The summer is the time to relax, start a job or internship or take a couple of classes. After finals, it can be hard to move back home and readjust to our typical diets. Most of us go through phases of what we eat on a daily basis, but now is the time to try something new (and not the cookie butter at Trader Joe’s). We’ve come up with three ways to adjust our diets to the summer, starting with the best: drinks.
Mojitos: Whether you’ve been working in an office from 9-5 or have spent the day by the pool, nothing beats a sweet, refreshing mojito after a hot summer day. The key to a great mojito is having just enough of each ingredient – sugar, rum, club soda, mint and lime – and the right tools – a muddler and shot glass. Instead of sugar, I make simple syrup with two parts sugar and one part water (either on the stove or in the microwave) so that it dissolves into the drink. I also use Rose’s Lime Juice in addition to fresh lime.
Juices: I have to admit I don’t know much about juicing, but I do know fruits and vegetables will always be good for you and, when in season, always delicious. The possibilities are nearly endless, but I love using carrots, oranges and apples.
Now’s the time to take advantage of what’s in season, especially fruits.
Watermelon, which is about 90 percent water, is mildly sweet and incredibly juicy. When I was younger, we would dip chunks of watermelon into the ocean and eat them. It also goes well in a salad mixed with feta cheese and homemade vinaigrette.
This is the time to get Florida avocados. Usually, when you think of avocados, you think of guacamole. But there are so many ways to incorporate the fruit into breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Skip the mayonnaise on sandwiches and instead spread some avocado on them. Or, serve avocado slices on top of curry chicken, homemade soup or fresh tacos.
Starfruit can be candied, used in drinks or added to a summer salad. It’s slightly sweet (or sour when unripe) and a vibrant addition to any dish you prepare this summer.
Vegetables: Have you ever had grilled vegetable kebabs? Zucchini, mushrooms and sweet onions are best seared on the grill, no seasoning necessary.
Meat and fish: Instead of roasting a chicken or defrosting frozen mahi-mahi, why not try searing and roasting on the grill? Recently, my dad and I tried roasting a leg of lamb on a charcoal grill. We seared the lamb on hot coals, moved the coals aside to add more coals and a drip pan, and covered the grill for about two hours.