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Summer is quickly approaching, which means long warm beach days, beautiful hikes and backyard BBQs are too!
Summer is a great time to take your activity outdoors with the whole family. As children spend their free days running around playing, surfing and boogie boarding, riding bikes, and basking in the sun, they’ll be sure to also work up an appetite! Below are some refreshing summer recipes kids will be sure to love that are packed with nutrients to keep them fueled for their summer fun.
Veggie Kebabs and Ranch:
Kebabs are a fun way to create a rainbow of healthy foods. Kids are also sure to love them as they can be eaten as finger food. Raw veggie kebabs pair great with many dips including ranch, hummus, and guacamole.
Choose your vegetables and then cut them into bite-size pieces. Place on a skewer then enjoy!
Best vegetables in the summer season:
- Bell peppers
For a healthier ranch dressing substitute, also try this simple recipe that uses greek yogurt and fresh herbs!
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice (or can sub apple cider vinegar)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill or fresh chopped chives
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons water to thin dressing
- Optional: 1/4 teaspoon honey
- Add all ingredients to a bowl or a mason jar and mix until well combined. If using a mason jar, you can simply put the lid on and shake the jar until well combined. Dressing serves 4, or 2 tablespoons each.
Homemade Fruit and Yogurt Pops:
Popsicles are a summer favorite but often come with lots of hidden sugars. Try these homemade fruit and yogurt pops. Greek yogurt adds healthy fats and protein to promote satiety and adds a nice thick texture compared to traditional popsicles.
You can also get creative! These can be made with almost any fruit.
Best Fruits in the summer season:
- 2 cups of fruit (berries work best)
- 2 tablespoons agave or honey
- 2 cups greek yogurt
- Blend the fruit in a food processor or blender on high speed until nearly liquefied into a smoothie-like consistency
- Pour the thick fruit mixture into a large bowl. Then, stir in the agave/honey. Add the yogurt, then very gently mix everything together. If you want a tie-dye, swirly look to your popsicles– do not fully blend the yogurt and fruit. This then leaves patches of white and color. The mixture will be thick. Taste to test sweetness and add additional agave/honey if desired.
- Pour mixture evenly into each popsicle mold. If your popsicle mold has slots for sticks, you can insert them before freezing – if not, freeze for 2 hours, then put a wooden popsicle stick in the middle. Lastly, continue to freeze for an additional 4-6 hours or overnight.
Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream (Dairy Free):
Nothing says summer like ice cream! This recipe is dairy free, thick, and rich in flavor and nutrients. Then top with granola, nuts, fresh fruit, a drizzle of honey, or sprinkles!
- 2 frozen bananas
- 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
- Water or almond milk, if needed to facilitate blending
- Break the frozen bananas into chunks then toss them into a blender or food processor, along with the peanut butter. (option to add a pinch of salt if using unsalted peanut butter.)
- Blend until the bananas break down into a soft-serve consistency, adding a tablespoon or two of water to help facilitate blending, if necessary.
- Serve immediately or freeze for later.
Fruit with Healthy Cool Whip Dip:
Whip up a batch of this healthy dip to serve alongside berries as a snack or dessert! This recipe is so simple, using coconut cream which is packed with healthy fats and nutrients. Feel free to add also peanut butter for a thicker and richer version.
- 1 14-oz can of coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk
- ¼-¾ cup powdered sugar
- Optional: ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Chill your coconut cream or coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight, but be sure not to shake or tip the can to encourage separation of the cream and liquid.
- The next day, chill a large mixing bowl 10 minutes before whipping.
- Remove the coconut cream or milk from the fridge without tipping or shaking, then remove the lid. Scrape out the top thickened cream, then leave the liquid behind (reserve for use in smoothies).
- Place hardened cream in your chilled mixing bowl. Beat for 30 seconds with a mixer until creamy. Then add vanilla (optional) and powdered sugar (and peanut butter if desired) and mix until creamy and smooth – about 1 minute. Taste and adjust sweetness as needed.
- Use immediately or refrigerate – it will then harden and set in the fridge the longer it’s chilled. Will keep for up to 1 – 2 weeks!
- Finally, serve alongside fruit to dip!
Visit CORE and get your nutritional profile from our certified nutritionist! CORE emphasizes health in all areas of life, including diet. Our nutrition counseling can help you get on track to a fitter and happier you! Also, coming soon…we will be bringing on a Registered Dietitian!