This August as temperatures rise the last thing you want to do is crank up the oven to bake a casserole. While summer isn’t over quite yet, the end of your days slaving away in front of the oven can be. With a bit of creativity, you can find some great ways to escape the heat of the kitchen. Don’t dread the remaining weeks of summer; enjoy it to the max with these fresh ideas.

Cooking Without Heat

There are a lot of great dishes you can make without needing a single degree of heat.

·       Cold Soups and Smoothies – Bust out your blender. The possibilities are endless.

·       Salads – Summertime is the ideal time to enjoy fresh produce. Keep in mind that vegetable and fruit salads are both a great option for picnic style dinners.

·       Sandwiches – Not just PB&J, get creative. Have a sandwich off with your family to see who can create the best masterpiece.

·        Raw Dishes – Raw cooking isn’t just for health nuts, it’s also for people who don’t want to sweat in front of a stove for hours on end. Raw cooking is cool, nutritious and delicious. Check out The Raw Food Kitchen for ideas.

Grill Master

If you are going to cook, do it outside so the heat doesn’t fill your home.

·        Meats – Chicken, pork, turkey, burgers. Get your grill on.

·        Vegetables – We all know grilled corn, but have you tried grilled bell peppers or grilled Portobello mushrooms?

·        Fruit – Once you have tried grilled pineapple you’ll never doubt that fruit can be grilled again. Grilled watermelon, peaches and coconut are particularly delicious as well.

Keep it Cool for Dessert

Everyone loves dessert. Homemade frozen desserts are perfect for hot summer days.

·        Popsicles – These tasty frozen treats come in all sorts of shapes and flavors and are exceptionally low cost to you and your family. You can even make them with an ice cube tray and some toothpicks!

·        Root Beer Floats – I don’t really think I need to say anything else. You are already on board.  

·        Kick the Can – Kick the can ice cream has many benefits. Firstly, it allows you to custom make your own ice cream flavors. Get crazy and try something new. Second, it really wears the kids out when they have to kick a can around for an hour for the ice cream to be ready. No kids? Good, you’re about to earn that ice cream with a workout. Third, it’s ice cream.

·        Frozen Grapes – Looking for the least effort dessert possible? Throw some red grapes into the freezer and eat them after dinner as a tasty snack.

Get Out!

Once in a while you just need to treat your family to an evening out and let someone else do the cooking. Take the family out once a week or plan to do a group dinner with neighbors so you take turns cooking and get a day off from the sweltering kitchen.

Beat the summer heat by being a step ahead of it. With proper meal planning and creative thinking you can spend less time sweating in the kitchen and more time with your family eating delicious summer picnics.

Bon appétit, it’s not too hot to eat!