Since summer is here and most of you are going to the beach more and more often, I thought of suggesting you some practical meals that you can take with you and that can be stored in good condition until it's time to consume them. Of course, the ideal would be to put them in a cooler or in a thermal bag, otherwise it will be difficult to preserve them -especially after 2 to 3 hours- and under high temperature. Unless, of course, you prefer foods such as nuts, seeds, or breadsticks that can be stored for a long time.
As you understand, the alternatives that I will propose will be complete meals, ideal to fill you up and to satisfy the intense hunger you feel immediately after swimming in the sea. As we’ve said before, complete meals are those that contain lean protein, complex carbs, good fatty acids, and are nutritious for our body!
Moreover, what you should know in order to choose the proper foods for the beach and not to put your health in danger, is that dried fruits, pickles, foods high in sugar, packaged foods (with preservatives), canned and pasteurized foods are considered low-risk foods that cannot be easily spoiled. On the other hand, meats, fish, cold cuts, dairy, seafood, rice, raw eggs, fruits, and salads are considered high-risk and you should avoid having them for many hours under high-temperature.
Based on the above, shall we discover some nutrient-rich and practical options for the beach?
Energy bars with nuts and dried fruits or honey sesame bars
Surely, energy bars or sesame bars that you can make at home, with pure and nutritious ingredients, will be an ideal snack for the beach. In your energy bar you can add nuts, dried fruits, a little honey, tahini, peanut butter, or any other nut butter you like. Similarly, you can make your sesame bar both with sesame seeds and nuts. So, if you make the right combinations, you will have a complete meal that will fill you up, that will offer you many nutrients, while it can be easily consumed and stored at the beach.
Sweet or savory tortilla wrap
A tortilla is definitely an alternative that you can enjoy in both its sweet and savory version. In its sweet version, you can again combine it with some nut or seed butter, add flaxseed, honey, or a syrup such as agave or maple. You will find a relevant recipe here.
In its savory version, you can add some cream cheese, which in combination with some vegetables that you should pack along, will make you feel full for longer. Attention: Especially the tortilla with the cream cheese should be kept in a cooler bag. In case it smells more intense or the colour is more yellowish when it’s time to consume it, simply do not take the risk.
An ideal alternative that can be considered a complete meal since it contains sesame seeds, almond slivers, quinoa, hemp seeds, poppy seeds, and eggs. It contains only 93 calories per serving and is definitely something that can be stored for quite some time. Definitely avoid eating these crackers with slices of chicken, turkey, or smoked salmon as they are foods that can be easily spoiled. A few multigrain breadsticks are also an option that you can put on the beach menu; however, you should not overdo it and consume them in moderation!
Mixed vegetable sticks
Cucumbers, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and celery are ideal choices for a beach snack. Not only will they give you few calories and a lot of fiber, but at the same time they will hydrate your body - due to their good water content - and they will provide you with many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Moreover, you should keep in mind that carrots are rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that seems to benefit our skin and eye health and reduce chronic diseases such as cardiovascular ones. You could even combine it with the above breadsticks to make a complete snack.
Believe me, these muffins will impress you with their flavors, but they will also fill you up. They contain almond flour, quinoa flour, plums, soy milk, and eggs; foods perfect for a more nutrient-rich muffin. This alternative can be surely stored for a little longer, while -due to the fiber it contains- it will fill you up as you enjoy your muffin!
Watermelon is a classic summer fruit that we love very much here in Greece. In fact, most of the time we combine it with feta cheese and this alternative is also very nutrient-rich, very filling, and very refreshing! Would you like it if instead of feta, you tried watermelon with nuts? The feta cheese -as you understand- will be quite difficult to store, so simply by combining watermelon with nuts, you can have the complete snack you want. It is also ideal to cut the watermelon on the beach!
I think that all these alternatives will help you eat healthier meals on the beach - avoiding foods high in fats and sugars- and they will inspire you for new recipes! All I ask from you is to send me photos of your creations!
Have a wonderful summer,
This article was written in collaboration with the Sports Nutritionist Anna Maria Volanaki, MSc, BDA, SENr.
* The website akispetretzikis.com offers as a service a variety of blogs and articles, based on scientific sources. All the articles are provided as general information and no text should be used as a substitute for advice from a physician or another health scientist, regardless of the date it has been published.