Eat Your Way Into Summer 2019

By Madison White on June 7, 2019

The feeling of summer makes most people think of long days at the pool, suntan lotion, a family vacation, and so many other things. When we get older, sometimes that feeling of summer can get lost in adult responsibilities and schedules. So how can we get that summer feeling back? An easy way to chase that carefree feeling is with the food you eat!

1. Go fresh

Summer is by far the best time to try and eat fresh. Most fruits and vegetables hit their peak season during one of the summer months. If you’re looking for quality, this is the time to find it. From strawberries to watermelon, rhubarb to asparagus, you can find almost everything during this season. Top chefs this season think that stone fruits—peaches, cherries, and nectarines—are a perfect summer food that works well in desserts, but also alongside meat and fish.

You can seek out fresh produce a few different ways this summer. The most traditional option is to scour your local farmer’s market for produce. You’ll often find that each week will bring newer, fresher fruits and vegetables. Farmer’s markets, depending on where you live, can also be a great place to get wonderful food for little money. Once you’ve picked up your produce, you can decide to eat your findings raw, cook certain meals with them, or can and freeze them for later.

If farmers markets aren’t your thing, you can always have someone else cook for you. Eating local and organic are trends that are growing across the country. This means that even if you live in a large city, you can probably find a restaurant that specializes in serving meals only made from fresh, local ingredients. This is an especially fantastic idea in the summer because many of these places will have more seasonal options available. This way, you can get all of that fresh summer flavor without having to cook it yourself!

2. Return to the classics

After a long, cold winter, you may be stuck in your ways of eating hearty meals, but the upcoming summer means that it’s time to return to the classics of American cuisine: hamburgers and hot dogs. Is there anything that signals the start of summer better than a pool party with some food cooking on the grill?

Brushing off the dust from your grill is a great way to get your summer started. You can host a get together with friends, or just enjoy a nice outdoor meal yourself. If you think hamburgers and hot dogs are a bit boring and cliché, try barbequing something different. You could try grilling some ribs or even a chicken. Some fruit—like pineapple—also taste wonderful when cooked on a grill.

Think your classic American meal has to be meat-centric? Think again! With veggie options abound, you can easily replace your hamburgers and hot dogs for veggie burgers and veggie dogs. If that still isn’t your thing, try thinking of other meatless options that you could cook on the grill. A few ideas you might want to try could include pizza on the grill, barbecued asparagus, or some grilled corn on the cob.

These foods are going to get you into that summer mood in no time.

3. Chill out

Though the weather may not be sweltering hot yet, you can bet that the heat is coming.  Need to chill out and cool down? Try thinking of your favorite cold things you liked to eat as a kid after a long day at the pool or beach.

Ice cream is certainly a classic way to cool down after a hot day. You could buy a pint (or gallon) of your favorite flavor at the grocery store and have it at the ready. You could simply stop by your favorite ice cream shop and order a cone. Treating yourself to some ice cream after a long day can really make you feel like a kid again.

The best foods to cool off with don’t stop with ice cream. There is a long list of hot-weather foods that you can choose from. You could go really old school with some popsicles, or maybe find a snow cone stand and try out a new flavor (or return to an old one). Most fruits are also a cool relief from a hot summer’s day. Some favorites might include a juicy slice of watermelon or a sweet handful of strawberries.

In conclusion, there is no right or wrong way to eat your way into summer.  For some of us, we can get that summer feeling by returning to some old classics. For others, it means venturing out and trying something new. Remember to keep trying out things both new and old, and try to have as much fun as possible!

Madison graduated with her Master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester (UK), and holds Bachelor's degrees in English and Creative Writing from Wichita State University. She currently teaches English at Wichita State University and works as a freelance writer and blogger on her website Madison White Writes and elsewhere.

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