Howdy Hunger Busters! We are ecstatic for summer to finally be here and I know the kids are, too (parents, maybe not so much…).
Summer is one of our busiest times for programs and camps, and it’s also my (Rachel’s) favorite season for produce. I know I said that about Spring, but I can have two favorites, right? 😉 Speaking of produce, it’s time to see what we’re recommending!
Apricots, bell peppers, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe/musk melons, cherries, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, honeydew melon, kiwi, lima beans, mangos, nectarines, okra, peaches, plums, raspberries, strawberries, summer squash & zucchini, tomatillos, tomatoes, and watermelon. For a complete list, click here: https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-through-seasons/seasonal-produce
During the summer, cooling off quickly becomes a priority-especially in Southeast Texas! One of my favorite things to cool off with is a nice, cold gazpacho. It’s super simple to make, then you store it in your fridge, no heating up required!
Rachel’s Watermelon Gazpacho
- 4 cups of seedless watermelon chunks
- 2 cups of seedless watermelon, diced
- 2 cups of diced tomatoes
- 1/3 cup of cranberry juice cocktail
- 2 tablespoons of lime juice
- Large pinch of salt
- ¼ cup of diced red onion
- 1 cup of diced cucumber
- 2 tablespoons of cilantro
- 2 tablespoons of parsley
- Olive oil for garnish
- In a blender or food processor, put in the 4 cups of watermelon chunks, 2 cups of diced tomatoes, 1/3 cup of cranberry juice, and 2 tablespoons of lime juice, and pinch of salt.
- Blend until desired texture, then transfer to large bowl.
- Add in 2 cups of diced watermelon, ¼ cup of red onion, 1 cup of diced cucumber, 2 tbsp. of cilantro and parsley, stir.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to overnight to let flavors blend.
- Serve cold with a splash of olive oil for garnish.
What a great way to cool off and stay healthy! This is a great recipe for diabetics, too.
I also wanted to go over some Summer Safety Tips so that we can all stay active in the heat of summer, but be safe as well.
- When going into heavily wooded areas, dress in long sleeves and pull your socks over your pants. Tick bites can get very serious. Use tick/bug repellent, stay on the path, and avoid heavily bushy areas. When you get home, do tick checks on all family members!
- Wear a helmet. When biking, rollerblading, skating, riding scooters or skateboards (or longboards) and more. This goes for you too, parents!
- Around water, there must be 100% adult supervision! No child or adult is “drown proof.” Do not run in extremely wet areas, and avoid using sharp utensils and glass in pool areas.
- Sun safety is most important! Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! Avoid being out during peak UV ray hours: 10am-5pm. If you play outside during the day, find a shady spot to play. Wear sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats to avoid face exposure, but be sure to use that sunscreen on your face, too. At least spf 30!
- Parents: KEEP CHILDREN HYDRATED! Don’t wait for them to say they’re thirsty, make sure you have more than enough water bottles or sports drinks on hand. Heat-related illnesses are not forgiving.
For more tips, check out http://www.pbs.org/parents/summer/summer-safety-tips-for-kids/
The Food Bank is super busy this summer supporting Summer Feeding Programs, running Kid’s Cooking Camps, and preparing a new program we are planning to begin this fall. Although I can’t share details right now, look forward to the coming announcements of how to help our kids programs! We’ll need lots of volunteers and community involvement which is a great way to breed healthy communities.
Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next month for some July 4th fun!