Summer here in Maryland can get pretty hot. Sprinkle in some humidity combined with a cloudless day, and hydration becomes even more important this time of year. Luckily for us, summer also produces amazing fruits and veggies that are higher in water content, with the added bonus of boosting our vitamin and mineral intake. Try some of these cool, soothing treats this summer!
Frozen watermelon cubes – Cut a seedless watermelon into bite-size cubes, freeze on a tray then add to a gallon-size freezer bag. Eat as a snack or drop a handful into an insulated cup with water. Another option is to puree the watermelon and freeze in ice cube trays. Watermelon is high in lycopene, which is an antioxidant, and the Vitamin A promotes eye health.
Cucumber slices – While many of us could just sit back with a bowl of cucumber slices and dig in, here’s another suggestion for those sweet slices. Use them in place of crackers for a lunchtime treat! Adding folded lunchmeat like ham or turkey (aim for low sodium meats), a slice of tomato, and a teaspoon of cream cheese is a well-rounded snack on a hot day. Cucumbers contain electrolytes with the added benefit of vitamins.
Fruit Kabobs – Who doesn’t love food on a stick? Stack blueberries, strawberries, melon, pineapple, peaches, and any other summertime fruit of your liking on wooden skewers. Refrigerate until it’s time to enjoy with friends. These would also make an amazing substitute for ice cream or store-bought popsicles. The fruits’ sugar is naturally sweet while also lacking the added food coloring and artificial flavoring of those boxed frozen snacks.
Fruit Smoothies – There are countless ways to make fruit smoothies with varying ingredients. One way to keep this more hydrating and healthier is to freeze your fruit and add it to your blender with coconut water. For a creamier smoothie, add a few slices of frozen avocado. Using the coconut water in place of milk-based liquids adds potassium while eliminating sodium and can also aid in kidney function and support digestion.
Be sure to beat the heat by incorporating some of these summer snacks or put your spin on any of them. Hydration is key! Your skin, organs and circulatory system will thank you for taking such good care of your body this summer.