Even though we are lucky to be able to enjoy a swim at any time of year in the Cayman Islands, June is the official start of summer. Humidity turns up a notch (or two) and time at the beach or pool requires a bit more planning to be sure we stay hydrated and have enough satisfying snacks to get through the day.
Don’t waste a minute away from the sun; instead, pack a few delicious foods and refreshing drinks to bring along for the fun.
Here are some of my top favourites for the beach or pool:
Frozen green grapes — Roll green grapes (seedless are ideal) in some white granulated sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. Freeze whole clusters overnight. These are great as an alternative to ice cubes for any drink.
Beach brownies — Cut your favourite brownies into small squares and freeze overnight. Top them with a thin layer of peanut butter or whipped marshmallow before serving.
Cheesecake — Slice cheesecake into small pieces and then freeze overnight. Put sliced fresh strawberries on top before serving.
Watermelon skewers — Cut seedless watermelon into small cubes and mix with feta cheese cubes and chopped fresh mint. Chill at least two hours then sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne pepper right before serving.
Hummus poppers — Split baby sweet coloured peppers in half and stuff with hummus, then top with lemon zest, smoked paprika and sea salt.
Pizza — Yesterday’s pizza makes for a great snack today!
Sandwich roll — For those craving a sandwich but don’t want the extra carbs, roll veggies, tomatoes, cheese or shaved cold cuts in green leaf lettuce leaves.
Peanut butter and Nutella — Layer peanut butter, then a thin layer of Nutella on salted crackers.
Iced tea — Add frozen peaches and fresh rosemary to your favourite iced tea; either drink or freeze in a popsicle mould for a refreshing treat.
Chilled espresso — Brew espresso, refrigerate overnight, add sugar to taste (optional) and drink super cold.
Berry-mango smoothie — Blend mangoes, berries and coconut milk with ice and a few mint leaves.
Shandy — Add either ginger ale or ginger beer and fresh-squeezed lemons to your favourite chilled beer.
Now … get out there and make some new friends! Remember to respect our beaches and community pool areas.
Massimo De Francesca is the executive chef of Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa.