Now that summer is here, we’re all paying more attention to our figure as we get ourselves beach ready (or at least start to!). We’re also in the mood for light, fresh food. There’ll be plenty of time for hot soup and stews in winter! Many people think that having a light dinner and keeping an eye on the calories comes at the expense of pleasure, but they couldn’t be more wrong! Here are some marvellous ideas to set the record straight and make the heat more bearable.
1- Fruit and vegetables are ideal at night, so go green! Although you should be aiming for a light dinner with not too many carbohydrates, a small helping of pasta is fine. Add some garden vegetables and fruit and you’ll feel just as full but with added vitamins and fibre.
2- Try to avoid hard-to-digest dishes, like fried or spicy food, which make you feel uncomfortably full before going to bed. Insomniacs take note: light dinners make for a good night’s sleep.
3- Don’t pay any attention to the old wives’ tale that fruit is fattening if eaten at night. Go ahead: eat as much as you like! Fruit in season is delicious and an ideal way to beat the heat.
4- Try not to eat right before going to bed: your body needs time to digest food properly. Ideally, you should have dinner a couple of hours before getting into bed. You’ll sleep better and, above all, wake up better!
5- Yogurt can be a great dinnertime ally, and if you add some fruit (strawberries or peach, for example), you’ve got a winning combination. You can also throw in some seeds, such as sunflower or chia seeds. Give your imagination free rein: you’ll be amazed at the number of recipes you can create with yogurt.
6- Make the most of the delicious tomatoes now in season. How about a simple summer salad? All you need is a tomato, some mozzarella, a handful of nuts and a dash of extra-virgin olive oil. Finish off with some fresh basil leaves, the perfect partner for tomato.
There are thousands of ways to make a lovely salad, so let your imagination run wild and experiment with your favourite ingredients. You’ll be amazed what you can do with the contents of your fridge!
7- Not forgetting gazpacho and other cold soups: refreshing and delicious bursts of vegetables. How about a watermelon gazpacho as a sweet twist on a classic? You’ll love it! You can make another simple cold soup by blending cucumber with yogurt, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and dill.
8- Last but not least, herbs and spices work wonders with any recipe! Get creative with your soups, salads and fish, meat and vegetable dishes and watch your repertoire expand before your very eyes!