Come spring and all of us head out to enjoy the open weather, sunny skies and blooming flowers. Though the frequency of picnics with th family goes down, there are still numerous things to do, cuisines to eat. However, I have noticed that with the onset of the piercing summer heat, my appetite goes down drastically and the food that I was enjoying a few months back just does not do its thing.
After finally acknowledging the shift in my eating habits, I decided to come up with some healthy and tasty options to maximize the intake of nutrients in summer and also eat light to keep that spring in my step.
Step 1: Increase the liquid intake. This is not just in terms of water but can be juices, slushes, sharbats, thandai etc.
Step 2: Eat more salads/ fruits. Being a fan of the whole fruit, I always pick making a fruit salad rather than having canned juice or even a glass of freshly squeezed juice. Compare having a stand alone apple or orange to a vibrant and inviting fruit salad topped with some lime juice, granuated sugar or honey and some raisins/ dates. I guarantee that you would go for multiple helpings of the latter. The same goes for salad – dress up a boring cucumber and tomato salad with some amazing dressings and assorted ingredients.
Our palate loves different textures and longs for that perfect bite that would give it the crunchy, soft, creamy, mushy , melt in you mouth food all in one bite. Getting that successful single bite makes all the difference. Tossing some pines nuts, croûtons, bulgar wheat, grilled cheese, baked potatoes adds a new dimension to the existing flavour you have been used to.
With numerous options for dressing available in the market one does not need to look further but if you are like me who wants a fresh dressing with all the flavour and aroma tapped in, you’d make your dressing from scratch. Dressing are not at all a difficult thing to make and once you get the hang of it, you can stray from the recipe and see that by altering the herbs and spices that go in a dressing gives it an altogether new taste. After all, new recipes are discovered no other way but by trying out something new and realizing it sticks!
Dressing may not always be heavy with dollops of mayo or an extra splash of olive oil but can be made from yogurt or thickened vegetable stock spiced up with herbs or just a good amount of lime juice squeezed on the salad tossed in rock salt and black pepper.
Step 3: How about some soup? A healthy wholesome soup adds to another course of the meal but can be substituted as a main course also. I stand by this statement after having a nice bowl of harira last week which was packed with the goodness of whole lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, onions and rice. However, since no ones likes to have a HOT soup in the hot weather, trying out cold soups is a tempting option. I had made gazpacho for the family sometime back and it was a major hit!!!
Next on my agenda is to plan a meal for lunch and dinner taking all these pointers into consideration.