6 Cold Foods For HOT Weather and PICNICS (With Recipes)

You’re hot, you’re bothered, but hungry!  You want something lightdelicious but satisfying.  And the thought of the ‘same old’ salad just doesn’t cut it.

Trust your taste-buds… because the same old salads alone won’t cut the nutritional stakes, or hit that flavour spot!  It’s natural for our appetite to diminish in hot weather and for us to crave lighter foods. But it’s important to make sure that we’re still feeding our body with sufficient energy giving nutrients to help keep our metabolism high and enough protein to keep our liver detoxing well.

It got us thinking about light, cool foods that are big on nutrition AND on flavour…

In this week’s blog, we share our top pick of 6 cold foods (with recipes) for hot weather and picnics.  

(Image credit: Baronmag.com)

1. Griddled Vegetables with Feta and (Cauliflower) Tabouleh 

Feta tabouleh (2)This is a Jamie Oliver recipe, where the tabbouleh is traditionally made with ‘cracked’ wheat.  Using ‘riced’ cauliflower is a great way to cut out grains, or cut down on starches.  The humble cauliflower is actually a nutritional hero.  It contains very high levels of vitamin C and it’s a good source of Vitamin K.  It packs in a host of beneficial nutrients: most minerals; cell protective anti-oxidants and phytonutrients; heart and gut protective suphraphane; dietary fibre for digestive health and choline for brain development … and more!


2. Parma Ham, Fig and Buffalo Mozzarella Salad

the_easiest_sexiest_salad_7762 (4)Another Jamie offering, he calls this the ”easiest, sexiest salad in the world” and we don’t disagree!  It’s all about the contrasts in flavours and in our book, Parma ham, figs and buffalo mozzarella are a truly inspired combination.  Not only is it a perfect flavour combination, the ham and mozzarella deliver satiating proteins, saturated fats and calcium requirements and the figs are amazingly nutritious too: they’re high in fibre and a good source of several essential  magnesium, manganese, calcium (which promotes bone density), copper, and potassium (which helps lower blood pressure), as well as vitamins K and B6… not to mention a bunch of powerful anti-oxidants!

3. Spinach, Orange and Cucumber Salad with Hot Radish

This is one of mine!  What can I say?  I say it’s delicious! Although raw spinach isn’t something I’d eat daily, I love to pair this with a nice balance of protein, fat and carbs.  For example: well-seasoned, sliced cold grilled steak; smoked meats or fish; ripe raw, soft cheeses like Brie de Meaux or Camembert; a pile of well seasoned fresh cheese like cottage; egg-based dishes like omelettes, fritattas and quiches; or baked white or sweet potatoes  – with plenty of raw butter and chopped chives bound with a dollop of home made yoghurt!  Or even a little of everything, buffet or picnic style!  The list is endless and portable too!

4. Steak Salad with Creamy Garlic Vinagrette (Paleo, Gluten Free)

Beef Salad

As soon as I clocked this stunning luxe salad from Whole30’s, we knew we had to share!

It’s super-stacked with nutrients and the recipe is Paleo and gluten free. I’ve suggested balancing the steak’s muscle meat by spiking the recipe for the Paleo Mayo with gut-friendly, anti-inflammatory powdered gelatin.

I’ve also suggested an option for Yoghurt Mayo for dairy lovers, as an ingredient in the Creamy Garlic Vinaigrette.

5. Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Ice Cream (and more!)


Just ONE of eight fab healthy (oh yes!) ice cream recipes from Precision Nutrition!

These recipes are nutrient dense and I’ve suggested swapping out whey protein for anti-inflammatory powdered gelatin, if you prefer.

Go check them out, then head for the kitchen!


6. Strawberry and Coconut Cream Ice Pops (Dairy Free & Egg Free)

These utterly divine dairy-free ice pops are from Shaina Olmanson (100 Days of Real Food). Nutritionally, coconut milk is awesomely beneficial.  Strawberries are richer than rich in antioxidants and raw honey is one of Nature’s most powerful healing and energy-rich foods. You can rev-up the protein count in these pops even more by adding a couple of tablespoons of gelatin powder which is rich in anti-inflammatory amino acids and balances the healthy fats and carb profile of these pops.  Winner!


That’s it!  I hope you enjoy my picks.  I certainly enjoyed picking each and every one of them!



Izabella Natrins

After 30 years in the health space, I'm here to share and use my expertise and experience to help women to create the true health they deserve. My Femergy@40 Nutrition and Lifestyle Health Coaching and Resilient Weight-Loss programmes empower, support and inspire women who are fighting fatigue, struggling with overwhelm, weight gain, sleep, energy and niggling or multiple diagnosed health issues, to find hope and optimism, regain confidence and create much better health. My book 'The Real Food Solution' 2020 (updated from Once Upon a Cook 2019) is an evidence-based treasury of real food wisdom and a call to action to change the way you eat, create more energy, vitality and better health and support a sustainable planet ... with traditional foods. I'm a qualified real food nutrition and lifestyle health expert, holistic health coach, nutritional chef and a writer, a speaker and a partner, mum & grand-mum.

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