Eat To Beat The Heat: Light and Healthy Summer Dishes

Summer is a time for fun in the sun, but it’s also important to stay hydrated and satisfied. With Florida’s extreme summer heat and humidity forecast to last for months, it’s easy to become dehydrated and feel sluggish.

With the kids home all day and missing school meals, keeping your family eating healthy during the summer can be challenging. If you are visiting a food pantry like the pantry at Saint Vincent de Paul Joe Latina Center, opting for light and healthy summer foods helps you and your family stay cool, refreshed, and nourished all season long.

With these light and satisfying dishes, you can enjoy a healthy and delicious summer. Whether you’re grilling, snacking, or enjoying a refreshing drink, these dishes will keep you hydrated and satisfied all season long. Stay cool, refreshed, and nourished with these light and healthy summer recipes.

Light and Healthy Summer Salads to Keep You Cool and Refreshed
Summer salads are a perfect way to stay hydrated and satisfied as steamy summer months drag on and on. They’re packed with fresh fruits and vegetables, and they’re easy to make.

Watermelon & Feta Salad is a refreshing and hydrating option for a summer salad. The juicy watermelon provides a burst of sweetness, while the feta cheese adds a salty and creamy element. Combine the fruit and cheese with some fresh mint leaves and a squeeze of lime juice for a burst of flavor – a delicious salad containing valuable vitamins and minerals.

Cucumber & Tomato Salad with a lemon vinaigrette is another light and healthy summer salad. Cucumbers are hydrating and cooling, while tomatoes are rich in antioxidants. Toss them together with some red onion, fresh herbs, and a tangy lemon vinaigrette for a salad that goes with just about any meal.

Delicious and Nutritious Smoothie Bowls for a Quick and Easy Breakfast
Smoothie bowls are great for breakfast or anytime! They’re easy to make, and loaded with nutrients.

A Berry Smoothie Bowl is a yummy kid-friendly summer breakfast. Blend together frozen berries, a banana, and some almond milk until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl and top it with your favorite toppings like granola, chia seeds, and fresh berries. This smoothie bowl is not only refreshing but also brimming over with antioxidants and fiber.

A Green Smoothie Bowl will sneak in some extra greens into your diet. Blend together spinach, avocado, banana, and coconut water until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl and top it with sliced banana, shredded coconut, and a drizzle of honey for a refreshing, nutritious summer meal choice.

Satisfying Summer Meals With Grilled Vegetables and Lean Proteins
Grilling makes easy meals and fun summer memories. Try grilling vegetables like zucchini, peppers, and eggplant, and pair them with lean proteins like chicken or fish. You’ll have a satisfying meal that’s also healthy.

Grilled Vegetables are a delicious and healthy side dish for a summer meal. Slice zucchini, peppers, and eggplant into thick slices and brush them with olive oil. Season them with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs and grill them until tender and slightly charred. Serve them alongside grilled chicken or fish for a perfect summer dinner.

Grilled Chicken or Fish is a good place to start your summer meal planning. Marinate chicken breasts or fish fillets in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs for at least 30 minutes. Grill them until cooked through and serve with a side of grilled vegetables.

Soups and Gazpachos to Beat the Heat
Soups and gazpachos have become summer menu staples. They’re easy to make and won’t heat up your kitchen!

Chilled Cucumber Soup is easy and light. Blend together cucumbers, Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, and fresh herbs until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Serve cold with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh herbs for a wonderful summer dish.

Tomato Gazpacho with Avocado is a classic summer dish that your family is sure to love. Blend together tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, garlic, onion, olive oil, and vinegar until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Serve cold with diced avocado and a sprinkle of fresh herbs for a delicious gazpacho.

Fresh and Flavorful Wraps and Sandwiches
Wraps and sandwiches are so easy to make, and you can make them with fresh vegetables and lean proteins.

A Turkey & Avocado Wrap is not only delicious, but heart-healthy and even portable! Spread some mashed avocado on a whole wheat wrap and layer it with sliced turkey, lettuce, tomato, and cucumber. Roll it up tightly and slice it in half for a guilt-free flavorful lunch.

A Veggie Sandwich with Hummus is a plant-based lunch full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Spread some hummus on whole grain bread and layer it with sliced cucumber, bell pepper, tomato, and sprouts. Add some sliced avocado for extra creaminess and flavor.

Low-Calorie Summer Snacks to Keep You Nourished Between Meals
Snacking is important in the summer to keep your energy levels up. Try low-calorie snacks like fresh fruit, raw vegetables with hummus, or air-popped popcorn.

Fresh Fruit is a probably the best low-calorie snack in the summer. Choose fruits that are in season like watermelon, berries, and stone fruits. These fruits are not only hydrating but also give you tons of vitamins and antioxidants. Slice them up and enjoy them on their own or with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Raw Vegetables with Hummus keeps nutrition value high and calories low. Slice up some carrots, celery, bell peppers, and cucumber and serve them with a side of hummus. The vegetables provide fiber and vitamins, while the hummus adds protein and healthy fats. This snack will keep you feeling satisfied between meals.

Air-Popped Popcorn gives you the crunch you’re craving without the guilt of calories. Pop some popcorn kernels in an air popper or on the stovetop without any oil. Season it with your favorite herbs and spices like nutritional yeast, garlic powder, or chili powder for added flavor. Enjoy a fiber-rich snack you can feel good about.

Creative and Colorful Fruit Salads
Fruit salads satisfy your sweet tooth while also keeping you cool and healthy.

A Tropical Fruit Salad is a refreshing and colorful sweet treat full of vitamins and antioxidants. Combine diced mango, pineapple, kiwi, and papaya in a bowl. Squeeze some lime juice over the fruits and sprinkle them with shredded coconut for added flavor.

A Berry Salad with Mint & Lime is light and tangy. Combine fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries in a bowl. Squeeze some lime juice over the berries and sprinkle them with chopped fresh mint leaves for added freshness.

Healthy Hydration: Infused Water and Iced Teas to Quench Your Thirst
Staying hydrated is more important than ever in the brutal summer heat. Try adding fresh fruit and herbs to your water or making a refreshing iced tea with mint and lemon.

Infused Water is a delicious and refreshing way to stay hydrated in the summer. Fill a pitcher with water and add slices of fresh fruit like lemon, lime, orange, or berries. You can also add some fresh herbs like mint, basil, or rosemary for added flavor. Let the water sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to infuse. Serve it cold with some ice cubes.

Iced Tea is another great beverage choice to beat the heat. Brew your favorite tea like green tea, black tea, or herbal tea and let it cool. Add some fresh mint leaves, lemon slices, and a drizzle of honey for added flavor. Serve it over ice for a refreshing and thirst-quenching drink. Saint Vincent de Paul Society Joe Latina Center is a Strategic Partner of Nuevo en US (, a nonprofit whose mission is to support newcomers to our country and the charities that help them. Nuevo and Saint Vincent de Paul are grateful to Car Credit ( for funding their efforts to bring vital information and assistance to our English and Spanish-speaking neighbors.