Here in Los Angeles, Summer hits early and can last until mid-October (not exaggerating). During this sweltering season, it’s important to have healthy snacks on hand that you can make without breaking a sweat. Here are a few of my faves, all of which just happen to be vegan!
This recipe came about from having an abundance of one of the freshest summer herbs there is: basil. Determined not to let any go to waste after a big harvest, I tossed some basil into my guac in place of cilantro. Guys, it’s so good. Think garden flavors meets an already perfect snack, guacamole.
2 or 3 ripe avocados
1 Jalapeño ( pitted and diced; reserve a few seeds if you like spice)
1 shallot diced
1/4 cup basil leaves chopped
Juice of half a lime
Dash of garlic powder (optional)
Salt + Pepper to taste
Slice the avocados in half and scoop out their flesh with a spoon into a medium bowl. Reserve one of the pits (they help to keep the guac fresh).
Add the juice of half a lime. Add a pinch of salt.
Use a fork to mash the avocado/lime/ salt mixture together until just combined (you want this to be a bit chunky).
Add the diced jalapeño and shallot. Mix to combine.
Add a dash of garlic powder (optional but recommended).
Finally, sprinkle the chopped basil leaves into the bowl and use a spoon to gently combine.
Add more lime, salt, and pepper to taste. Store covered in fridge (with one of the avocado pits in the bowl), until ready to serve.
Enjoy with your favorite chips and a cold beer.
-Mango and Red Quinoa Salad-
This magical combination came about when I was working as a nanny and needed a quick snack in between household tasks. I had some cooked red quinoa and a ripe mango in my lunch bag, so this protein rich, sweet and savory snack was born.
1 Ripe mango peeled and diced
1/2 cup cooked red quinoa ( I usually make a batch of 1 cup and use what I need)
flaky sea salt ( Maldon is the absolute best)
Fresh cilantro (optional)
Cook 1 cup of red quinoa per the package directions. You won’t need it all for this recipe, so make a plan for the leftovers. Keep quinoa warm on the stove as your prepare the mango.
Peel and dice your mango and place in a bowl.
Stir in 1/2 cup warm quinoa into the bowl with the mango.
Top with flaky sea salt to taste.
Add chopped cilantro if desired.
Note: This can be served with cold quinoa as well, but the texture of warm quinoa pairs best with the mango, in my opinion.
-Watermelon 3 Ways-
Watermelon is pretty much my summer mascot. What’s not to love about a super hydrating food that replenishes electrolytes, balances acidity in the body, and taste so damn good? Watermelon is a perfect food, and there is always one waiting patiently on the kitchen counter during the summer months.
1. Watermelon Pops
This is another snack I owe to nannying. I had so much fun making these with two of my favorite toddlers! It was a bonus when they asked for them as a desert since they truly are a guilt free option for kids. On a hot summer day, I come home and walk directly to the freezer for one of these. Instant cool.
Diced watermelon (at least 3 cups)
High speed blender
Place diced watermelon into a high speed blender and pulse until completely smooth.
Carefully pour into popsicle molds and place in freezer.
Allow to freeze for at least 4 hours.
2. Watermelon with Tajin
This is less of a recipe and more of a suggestion to sprinkle some Tajin on your watermelon. Tajin is a salty/tangy seasoning that pairs perfectly with juicy/sweet watermelon.
Watermelon, diced or sliced
1/4 tsp Tajin (or just sprinkle it from the bottle)
Sprinkle Tajin onto your watermelon and thank me later.
3. Watermelon / Gin Fizz
Does a cocktail count as a snack? Let’s just say yes. This two ingredient drink is perfect in the heat of summer. Bring it to a picnic or serve it at a party to completely wow your guests. Or, do as I do, and make one for yourself at the end of a long day. Cheers.
1/2 watermelon, diced and blended
Gin (I like Bombay Saphire)
Blend the diced watermelon in a high speed blender until completely smooth.
Fill your shaker with ice and add 1 cup watermelon juice and 1oz of gin.
Shake it like you mean it.
Pour into a glass and enjoy!
That’s it for my favorite summer snacks! Be sure to comment and let me know what you think.
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