Five of the Best Foods to Eat During Summer

Blogger Maria Sinclair of Blogging, Babies and the Bayou chimes in on great food to eat during the summertime. All of Maria's suggestions are perfect for preparing in your Gulf Shores condo and you'll find most on the menus of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach restaurants.

When the weather heats up the last thing you want to be eating is a steaming bowl of soup or piping hot chicken. Our bodies adjust to the temperature changes, and for many people being weighed down with a heavy meal is not in the plan. Nutritional needs don't change with the seasons, but our appetites sure do! Can you still feel full when you're eating lighter foods? Yes!

No matter what you're eating, it has calories and nutrients – the fuel for your body to run. If you live in a colder climate you likely have more food options during the summer months. It's time to take advantage of that. If you live in a southern climate, the temperature shift might not be as extreme, but you'll still feel a difference. Here are six of the best foods to eat during summer.

1. Salads – Maybe this is an obvious answer but there's no better way to take advantage of summer's abundance than with a big, delicious salad. Don't think it's just “rabbit food.” There are so many creative ways to boost nutrition and taste. Start with fresh lettuce, pile on the vegetables, then add some protein such as cooked meat, beans or boiled eggs. Instead of drizzling dressing haphazardly over the top, place a pre-measured cup to the side and dunk each bite in. You'll have a better ability to control calories this way out the salad. The Original Oyster House offers guests a great salad bar filled with fresh choices.

2. Sandwiches – Just like with salads, a sandwich doesn't have to be boring. Use different types of breads, wraps or even lettuce leaves. Buy and/or make a variety of different fillings, and slice up lots of vegetables. You can make a sandwich bar and allow everyone to make their own creation. This not only takes the stress out of cooking for you but everyone gets exactly what they want – no whining! For families with lots of summer activities they're also the perfect grab and go meal.

3. Cold soups – The only type of soup many people have tried is hot. But cold soups are eaten all over the world. Ever eaten gazpacho or vichyssoise? Gazpacho is a cold tomato-type soup popular in Southern Europe while vichyssoise is a cold soup eaten in Russia. Cold soups can provide good nutrition without overheating (and even cooling down) your body when the weather is warm.

4. Fruit salads – What better way to take advantage of bulging fruit trees and berry bushes loaded with juicy fruit? A mixed fruit salad is the perfect way to use a variety of produce while enjoying a healthy and still sweet snack. To serve as a dessert you can top with whipped cream. Cayman Grill in Orange Beach offers a Tropical Fruit Salad drizzled with honey and fresh vanilla that's sure to hit the spot!

5. Fire up the Grill – Summer and grilling go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. While you won't be totally away from the heat – at least you can keep the heat outside! All kinds of meats can be quickly cooked over the grill. But, so can vegetables! Try seasoning and grilling them for a new taste. Remember they'll cook quicker than meat will so save them for last. Softer vegetables like zucchini, tomatoes, onions, and eggplant tend to work better. Have a good set of kebab skewers on hand to thread the vegetables on or create foil packets to steam them in. If you're in Gulf Shores, stop by Nolan's Restaurant to try the grilled shrimp served with grilled vegetables. It'll satisfy your grill fix!

Summer Dishes on Alabama Gulf Coast

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