Memorial Day Weekend: the unofficial kick off of summer! You’ve waited months to break out the bikinis, grab some coolers, and head out and about with friends and family to enjoy those much needed rays of sun (especially after the snowy and grey winter we just had!)
With summer comes some of our favorite things to do with family, friends, or that special someone. From beaches and festivals to state fairs, amusement parks, and grill-outs, there’s no question that this time of year has a lot to offer in the way of food and entertainment.
It’s basically a myth that summer means weight loss, exercise, and healthy food when you consider how many ways we indulge in summer foods. So how can we avoid eating ourselves into a coma and losing our bikini bods while still treating ourselves to some of the seasonal favorites? Here are some of the best of those summery delights!
Ice Cream Sandwich
What’s better than cold vanilla ice cream between two chocolate wafer cookies on a hot summer day? Actually, almost anything is better than that. The average calorie count for a store-bought ice cream sandwich is around 500-600 calories. Looking for a healthier option? Try a Klondike Chocolate/Vanilla ice cream bar. At around 100 calories, you still get to enjoy this classic treat to stay cool during those summer months.
State fairs have become a summer must for many. From the rides to entertainment, there’s something for literally everyone to do. Loaded hot dogs, pies, and funnel cakes have become staples for state fairs across the country. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a healthy alternative for the fried dough and powdered sugary goodness of a funnel cake. That’s okay; we’re allowed to indulge every once in a while!
If you’re looking into trying to make your own funnel cake, here’s a great recipe from the Food Network‘s Paula Dean!
Summer is fruit’s favorite season. Some of our favorites just taste so much better in the summer, don’t you think? From fresh lemons for homemade lemonade to sliced watermelon, you can’t go wrong with the vitamins and antioxidants found in summer fruits.
While it may seem fairly easy to just chop up a bunch of fruit and put it in a bowl (or in a cut-out watermelon basket for those of you who are a little more outgoing on the presentation side), there’s some little tricks you can use to make that summer fruit salad taste and look like it was put together by a pro! Check out this article from PopSugar. There are some great ideas for making your fruit salads more appealing to the eye and tastier this summer!
Corn on the Cob
You can’t go wrong with a classic corn on the cob at the family summer cookouts. Boil it, grill it, light it on fire with roasted peppers; no matter how you make your corn on the cob, it’s always going to be a sweet summer favorite. I found some great ideas for using corn in your summer dishes on BuzzFeed. After trying a few of them out myself, I highly recommend whipping up some honey-glazed corn. It might sound strange, but it adds a lot of flavor and is really pleasing to the palate!
Kabobs and Grilled Skewers
Fire up the grill and grab some skewers. Whether you stick to veggies or throw some fruit and chicken in the mix, kabobs are so easy to make and always delicious. Southern Living has an amazing chicken and vegetable kabob recipe: marinated chicken, mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, and a squeeze of lemon or pineapple juice for some added flavor. Check out the Southern Living website for more kabob recipes, from thai cuisine to pork and veggies!
We have all seen the commercials for the generic Popsicle that is everyone’s favorite treat. They may be refreshing, but they are loaded with sugars, artificial flavoring, and the dye that turns your mouth purple, orange, or red. Let’s put a healthy twist on that classic: frozen fruit popsicles. Using fresh fruit and juice instead of artificial products will not only make the cold treat tastier but so much healthier! Try using kiwi, watermelon, strawberries, pineapple, and top off with pineapple or orange juice, as suggested by SkinnyTaste. Or, you can buy some fresh fruit to create your own!
It’s hot, and you need a quick way to rehydrate after a long day outside. Watermelon is one of the tastiest summer treats, and it’s best during the summer months. With over 90% water content, watermelon really has no downside to health content. According to an article in Health Magazine, a cup of watermelon is only 44 calories and has cancer-fighting agents as well. Consider that a double win to maintain your health this summer.
Some of the best antioxidants and heart disease-fighting agents of any summery drink are found in iced tea. From black tea to peach tea or green tea, there’s something for every tea-lover out there. My favorite is mint tea: use green tea bags, a few mint leaves, and honey. It’s refreshing, healthy, and only 5 calories!
Featured Image via Tumblr.