What to eat during summer? In the summer you don’t always feel like warm food. Especially when it’s very hot outside. A meal salad is an excellent solution for lunch or dinner. But after a long series of tropical days, you might be tired of meal salads and want something different. In this article you will read about refreshing options for every moment of the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. We start with breakfast.
Breakfast smoothie bowl with frozen fruit
A few years ago, it was a hit on social media: a smoothie bowl for breakfast. The most nutritious way to make it is to blend (plant-based) yogurt with frozen fruit and add nutritious powders of your choice, such as: acai, maca, cocoa, turmeric, wheat grass, spirulina… You can make it as crazy as you want. When your smoothie is ready, pour it into a breakfast bowl and decorate it with berries, fruit, nuts and seeds.
Bircher muesli / overnight oats
The Bircher muesli was developed around 1900 by the Swiss doctor Maximilian Bircher Benner. They are basically soaked oat flakes with fruits, nuts and seeds. You mix everything together, put in a bowl and let soak overnight in (plant-based) milk, yogurt or juice. By the morning it is ready for consumption.
Cold bowls or salads based on grains
Cold dishes based on cooked grains are easy to take to the office. How do you make such a dish? You cook the grain of your choice (such as pearl barley, couscous, buckwheat or wild rice). Next, you add cooked or raw vegetables. Then add some nuts/seeds. Finally, add a little olive oil, salt to taste, stir well and you’re done. You can vary by using different grains, different types of vegetables and different nuts/seeds.
Note: regular white rice does not taste good when it has cooled down. So don’t use it in cold dishes (except in sushi of course).
Cold bowls/salads based on legumes
The principle of this dish is the same as the previous one. You only take a large portion of cooked or tinned legumes instead of a grain: chickpeas, lentils, beans. All kinds of beans and green, brown and black lentils work well in this dish. Red and yellow lentils become very mushy when cooked and are therefore not suitable for cooled bowls.
Watermelon is of course an ultimate summer fruit. In some countries it is used not only as a sweet snack but also as a part of savory dishes. A well-known combination is a watermelon salad with feta and fresh mint.
Summer is the time for cold soups. Cucumber soup or tomato gazpacho are the most famous summer soups.
Who does not love pasta? Pasta is a dish that can be eaten cold. You cook pasta, mix it with pesto and let it cool. Then you stir in fresh ingredients, such as cherry tomatoes, arugula, raw zucchini, bell peppers. You can also add pieces of cheese and/or pine nuts, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and so on.
Have you ever noticed that a savory pie (like quiche) actually tastes better the next day? Just take it out of the fridge and let it reach room temperature before eating.
Spring rolls are the ultimate summer dish. They are light and nice and cool and contain a lot of vegetables. You can vary a little each time you make them by using different ingredients. Making spring rolls is a matter of practice. The more you make, the easier it gets. So don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work from the very first roll. Just try again!
A smoothie is not the best option to pump up your fruit consumption. A smoothie contains relatively many calories but is not satiating. This generally applies to all liquid foods. A better alternative is a fruit salad. Peel and cut any fruit you have at home, and you have a very appealing snack that is healthy too.
And what about ice cream?
Warm weather is an excuse for having an ice cream. Many people quickly become addicted to ice cream, myself included. How can you minimize the damage of ice-cream addiction?
First, you should limit yourself to a reasonable portion. What helps is to not buy large jars of ice cream, but small, individual jars. Usually these are 100 ml portions.
Second: always check how many grams of sugar your ice cream contains. This varies greatly per type of ice-cream. Keep in mind that the World Health Organization recommends getting no more than 5% of your daily calorie intake from sugar. This means no more than 25 grams of sugar (women) or 30 grams (men) per day. For reference, a teaspoon of sugar is about four grams. An ice cream can easily contain 15-30 g of sugar per serving. Be aware of that.
Third, think of ice cream as a treat and not a normal part of your diet.