Published By: Sanjukta

Summer cooking: Tips to make it less miserable

Just the thought making lunch in summer making you sweat more? Yeah same.

Ah, the sweet arrival of summer brings with it the promise of backyard barbecues, refreshing ice cream sundaes, and sipping on ice-cold lemonade. But amidst the joys of summer cooking, there's often a flip side to the coin. With scorching heat waves becoming more common during the summer, finding ways to stay cool while cooking becomes crucial. While no-cook recipes are often the go-to solution, sometimes you just crave something cooked. Tight food budgets, ravenous children raiding the fridge, and the temptation of quick, convenient meals that sacrifice nutrition can leave even the most seasoned summer cook feeling frazzled. But with the right attitude and simple tricks, you can enjoy a delicious cooked meal without turning your home into a sauna.

Kitchen gadgets to the rescue

Say goodbye to sweating over a hot oven by making the most of your kitchen gadgets. Dust off that rice steamer for perfectly fluffy rice without breaking a sweat. Let your slow-cooker do the heavy lifting with a batch of spicy chili while you soak up the sun. And of course, no summer would be complete without firing up the braai for some mouthwatering chops in the garden.

Stock fridge with cold desserts

When the thought of turning on the oven sends shivers down your spine, turn to refrigerator desserts for a sweet solution. From fresh fruit trifles to no-bake cheesecakes and ice cream terrines, these cool treats offer a delicious respite from the summer heat. And for those few varieties that require a brief oven stint for a cookie crust, trust us, the heavenly aroma is well worth it.

Time to fully utilize smart kitchen gadgets

Say goodbye to oven-induced heat waves by utilizing smart kitchen gadgets like air fryers, slow cookers, Instant Pots, or even your trusty microwave. Air fryers are particularly praised for their ability to mimic oven-quality results without turning your kitchen into a sauna.

You cannot forget hydrating

Beat the summer heat with refreshing beverages that won't break the bank or expand your waistline. Stock your freezer with gel coolers to chill jugs of iced decaffeinated tea or fruit juice, or consider personalized plastic water bottles for each family member to encourage hydration on the go.

Cook in batches, less time spent in kitchen 

Maximize efficiency by cooking in large batches, whether it's pasta, rice, or proteins. This way, you'll have plenty of leftovers to enjoy throughout the week, reducing the need for cooking on scorching hot days.

Fast food, but at home

Who says fast food has to come from a drive-thru window? Get creative in the kitchen and whip up your own versions of fast-food favorites like chicken nuggets, pizzas, breakfast sandwiches, and taco fillings. Pop them in the freezer for quick and easy meals that will save you both time and money.

Fast cooking protein to the rescue

Opt for protein sources that cook up in a flash, like thin cuts of chicken or seafood. Slicing or cubing your protein further speeds up the cooking process, ensuring you spend less time over a hot stove.

Precooked proteins is great for hassle free meals

Take the hassle out of cooking by using precooked proteins such as rotisserie meat or canned seafood. Simply add them to salads, sandwiches, or other dishes for a quick and easy meal without any additional cooking required.