On hot, humid summer days a snack can help maintain energy, and it's even better if it's cool and refreshing. From salty to sweet and nibbles to beverages, we love to snack -- and summer is the time to take advantage of garden-fresh foods and snack in a smart and satisfying way!
The summer months bring nature's bounty in an abundance of fresh produce: juicy fruits and crisp veggies. To be ready for quick snacks, wash and prepare your items when you bring them home. Fruits and vegetables help your body maintain a healthy level of vitamins, adding nutrients without piling on empty calories, and they are easily transportable so you can take them with you on summer activities. Oranges, apples, bananas, grapes and kiwi are great, and don't ignore juicy peaches, apricots, plums and berries. These foods are yummy on their own and they make delicious toppings on yogurt. Small baggies of chopped vegetables are great to munch on when you're on the move. If you're out and about snack on crisp carrots, celery, strips of pepper, slices of cool cucumber and broccoli trees. Bite into a fresh tomato or enjoy a sweet wedge of melon. Skewer a fruit kabob to dunk in honey or yogurt, or pair a few favorite veggies with a dip of hummus or black beans. You'll get a burst of flavor and a boost of energy!
Stay away from too many sugary sodas and go for the thirst quenchers that are synonymous with summer, like iced tea in a variety of flavors, from Southern-style sweet tea (use a sugar substitute) to fruit blends that refresh on humid days. Ice down healthy green tea and garnish with a slice of lemon or orange. Tart and tasty lemonade and limeade are a summer tradition.
Need an energy boost but don't want coffee? Starbucks offers their new Refreshers in perfect summer flavors: Very Berry Hibiscus, Cool Lime, Raspberry Pomegranate, Strawberry Lemonade and Orange Melon. These fruity flavors tame your thirst at only 60 calories per can, and are absolutely delicious.
Summer means ice cream! Make your own for a fun family activity and reap the sweet rewards. Fresh peach and strawberry are hot-weather favorites, but with so many ripe fruits and berries available fresh in the summer months, you can try a different recipe every week.
Freeze juices to make cooling pops, or mix berries with club soda and ice in your blender for a shaved ice spritzer! Frozen yogurt and parfaits refresh, and you can jazz them up by blending in chunks of fruit and berries before freezing. Want to make it even better? Add a topping of cookie crumbles for garnish.
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