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Summer may be coming to an end, but we still have a few lazy days for fun in the sun before the cold weather sets in and blankets the scenery with snow, frost, and freezing wind, so ask some friends to come over for an impromptu picnic and get ready to greet the last few days of the best season of all.
Summer gatherings don’t usually include healthy food, quite the contrary. With burgers, barbecues and steak taking front place at any cookout, is it really possible to have a healthy meal as you lounge by the pool? Yes, you can! Of course, it’s quite difficult to say no to a juicy burger, but instead of having that second one, a good substitute that includes fresh veggies and fruit will be better for your health.
Another reason why people avoid the kitchen during the summer is the heat. As it is, any kitchen can get hot when you are cooking a full meal, but when you combine the heat from the stove with the temperatures outside, you can find yourself in a virtual oven, making cookouts and fast food a better option. It is specifically with this in mind, that the recipes below can be thrown together in just a few short minutes without turning you into a human London broil, and can be served at your own gathering or brought over to somebody’s house as you enjoy the last days of summer surrounded by friends, family and the cool water of a pool.
A delightful combination of flavors designed to please any palate; this delicious Italian delicacy adds some freshness to the heat of summer and can be enjoyed as you sit by the pool, chat the afternoon away or simply as a snack you can have while you watch the sunset from your porch.
The basic ingredients you will need to make about 8 servings are two vine tomatoes, 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves, but you can also add some balsamic vinegar, salt and olive oil to bring out the flavor of the tomatoes and the basil. To bring it all together, simply cut the tomatoes and the mozzarella into slices about a quarter of an inch thick, layer them and top with the basil. Add the vinegar, salt and olive oil for an extra delicious taste. Each serving has approximately 74 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 1 gram of carbs, making it one of the healthiest snacks to compliment your summer activities.
Red Pear and Prosciutto Skewers
Nothing represents the joys of summer food as well as skewers do, and there’s nothing more fun than putting a bunch of different ingredients on a skewer and throwing it on the grill, but oftentimes these ingredients are not the healthiest choice available, so how do you make a healthy skewer snack? The answer is as simple as adding red pears and rolled prosciutto.
To create four servings of this delightfully cool summer snack you will need two red pears, a package of prosciutto, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and four skewers (these can be of the reusable or the disposable type). Throw them together by cutting the pears into wedges, roll the prosciutto slices and cut them in half, and skewer them by alternating the pears with the prosciutto. Finally, place them on a plate and drizzle some vinegar on them for added flavor. Each serving has approximately 118 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 12 grams of carbs.
Turkey and Avocado Skewers
If pears and prosciutto are not your thing, you can use sliced turkey breast and avocados on your skewers. Add some raspberry vinaigrette and you will be good to go. To get 8 portions of this delicious snack started you will need two ripe avocados cut into wedges and sliced turkey breast, cut in half. The procedure for putting them together is the same as above, so get down to it and enjoy a snack that is not only healthy but designed to provide plenty of protein too. Each serving provides about 104 calories.
Teriyaki Tangelo Chicken Skewers
Add an Asian twist to your summer snack with one more skewer recipe. For this one you will need two tangelos, sliced chicken breast, a drizzle of teriyaki sauce, and 8 skewers. Follow the above procedure and enjoy! Each serving provides about 45 calories.
Cucumber Crab Wraps
Switching our recipes around a bit, we leave the skewers behind and move to a tasty combination of crab and cool cucumbers. To create this delightful finger food you will need 3 ounces of crab meat, 2 tablespoons of any fat-free mayonnaise of your choice, one ripe cucumber, half a scallion, and 2 teaspoons of relish (optional).
Putting it together is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Simply peel the cucumber and cut it into thin strips, set aside and mix your mayonnaise, scallions and relish in a bowl to use as a dressing. Place a cucumber strip flat on a board, add some of the dressing and crab meat, roll, and hold together with a toothpick. Each serving contains 22 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 3 grams of carbs, making it the perfect health-conscious snack for the summer or any other time of the year.