Alisa Fleming ~ Just in case I wasn’t sure if summer had yet arrived, our thermometer hit triple digits this past weekend to provide a solid confirmation. The warm (or should I say scorching) weather is here, meaning more time outside enjoying the sun.
Since this is a food focused blog, I feel no need to lecture on sunscreen and hats, I am sure you have been inundated with this topic elsewhere. But when I found myself buzzing around town the other day, and the hunger bug hit, I reached in to discover a LUNA bar that had sadly become a melty mess. The last thing I want to do is succumb to the junk food sold at pools, malls, and near the beaches simply because I am unprepared.
So, when I returned home I revamped my snack bowl for some quick items on the go. The following list offers some shelf-stable foods that promise to hold their shape and ward off heat-induced bacteria, you know, the ones that love that picnic potato salad!
Trail Mix (hold the chocolate chips) ~ I am a bulk bin fiend, so I have scores of dried fruits, nuts, and seeds stocked in my pantry. I tossed together a few different varieties into good-sized baggies for a filling snack that will even withstand the roasting temperatures in my car. Unfortunately, I had to forgo adding the chocolate chips, which would immediately liquefy, but dried fruit fits the sweet bill nicely.
Fresh Fruit ~ Avoiding berries and grapes, which are easily squished, I am now making sure that organic apples and pears are on hand for when I will be out for hours on end. Save those squishy peaches, nectarines, and plums for when you return home.
Durable Snack Bars ~ Old school Clif Bars, Clif Nectar Bars, and Larabars are my personal favorites for bars that will still be edible and in tact, even when they have slipped to the bottom of my beach bag. Definitely avoid bars with chocolate or any type of coating, or ones that tend to be a bit on the gooey side, and enjoy the break from the extra sugar.
Fruit Leather ~ Is it still called this or is it Smooshed Fruit now? Either way, I find those flattened, dehydrated strips of all fruit to be a nice treat in the afternoon.
Jerky ~ Whether meaty or faux meaty, jerky is a nice protein punch when that midday slump hits. Vegetarians can even find soy jerky in many convenience stores in a pinch, but I still recommend having your favorite (organic) brand stocked in your to-go bag for emergencies.
And last but not least …
Water ~ Never leave home without it!