Packing your beach bag for a fun day oceanside? Our dietician gives tips and recipes for beach snacks that are good for your health and waistline.
Most of us enjoy a fun summer day of sand and surf, but we might prefer something to eat other than typical greasy beach fare. Beachside restaurants are known for fried foods, hamburgers, hotdogs, soda and ice cream. But who wants to feel stuffed to the brim on the beach when our stomachs are out for all to see? Bring healthy snacks and beverages from home instead.
Maybe you’re in the mood for something sweet? What about a mouth-watering orange or some fresh strawberries or grapes? Fresh fruits and vegetables are refreshing beach snack choices to keep you feeling trim, hydrated and full of energy.
How about something savory and satisfying? If you are bringing a cooler, include some hummus for dipping those carrot sticks or sliced orange bell peppers. Making your own hummus is easy, try this recipe:
- 2 (15.5-ounce) cans no salt added chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Place beans and garlic in a food processor; pulse five times or until chopped. Add 1/2 cup water and remaining ingredients; pulse until smooth.
Nutrition: (1 serving = 2 tablespoons): Calories 44, Fat 2.5 g, Saturated fat 0.3 g, Protein 1.5 g, Carbohydrate 4.4 g, Fiber 0.9 g, Cholesterol 0.0 mg, Iron 0.3 mg, Sodium 74 mg, Calcium 12 mg.
Traditional Hummus: www.cookinglight.com
Spending a day out in the hot sun can lead to sunburn as well as dehydration, so be sure to stay hydrated. For some reason, carbonated beverages seem to be the beverage of choice in restaurants along the beach, but many people feel bloated after drinking a soda. Choose water instead. If you prefer flavor try a sparkling water with some lime or lemon, or fill a pitcher the night before with regular water, fruits and herbs of your choice, let it sit overnight and voila, you have flavored water without all of the extra sugar of a regular soda or fruit juice. Pour into a thermos or a water bottle and head to the beach!
“Lime Cucumber Mint Water.” Mix the following ingredients together in a pitcher and let it sit overnight: 64 ounces of water, 10 cucumber slices, 12 mint leaves, 1 lime (thinly sliced). (www.eatingrichly.com).
Let healthy, satisfying food and beverages be part of your good memories of summer beach days. By making healthy choices and bringing food and drink from home, you’ll save money and feel better.
By Melanie Wells, RD, LD, Roper St. Francis Dietician