Tracking the trends of the modern food world can be daunting, but thankfully you guys have us. Here’s the DL on all things trendy in food this summer.
Water makes up more than 60 percent of the human body, making it downright necessary for our survival. One of water’s many functions in our body is to regulate temperature and with the heat index continuing to climb this summer, it is vital to stay on top of your hydration. Why buy commercially prepared flavored water drinks that are often laden with sugars, additives and chemicals, when you can easily create a variety of all natural, additive-free infused waters at home? Putting fruit and herbs into your water creates a tasty, practically calorie-free beverage that, in addition to keeping you hydrated, may also provide some bonus health benefits like boosting energy and relieving tummy troubles. Some popular infusion favorites include:
- cucumber + mint
- raspberry + lemon
- cantaloupe + honeydew + watermelon + mint
- lemon + lime + orange
- strawberry + orange
- strawberry + basil
- blackberry + jalapeno
Florida is known as the Sunshine State, and we all know it gets really, really hot here during the summer. What better way to cool off than with an ice cold refreshing popsicle? However, most store-bought popsicles are loaded with artificial ingredients, sugar and dyes. The trend right now is handcrafted ice pops bursting with creative and delicious whole food combinations that you will feel good about eating. Luckily, the Jacksonville and St. Augustine areas are no stranger to this growing food trend with companies like Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops, Bold City Pops and Guanabana Artisan Ice Pops. If you haven’t checked these pops out yet, now is the time. For those of you that prefer to stay close to home, pick up a popsicle mold at the grocery or dollar store and fill it with your smoothie leftovers before hitting the freezer for a few hours. The do-it-yourself combinations are endless.
Craft Burgers and Dogs
There is so much more than meat and a bun when it comes to burgers and dogs. Craft burger and dog joints are popping up everywhere. Their menus are designed for adventurous and creative carnivores, but many places are now out to please the herbivores too with a growing list of options including veggie burgers, tofu and carrot dogs, salads and vegetable sides. The variety of toppings and condiments can be overwhelming, but most places have a handful of winning combinations that you can’t go wrong with. Places to check out this summer include: Blind Rabbit, BurgerFi, Col Mustard’s Phat Burgers, Epik Burger, Hoptinger and M Shack. Take this concept home to your next BBQ for an easy way to impress guests. Boost your burger’s nutrition by adding your favorite produce: avocado, tomato, onion, mushroom or peppers.
Eat Your Yard
Another food trend that has been around for awhile, but continues to gain in popularity as more and more people realize and understand the importance of sustainable good food for both their health and the environment, is growing your own food. Whether you live in an apartment or house, there are cheap and easy ways to grow something you can eat. The folks at Fruit Cove Cactus and Foliage, or better known as Eat Your Yard Jax, are no strangers to the benefits of edible landscape. You can find them Saturdays at the Beaches Green Market at Jarboe Park (2 to 5 p.m.). If you are still not convinced that you too can be a small farmer, then check out one of the u-pick farms in our area. Check out www.pickyourown.com for a list of u-pick farms by county.