Vegetables, fruits and berries sound like a good and refreshing choice in the summer heat, but you should know a few important rules. Experts share recipes and tips on what foods and snacks to refresh this summer.
Ernesta Dapkiene, Director of Maxima’s Communication and Image Department, observes that the demand for refreshing products such as fruits and berries increases during the summer period when new products arrive on store shelves.
“Bananas, watermelons and citrus fruits remain the most popular in shopping carts for several years in a row. Mandarins account for nearly half of citrus sales. At that time, sales of berries increased by almost 20 percent per year, and green seedless grapes remained the most popular berries for several years in a row. Consumers also often choose red seedless grapes, blueberries and strawberries,” says E. Dapkiene.
Several ways to upgrade
The best companion on hot summer days is water. It is important to drink plenty of water during the heat, as the body loses fluids and electrolytes when sweating. Brigita Baratinskaite, head of the food production department of the Maxima trade chain, says that with the help of imagination, that water can be made even more interesting and tasty.
“Some people face the problem that they don’t like or don’t like to drink water. In this case, I recommend flavoring the water with your favorite fruits and vegetables. Cut a cucumber, lemon or strawberry and put it in a jar filled with water. Keep it in the fridge, and if you like, add cool and refreshing fruit-flavored water,” advises the food expert.
You can also flavor the water with frozen ice cubes of your favorite fruit or berries. In addition to water, unsweetened herbal teas also help to quench thirst and refresh. And it is better to avoid sweet fruit juices in the heat – they only increase thirst.
B. Baratinskaite says that we are used to eating juicy fruits such as watermelon or melon on hot days, they fill the body with liquid and revive it. However, it is important not only to refresh yourself, but also to saturate the body with antioxidants.
“Berries contain more antioxidants than vegetables, which protect against infectious diseases. Even in other cultures, berries are associated with freshness on hot days. For example, in traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that berries store cold energy in the body,” he says.
A food expert says that the same berries can be eaten in different ways. The first and simplest is to wash the berries and taste them directly from the container. Berries can be thrown into the freezer and used as frozen lollipops.
“Fresh berries can be whipped with a whisk and mixed with water, milk or vegetable milk – you will enjoy a fresh and delicious berry cocktail. If you want an ice cream sorbet, thicken the cocktail a little and put it in the freezer for a few hours. The same cocktail can be made into the popular “smoothie bowl” – pour a thicker cocktail into a bowl and sprinkle with your favorite nuts and berries – it tastes like porridge, says B. Baratinskaite.
A fresh and crunchy salad for a hot day
Salad is an indispensable attribute of hot summer. Enjoying the new harvest, we make them much more often and in different ways during the summer. B. Baratinskaite says that there are several rules for how to prepare a salad well in the summer heat.
“When preparing a salad, you must add tomatoes, cucumbers or celery to it – these vegetables make up more than 90 percent of the salad. water, so they are incredibly rejuvenating. The same goes for lettuce and broccoli. “Water-based vegetables not only provide the body with much-needed refreshment, but are also easily absorbed,” says the nutritionist.
Although refreshment is very important on hot days, you should not forget to provide the body with the necessary amount of vitamins. A simple rule applies here – the salad should have as many different colors as possible. Because different colors of vegetables represent different antioxidants.
“Pearl or Bolivian pigeon peas can add nutritional value to a light salad. You can also garnish the salad with roasted chickpeas or your favorite nuts and seeds. This combination gives us more energy that we lack during the heat,” says the expert.
B. Baratinskaite reminds that not only the ingredients of the salad, but also the taste: “Avoid salad dressings with mayonnaise, it not only adds weight to the body, but also spoils quickly in the heat of the sun. Choose light dressings with olive oil, herb puree, Greek yogurt, or fresh citrus juice.
A food expert shares refreshing and easy recipes to brighten up a hot day.
Basil and berry sorbet
You will need:
- 200 g of sugar,
- 2 large handfuls of fresh basil
- 240 ml of water,
- 900 g of fresh or frozen mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.),
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice from 4 lemons.
Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Heat over high heat until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Add basil. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and let it rest for 15 minutes. Transfer the syrup to a medium bowl and remove the basil. Refrigerate to cool the syrup.
Blend the frozen or fresh berries, lemon juice and chilled basil syrup until smooth, place in a baking dish and cover. Place in the freezer until the sherbet is firm, about 2 hours. If the sherbet is too firm when you take it out, let it sit at room temperature until it warms up a bit.
Vegan berry smoothie
You will need:
- a handful of mixed berries (blackberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries),
- 1 banana,
- glass of almond milk
- spoon of Spanish sage seeds.
Chill the berries and bananas in the freezer for about an hour. Remove the fruit, put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy a refreshing and nutritious cocktail!
Greek salad of fresh vegetables and chickpeas with homemade parsley oil
You will need:
- canned beans,
- two handfuls of grape tomatoes,
- medium-sized red pepper and short-fruited cucumber,
- Romaine lettuce leaves,
- a handful of black olives,
- small red onion,
- 300 g of feta cheese,
- 5 large handfuls of fresh parsley leaves,
- 80 ml pure olive oil,
- 70 ml organic sunflower oil.
Wash the parsley, put it in boiling water for 20 seconds, take it out and immediately put it in ice water. When the parsley has cooled, drain it and chop it finely. Put in a blender, sprinkle with olive oil and grind several times, season with sunflower oil and grind again for about 1 minute. Place a fine sieve over a bowl or cup, pour in the parsley oil and let it drip for about 30 minutes.
Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Cut grape tomatoes in half, pepper, cucumber and onion into small pieces. Roughly tear the washed lettuce leaves and crumble the feta cheese. Add a handful of olives.
Season everything with homemade parsley oil and mix well. New salad!