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Posts tagged summer
How to Create a Healthy Stress-Free Summer Picnic + Watermelon Salad
 

Insider guide on how to create a healthy stress-free summer picnic plus a watermelon salad recipe!

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A couple of weeks ago, I hosted a summer picnic with my friends Maria, Rebecca, Kayla, and Liz before some of us separated. It was such a fun time enjoying each other's company while eating delicious food! The biggest reason why we were able to enjoy the moment before the big farewell was because it was stress-free!

Now, it seems like it can be tiresome setting a time, location, menu and actually prepping the food but I have some secrets that can make this picnic experience pretty fun and stress-free! If you are wanting to host your first summer picnic, here is what you need to know to make this as stress-free as possible:

KEEP IT SIMPLE

From the decorations to the menu, keep it simple, simple, simple! The summertime is the best season to host a picnic because the flowers are blooming and the grass is green - what’s great is that you don’t even have to pay for it!

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Another way to keep your decorations simple is by using things you already own. By doing a quick scan around the house, I was able to scrounge up blankets, trays, plates, forks and mason jars that had a simple color scheme that reflected summer colors. So not only are you using your environment for decorations, you are also using things you already own so a win-win on the wallet!

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What’s great about the summer is that it’s hot so people typically like to eat lighter, more refreshing type foods. This will make creating the menu that much easier!

SERVE YOURSELF

I could literally devote an entire page on food allergies from all five of us combined, but I will refrain. With that said, you will most likely have someone in your group with a food allergy/sensitivity. This may seem a little overwhelming as your creating the menu, but if you create simple dishes and give them the opportunity to serve themselves then it puts the pressure off of you.

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A charcuterie board is a prime example. A charcuterie board mostly consist of a variety of meat and cheeses, with fruits and nuts. You can also cater to your board to your friend’s palettes. My board was kept pretty simple as I had to be sensitive to food allergies but even though one of my friends is allergic to nuts, I was able to separate the nuts by keeping them in their own bowl.

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My classic healthy chicken salad is a great main dish that is simple and can be catered to preference. This chicken salad is always a hit in the office so I knew it would be great for the picnic! Again, there were allergies so I just simply omitted the carrots and sunflower seeds and kept the spices neutral and it was still a great main dish! If you have friends that are gluten-free, use lettuce to make chicken salad lettuce wraps.

HYDRATION

You can totally get away with bringing water to a summer picnic- it’s actually encouraged! The summer heat may seem like you’re melting so your guests won’t notice that you didn’t bring rosé or something fancy - they will be looking for water! To take that summer drink up a notch, why not infuse them with herbs and fruit like mint, lemon, and blueberries.

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Another great way to take that water up a notch is with my newest recipe, watermelon lime refreshers! You can bring them for drinks or go a simple step further and make them into popsicles. The popsicles were the best part because by the time everyone finished stuffing faces, it was time for something sweet, light and refreshing to end a perfect picnic!

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What are some ways you like to create a healthy stress-free summer picnic?  Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your summer picnic photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love to see your healthy and stress-free summer picnic photos!


Summery watermelon salad that is sure to be a hit at your next summer picnic! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 small seedless watermelon (cubed)

  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta

  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

  • juice of 1/2 lime

Toppings

Balsamic glaze

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients the day of the picnic or as your setting up the picnic and drizzle balsamic glaze as a nice touch!

 
Watermelon Lime Refresher
 

Watermelon lime refresher is just that! A refreshing drink that is sure to cool you down and keep you hydrated during the summer time!

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This drink was actually made by mistake as I was creating an agua fresca recipe which is coming to the blog soon!

Here’s the story if you are interested: I only had thirty minutes to make the recipe, take pictures of my lovely creation, and clean up before working out so I had to go fast! My husband helped me out by walking the dogs so that I could focus. As soon as he came back I would be done. It would have been perfect timing!

https://fromtherootsblog.com/watermelon-lime-refresher/

https://fromtherootsblog.com/watermelon-lime-refresher/

Well, we executed our plan. When he came back inside, I let him sip the drink and he was like, “This tastes amazing, but weren’t you supposed to be making a thicker drink?”

That’s when I noticed I used a cheesecloth to strain the pulp from the juice. (face slap!)

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Even though it wasn’t my originally planned agua fresca drink, it was still refreshing, tastes way better than just regular water, AND is perfect for mixing in my pre-workout powder!

