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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Eat your way through these essential summer foods

We cannot call food bad, but there are several foods that are more essential in summer compared with others.

Whether it is your breakfast, lunch or dinner, choose your food wisely as it impacts your wellness and overall health.

When you spend a lot of your time outside; be it going to the office, meeting up with friends and family, or hanging out for activities in summer heat and humidity, it is mandatory to pick essential summer food which is light, refreshing, and keeps you charged when the weather is hot.

If you are looking to boost your energy, protect your immune system, get some much-needed nutrients into your body, or are simply looking to change up your summer recipe routine, here are just a few of the must-have summer foods to incorporate into any breakfast, lunch, or dinner recipe.

Sprouts are easy to digest and contain high levels of water and nutrients. Picture: Pexels/Bulbfish

Sprouts

They are easy to digest and contain high levels of water and nutrients. They can be eaten alone or mixed in a salad or added to other vegetables. A sprout salad is a tasty way of beating the summer blues.

Curd is not only delicious but also has a coolant effect on the body. Picture: Pexels/Asya Vlasova

Curd

Curd is not only delicious but also has a coolant effect on the body. You can have curd in different variants too. Make spicy buttermilk or sweet lassi. You can also make a raita and eat it with your food. Another option to eat curd is by adding seasonal fruits to it or by making lip-smacking smoothies.

Leave the dried figs on the shelf – fresh summer figs are plump and juicy with a sticky-sweet centre and honey-like flavour that is delicious raw or cooked. Picture: Pexels/Diva Plavalaguna

Figs

Leave the dried figs on the shelf – fresh summer figs are plump and juicy with a sticky-sweet centre and honey-like flavour that is delicious raw or cooked. Figs make perfect partners to savoury items like cheese, cured meats, and balsamic vinegar, and range in colour from deep purple to brown to green, each with their own distinct flavour.

Yoghurt. This protein-packed and portion-controlled food is easy to eat on the go. Picture: Pexels/Any Lane

Yoghurt

This protein-packed and portion-controlled food is easy to eat on the go. Pack it in a cooler and take it to the beach or pool. Yoghurt is made for summer eating. The protein satisfies your growling tummy, which will keep you from overloading on salty, high-calorie snacks at your braai.

What is a cookout without corn? Picture: Pexels/Max Mishin

Grilled corn

What is a cookout without corn? This summer staple is packed with antioxidants and fibre to help stabilise blood sugar throughout the day. Make sure you keep turning the cob so that every side of the corn is grilled to perfection. You can also sprinkle some cheese or Aromat on top for an added burst of flavour.

Sure, a tall glass of iced tea on a hot day is refreshing, but did you know it might also do your body good? Picture: Pexels/Adenrele Owoyemi

Iced tea

A tall glass of iced tea on a hot day is refreshing, but did you know it might also do your body good? Studies show if you drink tea regularly, you may lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and diabetes, plus have healthier teeth and gums and stronger bones. How? Tea is rich in a class of antioxidants called flavonoids.

Regardless of the variety – black, green, oolong, white, or herbal – maximise the power of tea’s flavonoids by drinking it freshly brewed. If you want to keep a batch of cold tea in your refrigerator, add a little citric acid and vitamin C in that squeeze of lemon or lime, or orange to help preserve the flavonoids.

The s’more is the actual dessert of camping. Picture: Pexels/Calvin Hanson

S’mores

Cupcakes around the campfire might have the alliteration advantage, but the actual act of roasting a marshmallow over a roaring fire is one of those cliched wholesome activities that is actually heartwarming and delightful. The s’more is the actual dessert of camping. And camping is the actual activity of summer.

Pasta is another must for summer. Picture: Pexels/Jane Doan

A selection of pasta

Pasta is another must for summer. It can be served in many different ways. A classic filled pasta, such as tortellini, offers something with lots of heft that will not weigh your guests down. Other good choices like ravioli allow you to offer your guests many different types of tastes, which are good for any event.

Pair the pasta with sauces that are good for summer. Freshly made tomato sauce with herbs gives any guest something to savour. A light pesto with lots of herbs offers something memorable for everyone at the party.

Watermelon. As the name suggests, this fruit is a superhero when it comes to hydration because fluids are very essential in summer when the heat is on. Picture: Pexels/Zain Ali

Watermelon

As the name suggests, this fruit is a superhero when it comes to hydration because fluids are very essential in summer when the heat is on. Watermelon contains one of the highest water contents which keeps you cool and hydrated. It also protects your skin in summer as it has ‘lycopene’ which acts as a shield against sun rays. Watermelon also keeps you feeling full for a long time.

Think those grates are reserved for the likes of burgers and steaks? Think again! Picture: Pexels

Anything cooked on the grill – anything!

Think those grates are reserved for the likes of burgers and steaks? Think again: Vegetables, fruits, bread, and even heartier heads of lettuce can be fired to that perfect char. Just brush or coat whatever it is you are cooking with oil, and remove from heat when dried up or crisp.

Next time you hold a cookout, create a grilled Caesar salad, serve seared peaches with whipped cream for dessert, or roast thick-cut eggplant for meat-free sandwiches.

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