Food Choices And Kitchen Habits Can Help Cool You Off Says LSU AgCenter Nutritionist

Elizabeth S. Reames  |  7/29/2005 3:02:03 AM

News You Can Use For August 2005

Cooking on a hot summer day may seem unbearable. Even with air conditioning, you may not want to heat up the kitchen by turning on the oven. LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames offers "cool" strategies.

"Salads and sandwiches are wonderful hot-weather dishes to help you keep cool," Reames says, noting, "Fruits, raw vegetables, chilled meats or cheeses can be combined with whole-grain breads or crackers to provide a tasty, refreshing meal. Serve with lemonade or iced tea with mint."

The nutritionist also offers some personal habits to help you stay cool:

• Dress cool. Wear natural fabrics like cotton. Loose-fitting clothes are cooler, but avoid the flowing sleeves. Even though it’s cooler to go barefoot or wear sandals, wear closed shoes for safe cooking.

• Organize your kitchen so it’s free of clutter. The more spacious your kitchen is, the cooler you’ll feel.

• Consider installing a kitchen ceiling fan. It not only helps to circulate cool air as you cook but is also an attractive addition to your decor.

• Select plates and glassware in cool colors such as blue or green. Use on woven or straw place mats instead of a tablecloth.

• Instead of turning on the stove and oven, cook vegetables, potatoes and meats in the microwave. Slice rolls and breads, and brown in a toaster or toaster oven instead of in the oven.

• Make extra when you’re cooking so you’ll have leftovers to heat and serve.

• Use convenience foods, so you won’t have to start from scratch.

• Keep a frosty glass of ice water on the kitchen counter and sip often. Your need for fluids increases in hot weather.

For information about eating healthfully, contact the Extension home economist in your parish. For information on related family and consumer topics, click on the Family and Home link on the LSU AgCenter homepage, at www.lsuagcenter.com.

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On the Internet: LSU AgCenter: www.lsuagcenter.com

Source: Beth Reames (225) 578-3929, or breames@agcenter.lsu

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