Staying Cool and Eating Local

Believe it or not, July 4th is just around the corner!  Or at least that’s what my kitchen calendar shows.  However, from the look and feel of it, we should be approaching early August with these hot and sunny days topping out around 105°.  While we are enjoying the birds chirping earlier and the sun setting later, we Southerners need to remember the fine line (or mirage for that matter) between spending time outside and spending too much time outside.  After all, nobody wants to look like a freshly boiled lobster or sweat so fiercely people ask “who pushed you in the pool?” 

The vast array of Fourth of July parties are approaching, which means many people will be planning to start their festivities around lunch or mid-afternoon.  And if you’re below a latitude of 36° N, this means one thing and one thing only, start strategizing!  You will need to keep cool, hydrated, and away from the sun’s harsh rays. One great way to do this is introduce a DIY Popsicle Bar to your event!  Both adults and children love making their own "foodie" concoctions and it’s a great way to get creative, use your hands, and take part in a group activity. 

Pay homage to your hardworking local farmers and artisans by using lots of local produce and products. We recommend having many different options available so that guests can have fun mixing-n-matching! 

Step 1: Pick your produce

  • Apples (chunks)
  • Banana (slices)
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Celery slices
  • Cucumber slices
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries (quartered)
  • Pineapple (mashed) 

Step 2: Add citrus

  • Grapefruit slices (thin)
  • Lemon slices (thin)
  • Lime slices (thin)
  • Orange slices (thin) 

Step 3: Sprinkle your herbs

  • Mint leaves
  • Lemon Balm leaves
  • Basil leaves
  • Rosemary leaves

Step 4: Load up the toppings

  • Cloister Honey – Wildflower, Vanilla-Infused, Bourbon-Infused)
  • Almond chips
  • Chocolate chips
  • Chocolate covered raisins
  • Chocolate covrered espresso beans
  • Cinnamon sticks (chopped)
  • Coconut chips
  • Maple Syrup
  • Sugar in the Raw

Step 5: Pour on the liquid

  • Almond Soy milk
  • Carrot juice
  • Chocolate milk
  • Coconout Soy milk
  • Green tea
  • Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Lemonade
  • Sweet Tea
  • Tonic Water

The above photograph comes from ahealthylifeforme.com! Check out her wonderful gluten-free dairy-free blueberry popsicle recipe and other healthy blog posts!