Pour over ice and enjoy!
DIY Popsicles: Swap out the store-bought popsicles with your own recipe. You can cut the sugar nearly in half by making your own frozen treats! Invest in some popsicle molds (there are plenty of shapes available) and blend together your favorite fruits with water or coconut water, 100% juice, or milk for a fun frozen treat. Get your kids involved and let them select the flavors. These Watermelon Blueberry Ice Pops or Fruity Iced Pops are perfect for inspiration.
Better Burgers: Swap out the classic hot dog and hamburger routine and try a new flavor of burgers! Bean burgers provide ample protein, fiber, and nutrients to keep your body fueled for the busy summer months. The good news is you can use any bean or legume to make a tasty plant-based burger option. This High Protein Black Bean & Quinoa Burger is the perfect addition to any backyard barbecue. Pair it with some tasty Sweet Potato Fries and you have yourself a tasty, fiber-rich meal!
Party Drinks: Creating your own party drink with fresh fruit is a great way to cut the sugar and boost essential vitamin intake. Fun fact, fruit is full of vitamin C, which can help prevent sunburn (however, it doesn’t replace the need for sunscreen!). Bring your own beverage to the next cookout or lake outing, or bring enough to share with friends and family. Try a Pineapple Pina Colada or Fresh Fruit Sparklers for some refreshing options.
Veggie Chips: Your park picnic, backyard barbecue, or summer camping spree doesn’t have to include just a side of regular potato chips. Spruce up the menu and try a new type of chip - homemade kale chips! These crunchy, salty Kale Chips are packed with vitamins K and C, fiber, and protein, all of which keep the blood pumping and body fueled for summer activities.
Get Creative With Watermelon: Watermelon is a fan favorite of the summer, and rightfully so! It’s packed with Vitamins A, B, & C, potassium, and fiber. Let’s not forget it’s also very hydrating and perfect to eat during the sweaty summer months. Get creative with eating watermelon - make it into a tasty salad, or freeze then blend into a fruit slushie for the kids. This Watermelon Salad with Feta & Olives or Cucumber Watermelon Salad makes for a perfect summer side dish.
Soak in the summer vibes with new recipes to help you feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and relaxed! Use the ideas listed above or venture out on the web to find your own recipes. Take a dip in the pool, drink water, eat healthy foods, and stay cool this summer!