When it comes to summer activities, food is often a major component — from pool parties to backyard barbecues, a lot of summer fun involves sharing great food with (we hope) great friends. And with summer weather bringing its own challenges regarding food, like too much direct heat, you need to be careful about not becoming one of the one in six Americans who gets sick from consuming contaminated food every year.
But furthermore, you need to be mindful about the health benefits the food you’re eating all summer long can offer. You don’t want to pay for a cavity filling at your child’s dentist appointments every six months, either. So to help you stay healthy this summer by balancing finger food favorites and salad bowl-friendly dishes. Here are a few yummy and healthy recipes to try.
When you have a busy summer packed with activities, you want meals to be something you can easily through together. Fortunately, salads are some of the easiest meals to make, especially after a long day. But instead of a lettuce or kale base, why not try a seasonal vegetable, like corn? This corn salad needs:
- 5 ears of corn
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 orange pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
Start by cooking the corn in boiling water for about three minutes. Once it’s tender, put the corn in ice water, cool, and cut the kernels off. Add all of the other ingredients, toss, and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to serve — you can even make this salad ahead of time to make your day even easier.
A lot of summer treats can be packed with tons of sugar — popsicles, candy, and other sweets are tasty, but too much sugar can cause you to be on your way to joining the 35 million Americans who are missing teeth in one or both jaws. So to get your ice cream fix and keep your teeth healthy, consider this healthy ice cream recipe. You’ll need:
- 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 1/4 cups 2% milk
- 1 1/2 vanilla creme stevia
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
Fortunately, ice cream is pretty easy to make. You might not need to keep it at exactly 40 degrees (you’re not making medical supplies), but keeping it cold is really the strictest rule! Simply mix all of the ingredients together with an electric mixer and put it in your tray of choice — a baking pan works great because it allows the ice cream to freeze through more quickly. Leave the tray of ice cream in the freezer overnight and enjoy the next day. This ice cream tastes just like the real thing — and even though dentistry is one of the 10 most trusted professions, this low-sugar version will save you a trip to the dentist.
Summer food doesn’t have to be difficult to make or bad for you either. And abstinence-only diets and recovery programs have a slim success rate, anyway. So while it’s great to eat healthily, don’t forget to treat yourself too! These two recipes are great to put together for just an average summer day or even for a fun party. And best of all, these recipes taste good and they’re good for you — enjoy!