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7 Great Summer Snacks to Refresh and Rejuvenate

yellow bananas on blue background

By Kristy Fast, Quality Health Program Coordinator

Summer is here and it’s a great time to think about the way we’re keeping ourselves safe from the often-harmful extremes of the season. It’s good to protect our bodies from the sun externally by wearing sunscreen and sunglasses, but you may not be aware that you also need to protect your body internally during this season.

During the hot summer months when you’re more likely to be active, dehydration can become a serious concern. Drinking plenty of water throughout your day will help keep you hydrated, but there are other ways to make sure your body has the H2O it needs. In addition to being delicious and healthy (in moderation, of course), the following snacks will keep you refreshed, rejuvenated and – most importantly – hydrated.

Smoothies

A classic summer treat, smoothies present a lot of options for flavor – stretching from sweet and light to savory and hearty. To make the perfect smoothie, just blend the fruit of your choice with juice or your favorite milk. Add extra nutrients by tossing in washed spinach, chia seeds, hemp, flax seeds or protein powder.

Banana Ice Cream (“Nice Cream”)

We all love ice cream in the summer. To help cut back on calories, however, you can make “nice cream” out of bananas and…that’s it. Okay, you can also make different flavors by adding fruits, healthy sweeteners and your favorite nutritious toppings to it.

To make nice cream, start by freezing ripe bananas. Next, take those frozen bananas and put them into a food processor or high-quality blender. Blend the bananas until you have a consistency resembling soft serve (if you’re having trouble getting here, add ¼ cup of milk).

From there, you can put the nice cream into a container for the final freezing.

You can also make some fun new flavors by adding peanut butter and cocoa powder for chocolate peanut butter nice cream, add fruits for fruity nice cream or 1/8 teaspoon of peppermint extract and stir in chocolate chips to make mint chocolate chip nice cream. The options are endless.

Cucumber Hummus Cups

Cucumbers are a delicious and refreshing summer vegetable.

This snack lets you get the most out of the beautiful cucumbers you’ve been growing in your garden, buying from the farmers market or picking up from the store. You’ll also need some hummus, either homemade or store-bought is fine.

Cut your cucumbers into ¼ inch slices. You can take a small spoon and scoop out the top layer of seeds. Add a tablespoon of hummus to a cup and get dippin’.

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips

Cut fruit into small pieces. You can use a wide variety of fruit, including strawberries, kiwi, mango, apples, blueberries, peaches, raspberries, pineapple and more. Toss fruit together in a bowl with a little lemon juice and maple syrup as a sugar alternative. You can really do this one to taste, seeing what balance of flavors you like the best. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. While that’s chilling, you can make some cinnamon chips.

Cinnamon Chips

To make the cinnamon chips, brush melted butter on both sides of a flour tortilla. Cut the tortillas into wedges. In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and sugar together. Place the tortillas and cinnamon sugar mixture in a gallon bag and shake to coat tortilla pieces.

Place the tortilla pieces on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for seven minutes or until nice and crispy.

Pico De Gallo

Have extra tomatoes from the garden? You can make tasty Pico de Gallo by combining finely diced tomatoes with some yellow onions, cilantro, lime juice and garlic. Add jalapenos (if desired) and salt to taste.

Again, mix the ingredients to your own taste and preferences.

Homemade Popsicles

This recipe requires some extra equipment. You’ll want to make sure to have popsicle molds handy.

Once you have the molds, it’s as simple as pouring in your favorite 100% fruit juice (orange, grape, apple, etc.).

To add texture and visual appeal, you can chop small pieces of fruit and add them to your molds. To make a popsicle creamier, add yogurt or coconut milk.

Pop your creations into the freezer and enjoy once they are frozen.

Fruit Kabobs

Perhaps the easiest to make, fruit kabobs are literally just pieces of fruit on a kabob skewer. For a refreshing and hydrating treat, be sure to include watermelon, cantaloupe and pineapple, as they can contain up to 90% water.

These fruits are readily available during summer and are a good source of vitamins A and C. Cut up your fruits of choice into bite-size pieces and add to skewers for a variety of fruit in a fun way.

If you're looking for more wellness information or wondering how your Network Health plan can help you get the most out of the beautiful summer months, reach out to us today.

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