Summer’s here, and we are loving it! We’re donning our best bikinis, jumping into swimming pools, and running through the grass in flip-flops with giant smiles. While you’re outside running through sprinklers and trekking around the beach, it’s easy to get a bit hungry, no? These seven high-energy summer snacks will help keep you fueled without weighing you down. Now get back outside and play!
- Veggies with nut butter: Nut butter provides protein, but the crisp, raw veggies will help keep things light and fresh. The familiar celery sticks and carrots are always safe bets, but try these less common veggies for a really tasty treat: julienne jicama; sliced radishes; or chopped cucumber. (Bonus: The extra water content in the veggies will help refresh and hydrate you!)
- Dried fruit mix: If you’re into making your own muesli and dried nut/fruit mixes, summer is the time to go lighter on the richer stuff (like nuts and chocolate) and heavier on the dried fruits. Also, try swapping out your usual dried fruit selection with more tropical, summery fare—dried mangos, pineapples and shredded coconut will give you a carb boost and also make you feel like you’re on vacation.
- Yogurt parfait: Parfaits are great energy boosts any time (and a great sub-in for a traditional dessert), but they’re just so enjoyable during the hot summer months! A parfait made with alternating layers of plain yogurt or ricotta cheese (or even soy yogurt, if you don’t do dairy), sliced seasonal fruit, and maybe some fresh basil or mint in the mix, is not only a good source of protein and vitamins, but also just a really delicious way to eat more fruits while only *feeling* like it’s indulgent.
- Avocado smoothie: Have you ever had a smoothie made with avocados? They’re wonderful! Typically a Central or South American treat, these fruit drinks are really so refreshing in the summer months. Just combine ripe avocado with milk (try vanilla almond milk for a vegan version) and ice, and blend away. Choice add-ins might be fresh basil, lime juice and maybe a sliver of jalapeno pepper to really snap you into high gear.
- Seafood or egg salad: A small bit of protein can go a long with a smart summer snack like this. Egg salad, or perhaps wild salmon salad, made with fresh garden herbs, chopped veggies like tomatoes and cucumbers, and a very basic vinaigrette (i.e., lemon and olive oil) can be eaten like a mini salad, or scooped over a whole grain pita as a midday picker-upper.
- Fruit and cheese sticks: Something about this snack feels like a kiddo’s treat, and that makes it even more enjoyable to nosh on for a quick energy boost. To have fun with it, skewer small pieces of fresh fruit and cheese on a stick, and store them in the fridge for easy access. You can then pack them in an instant for a trip to the beach or a day out biking.
- Smoothie-inspired popsicles: Homemade popsicles are an awesome way to get fresh fruit into your diet, and you can make them even more energy-boosting by adding a bit of nut butter into the mix. Super easy—just make your fave recipe for a rich smoothie (one that’s got a bit of milk/nut milk and nut butter in the mix), and freeze into popsicle molds.
Image adapted from: Matthias Rhomberg, Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0