In the summer we go with more time, everything is slower and we all seem more relaxed and happy. Far from having to do the tupperware, batch cooking and balancing the food of the children who eat in the school canteen with the rest of the family, summer seems like a good time to get into the kitchen to try new, quick and fresh things . Such high temperatures call for cold dishes that nourish us, but also cool us down, and the fruit becomes more varied and much more appetizing. However, on many occasions we carry the same thing in our refrigerators when we go to the beach or the river, or have a picnic in the shade in a park in the middle of the city’s asphalt. There is no shortage of breaded fillets, potato salad and tortillas defying salmonella, pasta salad, appetizers such as French fries and pipes, all of which at first leave you quite thirsty with the falling heat.
I will always remember with horror how a grandmother in the middle of July gave her grandson a sobao for snack, on the Malvarrosa beach, in Valencia, at 35 degrees. Not because of the sobao (which is very tasty), but because of the heat and that unappetizing snack in that context. So, so that you are not that poor child chewing a sobao at a temperature of 35 degrees and 20% humidity, she left you some ideas to give the fridge a spin in the summer. What can we incorporate in summer that is healthy, fast and fresh?
Vegetable salad: We can use canned vegetables already cooked, so we will save time in the kitchen. These processed foods are of very good quality, you just have to wash them well, drain the water and accompany them with vegetables to taste and you will have a complete dish. In addition to gazpacho and salmorejo, you can have cold cream of vegetables (pumpkin cream of full season, avocado, etc.) or make watermelon or cherry gazpacho, although this year these innovations will be a bit expensive due to the low production of watermelons. Quinoa and zucchini stuffed peppers, and chicken can be used as a protein option. And, if we dare, it is a good time to try the tofu, which you already know has to be marinated because otherwise it will be a bit tasteless. We can change the breaded fillets for falafel, those chickpea balls, and it is another way of eating legumes which can be made in the oven or in the air fryer. Also, children tend to like them a lot. Substitute the sandwiches for burritos in whole wheat pita bread with guacamole, tomato, arugula, carrot, onion and chicken strips, or seitan if we want to make a vegetable option.
Hummus: chickpea paste, it can be homemade, but there are also many in supermarkets with a very acceptable composition if we don’t want to get into the kitchen. Always better to choose those made with olive oil. Accompanied by crudités of vegetables such as carrots, celery, peppers, zucchini and/or broccoli stems. They are very tasty and so they are not wasted. Also with pickles or wholemeal bread. Lupins or lupines, those almost forgotten legumes, which have been replaced by edamame, whose production is not done here and involves a higher environmental cost. Pickles: gherkins, chives, all pickled vegetables. They are also probiotics, a way to improve our intestinal flora at a very affordable price.Olives, in the country with the highest production of olive oil, we sometimes forget about them, or stop eating them because they are considered too high in calories.Tomato skewers cherri, spinach, basil and feta cheese or tofu.Vegetable chips: carrots, zucchini, aubergine, sweet potato, potato, parsnip are cut very finely. Cover with a tablespoon of olive oil, spices to taste, salt and pepper and they are baked or air-fried until crisp.
Flavored waters: with the fruit that we like, you can give a touch of flavor to the water. In fact, they sell jars and bottles with a methacrylate box to put the fruit in there so that it adds flavor without spoiling it when it is in water. Sparkling water, with its slice of lemon and mint or mint, is very tasty and is refreshing.Tea or coffee with ice.Natural smoothies: all the fruit and vegetables that we like.
I hope it helps you to innovate a bit with the food that we take to the beach and that, incidentally, refreshes you. Summer seems like a good time to reconcile with food and try other dishes to incorporate into our diet, we must take advantage of that opportunity.
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