The Okanagan sun is hot in July and August. When we reach the height of summer, the last thing most locals want to do is cook a big meal in front of a hot stove. This is where shopping at your local food market comes in handy. Instead of boiling water for pasta or turning on the oven for lasagne, pick up more fruits and vegetables for dinner. Trust us. To help you keep your cooking cool this summer, we’ve compiled a few of our favourite tips.
Living in the Okanagan makes locals privy to some of the freshest produce around. This means that heat-less dishes can be better here than in other places. Leave the oven off and head to your local food market for local produce. Think salads and chilled soups. You can even experiment with zucchini noodles to make a fresh, refreshing plate of pasta.
For the sweet tooth in your life, make desserts that don’t need to be baked. There are so many no-bake options available that you may never bake another dessert again. We recommend items like fresh local berries and cream, ice cream cake, no-bake cheesecake, and smoothie popsicles. Get creative and see what you can come up with.
Does one of your favourite no-bake desserts contain fresh, in-season strawberries? Check out our previous post for some fun facts about that much-loved local berry: Local Food Stores Feature: BC Grown Summer Strawberries.
If you prefer meals that require the use of heat, no sweat. Literally. You can still keep the house cool without compromising your meal too much. Use a rice cooker for rice instead of a pot on the stove, a BBQ for proteins, and thin, quick-cooking pastas instead of big thick noodles that take longer to cook. By limiting the amount of heat you generate in the kitchen, you can stay cooler when the sun has other plans.
If the meal you’ve been craving is a multi-step, multi-cooking method ordeal, double or triple the batch. You can either freeze the extra portions or tuck them in the fridge for your next meal. Either way, the reheating process will be minimal and limit the amount of days you spend sweating away in front of your kitchen appliances.
Utilize your countertop appliances this summer. They generate way less heat than their counterparts and can cook up your meals just as efficiently. The next time you’re getting ready to head out grocery shopping, take a few minutes to do a little meal planning first. Pick up produce that goes well in slow cookers, blenders, or even waffle makers.
If you prefer shopping at local food markets that offer some of the best produce grown right here in the Okanagan, check out Mike’s Produce. We are one of the leading Kelowna grocery stores for local, fresh produce, and we take the time to hand pick each item we put out so you don’t have to.