When it gets this hot out — let’s say 90º+ — what do you do about meals? There are a few issues: 1. Heat generated from cooking and especially baking; 2. Warm food can be unappealing when it’s this hot outside; 3. Heat fatigue might not leave you with enough energy to plan or prepare a meal.
If you’re suffering from issue #3, there are only two solutions: prepared foods/takeout or just not eating. With these temps, appetites do often decrease and some even losing weight. If you’re committed to eating only food that you prepare, either out of health or budgetary reasons, you’ll have to plan and prepare your food early in the morning, before the heat sets in.
To tackle issue #1, heat generated from cooking, there are four solutions:
- avoid warm food — see solutions to #2
- cook/bake food only in the early morning
- use only your stovetop, not your oven. Stovetop cooking generates far less heat than does an oven. Gas will generate less than traditional electric; but best of all is induction.
- the best solution of all: fire up the grill. Meat, fish, veggies (ears of corn or kabobs) can all be cooked on the grill. You’ll get a little warm tending the barbecue, but the heat stays outdoors. Serve with coleslaw, which can be prepared without any cooking.
While the solution to issue #2 is the simplest — don’t eat warm food — it also means you won’t be getting much variety to your meals. Unless you go all out and make steak tartare or ceviche, it’s going to mean fresh salads, hummus and pita. If you’re also avoiding cooking, you’ll have to also stay away from grain salads or any dips that require cooking, such as roasted eggplant. Instead, focus your salads on raw veggies, for example a ranch dressing over romaine, avocado, tomatoes and hearts of palm. Take advantage of canned vegetables, tuna and beans, too.
Another favorite that requires no cooking at all is the Swiss oat dish, Birchermüesli, which is high protein and high fiber. Smoothies are also a way to go, with no heat required. Simply blend frozen fruit, yogurt, a few ice cubes, some peanut butter or tahini for a protein rich snack. If you’re one of those whose appetite has declined, this smoothie might even work as your dinner.
Share your tips & tricks in a comment!