At Kate’s Kitchen, we’ve always believed that regularly sitting down to eat and spend time…
Summer is on its way, and we couldn’t be more excited! Longer days and more sunshine make summer ideal for spending time outside. At the same time, the higher temperatures and increased physical activity might lead you to start craving different food types to support all the fun ways you’ll be spending your summer days. With that in mind, we decided to round up our top ten summer foods as we count down the days to summer!
Is there a more recognizably summer food than a chilled, juicy slice of watermelon on a hot, sunny day? If there is, we can’t think of it. Beyond being both tasty and perfect, watermelon is one of the healthiest foods you’ll find at any random cookout: low sugar, high fiber, full of antioxidants and high water content. Watermelon is made of nearly 92 percent water; you’ll have a hard time finding a better way to stay hydrated than this summer fruit.
2. Backyard Burgers
Next up in the most recognizable summer foods are burgers grilled in the backyard, just how you like them. Truly nothing beats coming home in the summer on a random Tuesday evening, getting the grill going, and making burgers, just because it’s summer, and that’s how summer should be. Serve them on their own or with all the sides. Whether the burgers are beef or salmon or turkey or spicy black bean, if that’s what you grill, that’s what we’re talking about!
Avocado toast has gotten a bad rap but let’s not blame the avocados. Full of good fats and better for you than most of the other things you can spread on bread, avocados have many health benefits and contain dozens of vital nutrients and vitamins.
They’re also incredibly versatile: avocados can hang with the mains as a topping or garnish, chill with the veggie platter, mix into salads and sides, and even join the desserts as a dark chocolate mousse with a secret ingredient no one will ever guess! (Avocado: the secret ingredient is avocado.)
There’s something so nostalgic about eating a freshly harvested and just-boiled ear of corn sprinkled with salt and dripping with butter. Yum! This side dish has been iconic since before Norman Rockwell painted American summertime scenes. If you don’t want it plain, add it to a salad or a salsa, or toss it on the grill after rubbing it down in spices!
5. Fried Chicken
After barbeques, summer picnics are king, and nothing makes a summer picnic hit the spot like fried chicken. Along with some potato salad, chilled fruit, and cold drinks, this is one of the best meals you can throw in a cooler and take to a park or a beach for a lazy summer day with your favorite people.
One of the best ways to make sure you’re getting enough veggies is to eat a salad, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a more refreshing meal on a hot day—especially if you want an option that won’t heat up the house by turning on the stove.
The best thing about salads is they’re customizable: all you have to do is put some vegetables on a plate or in a bowl, add any toppings you want, add dressings like ranch or olive oil and vinegar and call it a salad! You could even do a summer salad with fruits to make it extra refreshing.
7. Tropical Fruits
Mango, pineapple, dragon fruit, papayas, guavas, star fruit and kiwi–It’s a seven-way tie. Nothing says summer like one or more of these fruits chopped up and put in a fruit salad, on a fruit tray, or even in a freshly blended smoothie! Not only are these fruits a fresh, sweet treat, but they’re great for health too!
Tropical fruits tend to be high in vitamin C and other antioxidants and are lower in net carbs because of their dietary fiber content. These fruits can be great for anti-inflammatory purposes. Add the fact that they’re also full of delicious, hydrating water—only better because you have to eat the fruit to get to it—and you’ll want to keep sliced tropical fruit in your freezer for a quick snack all summer.
If you’re looking for a fruit option with the lowest carbohydrates, you’re looking for berries. Beyond their health benefits, berries are one of the easiest fruits to grow and harvest at home or at a working farm that allows you to harvest what you want to buy.
Try a handful of just-harvested berries on some freshly-whipped, unsweetened whipped cream for a simple summer dessert—and you know that freezer trick we mentioned for tropical fruit? It also works great with blueberries! If you want to spice up your homemade ice cream this summer, top it with fruit slices for a delicious dessert.
In the past ten years, one of the better food trends has been the popularity of cheese plates and charcuterie boards. A scaled-down version of the same thing—cheeses, nuts, crackers, jam and honey, some fresh fruit and cured meat—makes for a simple yet decadent summer season dinner, especially when served with fruit-infused water or a fizzy cocktail.
10. Ranch Dressing
We know, we know: ranch dressing isn’t a food, it’s more of a way of life. From the burgers to the veggies to the barbeque sides, is summer even summer if you forget the ranch dressing?
Honorable Mention: Bacon
Bacon is the meaty, savory, salty ingredient that makes everything taste better. Whether it’s making your cheeseburger a bacon cheeseburger, adding some extra crunch to your salads or improving your mango experience in a way that we can’t recommend enough, bacon is everywhere. Is it a summer food? Maybe!—but more importantly, this is a list ranking foods on the internet, and it’s basically illegal not to put bacon here somewhere.
Can’t Decide Which Summer Foods to Start With? Let Kate’s Do the Cooking for You!
Try any of the delicious sandwiches, salads or wraps on our lunch menu if you’re looking for a refreshing meal on a hot summer day. We recommend our Ranch Wrap: fried chicken, avocado, bacon, tomato, ranch dressing, jack and cheddar cheese, and spring mix lettuce served in a garlic-herb tortilla, with a side of fresh fruit. That’s at least half the list right there!
Give us a call if you would like to place a to-go order!
Kate’s Kitchen… (816) 436-7200
Ronnie’s Restaurant… (913) 831-8600