I highly recommend using this watermelon lime refresher for your pre-workout powder or just to drink on its own before or after a workout. Watermelon contains the amino acid citrulline which promotes blood flow, which leads to improved circulation and reduces muscle soreness. Also, watermelon is about 90% water -- hello, hydration!

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I also played around with my new popsicle molds and made this drink into watermelon lime refresher popsicles! They were a hit at a summer picnic I hosted last month (blog post coming soon on that! :) ) The frozen juice created a beautiful stained glass appearance with bright, summery colors!

Regardless if you make these watermelon lime refreshers for a pre/post-workout drink, popsicles, or just sipping by the pool, they are great in promoting hydration and kicking boring water to the curb!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!


Watermelon lime refresher is just that! A refreshing drink that is sure to cool you down and keep you hydrated during the summer time! 

INGREDIENTS

  • Half of one small seedless watermelon (rind cut off)

  • Juice of 2 limes

  • 2 Tbsp fresh mint

  • 1-2 cups filtered water

  • 1-2 Tbsp pure maple syrup (optional for sweeter taste)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put all ingredients into a high powered blender and blend until smooth.

  2. Transfer mixture into a cheesecloth covered bowl. Strain mixture until you are left with just the juice.

  3. Pour juice over ice and enjoy!

 
Grilled Shrimp Summer Salad
 

Grilled shrimp summer salad is loaded with protein, antioxidants and summer produce that will quickly become a summer meal staple!

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The grill is my kitchen during the spring and summer seasons. Grilling is a straightforward process -- it’s easy and quick. Plus who wouldn’t want to be outside with sun rays and the amazing aroma of grilled food in the air?

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That’s why this grilled shrimp summer salad has been playing on repeat all summer long! When my husband and I come home after our evening workout, we usually just want to eat something light yet nutrient dense to replenish our bodies, but we don’t want to be slaving away in the kitchen while we are starving! A salad is a perfect solution to this dilemma.

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What’s great about salads is that they are versatile so even if you do not have all the ingredients or the produce is no longer in season, you can add whatever you like.

Aside from the grilled shrimp, this recipe has three components: pineapple salsa, blueberries, and basil vinaigrette. So, for example, if pineapples are not in season, use another fruit like peaches or oranges. Have fun with the ingredients and customize this salad to YOUR preference!

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Another great thing about salads is that if you make everything in bulk then it just takes minutes to prepare a salad each night. Just put everything in containers and add/take away things to your salad depending on what mood you are in!

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If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo to #fromtherootsblog on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with!  


Grilled shrimp summer salad is loaded with protein, antioxidants and summer produce that will quickly become a summer meal staple!

INGREDIENTS

Grilled Shrimp Marinade

  • 12 oz large raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp cumin

  • 2 dashes red pepper flakes

  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon

  • 2 Tbsp EVOO

Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple

  • 1 jalapeno

  • 1 small bunch cilantro

  • 1 large red tomato

  • 1/2 red onion

  • Juice of 1/2 lime

  • S&P to taste

Blueberry and Basil Vinaigrette

  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries

  • 4-8 basil leaves (depending on preference)

  • 1/2 lemon

  • 1 tsp dried minced onion

  • 1-2 tsp honey

  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1/4 cup EVOO

  • S&P to taste

Grilled Shrimp Marinade

  1. Combine shrimp, seasonings, lemon, and oil to a Ziploc bag-making sure the shrimp is fully covered. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, soak 6-10 small skewers in water.

  2. From the shrimp from the fridge and thread 6-8 shrimp on each damp skewer.

  3. Very lightly brush a cast iron griddle or grill grate with oil. Heat the grill to medium. Grill the shrimp for 5-7 minutes, turning over once halfway through.

  4. Place the shrimp skewers on a plate to cool. Sprinkle additional red pepper flakes if you like!

Pineapple Salsa

  1. Finely dice all ingredients and in a bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in fridge until ready to use.

Blueberry and Basil Vinaigrette

  1. Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Add additional oil or water if the mixture is too thick.

  2. * Due to the natural pectin found in the blueberries, this dressing will quickly begin to gel. Use immediately or blend in additional liquid to make it pourable.

Directions:

  1. Prepare your salad by adding greens, alfalfa sprouts, grilled shrimp skewers, pineapple salsa, vinaigrette and your favorite toppings! Enjoy!