It’s the Civic Holiday weekend here in Ontario, and folks are racing out of town to go camping and enjoy what’s left of the summer.
Sadly, I’m not joining them, but I can make the most of the beautiful weather we’ve been having by putting together some awesome summer dishes and eating them out on my porch.
Here’s one of my fave patio snacks:
I like my guacamole pretty chunky, so I split the avocado in two, scoop out the halves, then lightly mash them, so there are still discernible pieces. I add the chopped tomato, onion and diced garlic, lemon juice, and crack some pepper on top. Stir lightly and serve. Guacamole is best served right away, so the avocado doesn’t brown. Pro-tip, if there’s some time between prep and serving, leave the pit in with the guac. It’ll keep the browning at bay.
Why it’s great: Most of us don’t get enough monounsaturated fats in our diet (nuts, seeds, olive oils and avocados all contain this type of dietary fat). Ideally, you want an even balance of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats in your diet. We get lots of polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils in processed foods, and saturated fats in animal products, so mindful addition of MUFAs will help to even the scales.
Wait, don’t reach for those store-bought tortilla chips! Let’s make our own!
Pita Chips (or sweet potato chips, or carrot chips)
Preheat the oven to 350F. If it’s a pocket, split your pita in half, then cut into wedges. If you’re adding spice, add it to the oil. Brush the pita wedges with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 7-9 minutes (until they’re slightly browned). Low-carb? Or prefer to control the ingredients in your chips. No prob! Do the same with very thinly sliced carrots or sweet potatoes. They take a little while longer to crisp – keep an eye while you’re baking.
Why they’re great: By making your own chips, you know exactly what kind of oils and additives you’re using (what’s that? More MUFAs? Great!). Plus, you can alter the spices and flavours to suit your taste. No need for a whole bag – you can make yourself any flavour in any quantity, giving you the salty chip fix you crave, without the added processing.
And to wash it all down…
Add chopped rhubarb stalks to pot of water. Boil. Drain into mason jar. Refrigerate and serve. You can serve this like a slushy with crushed ice, add it to sparkling water, or even flavour your favourite adult beverage with it. It’s the easiest, most delicious summer drink ever – and no added sugar! Also, you can take the leftover rhubarb pulp and use it for smoothies, or as a yogurt topper.
Why it’s great: Rhubarb contains vitamins and antioxidants that help to fight off disease, the leftover stalks are a good source of fibre. Also, making your own juice is always a better idea than buying juice with additives.