9lives-summer-meals

Summer’s here, and that means preparing for the beach season. Cooking in the hot weather can seem really overwhelming, so we’ve drawn up a cheat sheet for some great, healthy summer meals that won’t leave you hot and bothered.

Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls

There is nothing better – or easier – than a refreshing smoothie on a hot day. Even better, turn it into a meal and prepare a colourful smoothie bowl. Freeze some bananas or berries overnight to make this an extra-frosty treat, add some milk (almond or coconut milk if you aren’t keen on dairy) some healthy fats like chia seeds, and a source of protein like protein powder or nut butter. Blend everything in a blender, pour it into a bowl and decorate with some toppings of your choosing. Easy and delicious.

Salads

Sure, salads can seem boring, but that’s only because you haven’t tried making the right one. The perfect salad should have greens, grains, protein, fresh produce and fats, to ensure that you don’t get hangry half an hour after consuming it. Think crispy green butter lettuce, quinoa, roasted chicken and cherry tomatoes, all topped with some roasted nuts and seeds. Easy, healthy and filling.

Redesign leftovers

This is a super easy trick, and it works really well when you don’t have hours to cook everyday.
When preparing dinner at night, cook a little extra to use as the next day’s lunch. Choose staples that can be used in a multitude of ways, like chicken and veggies, to prepare wraps, salads, or even easy-to-assemble burgers.
You can easily heat up your meals in the microwave, or eat them cold.

Buy pre-prepared

This really is a bit of a cheat, but buy vegetables that have already been peeled, cut and prepared, to cut down on the amount of time that needs to be spent in the kitchen. Opt for sweet potatoes, or veggies like broccoli, that can be bought in a microwaveable bag. Not only does it cut down on the amount of extra calories in your meal by making use of steaming to cook the food, but takes nearly no effort to prepare.

Keep it cool

Forgo the stove completely by making chilled soups instead. Not only are they packed with fibre and loads of nutrients, but they won’t have you sweating away over high heat. Some great choices are chilled cherry tomato, zucchini and basil, gazpacho, or carrot and ginger. Who said soups are only for the winter?