Ah, summer! There are so many things that the human mind associates with summer: Long days, warm nights, the beach, the pool, short shorts. But an all time favorite has to be the ice cream truck. That creepy sound of some kind of sick jack in the box being played has, for years, triggered that Pavlovian response – ice cream time. Kids with their dollars clenched in sweaty fists, would cue up anxiously for their favorite treat; a snow cone, a strawberry bar, that weird frog with the bubble gum eyes….Yes, ice cream has to be on the top of the list of summer foods we love. But what are some other great foods associated with summer?
One of the greatest sensations of summer must be the taste and texture of a perfectly ripened peach on a summer day. They are also a great source of vitamin A and potassium. Although they are great alone, the more motivated of us might want to whip up some peach ice cream or a peach pie. And while you’re at it, how about some honey vanilla poached apricots. Peaches distant cousins, apricots are a source of Vitamin A which is great for your vision and promotes cell growth. Blue and Blackberry shortcake? Yes, please, over here. Berries are abundant in the summer and are low in calories and high in antioxidants.
What would summer be without the tiki torches and the smell of brats hitting the grill. Although we most commonly associate the barbecue with dogs and burgers, nowadays you can put just about anything on the grill. How about some Tangy Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Marinated Grilled shrimp, Asian Beef Skewers or Aloha Chicken burgers. And vegetarians, take heart! Even if veggie burgers and tofu aren’t your thing, summer squash can be delicious with tomato and basil and is also full of omega 3 and fiber. Or how about some Mediterranean stuffed tomatoes. Mouth watering yet? Tomatoes are full of good stuff like niacin for maintaining cholesterol levels and lycopene, which is an antioxidant.
Ok, so summertime is party time and, while it is always important to keep safety and good judgment at the forefront, what would the summer barbecue be without those pretty mimosas and margaritas? While some of us have no compunctions about downing these sweet concoctions, others are concerned about the calorie count. Well, you might enjoy a Bombay Magic. Consisting of tequila, lemon juice and club soda, this beauty weighs in at a mere 109 calories. Or if vodka is more your speed, how about the Skinny Iced tea with vodka and lemonade, for only 70 calories. And, how can you possibly resist the Fruity White Sangria with pineapple, mango juice and white wine. And only 94 cals! Have I died and gone to heaven? And if you prefer straight vision, there is always the alcohol-free 86 calorie Grapefruit Mocktail with cranberry juice. Don’t forget the toothpick umbrellas!
So enjoy the summer fare! Eat up! Be healthy, have fun, take advantage. You only live once!