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Food Matters

The Coolest Recipes to Beat the Summer Heat

Submitted by Edmonton Public Library

Written by Caroline Land

Weather forecasters are predicting a hot summer in Edmonton. Looking for ways to beat the heat? Check out EPL's collection of cookbooks for desserts that can help keep you cool all summer long. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! These are perennial favourites and go down easy on hot summer days:

Icebox Desserts Go beyond ice cream with these ideas for cool parfaits, mousses, puddings, and more. I bet your grandparents' iceboxes never looked like this!


People's Pops Think that popsicles are just for kids? Think again! Check out some of New York City's hottest pops in this book from Brooklyn's People's Pops.


Pops! Do you like your pops chocolatey? Maybe fruit-flavoured pops are more your thing. Pops! promises icy treats for everyone, no matter what your taste preferences are.


Paletas Add a Mexican twist to your popsicles and treats with this book of recipes for paletas and other icy delights.


The Vegan Scoop Looking for a vegan alternative to ice cream? Try The Vegan Scoop for some ideas!


After you've eaten your ice cream and you need a break from the sun, drop by any of our air conditioned locations to check out even more books and cool off for even for longer!

For the full article and more information about EPL, please visit:

What’s on the Menu? Camping, Culinary-Style!

August 2nd, 2016

By: Sandy Schaloske

In a moment of solace, in a time during my life when I had preschool aged children, I was able to pick up a magazine and read it--not just dust around it. I was horrified, however, to read about the ingredients that go into a hot dog. "Oh no," I thought. "What does that do to our camping menu?" If I were to subscribe to the idea of everything in moderation, then the occasional hot dog around the campfire during the summer would be just fine. There are enough healthier choices in the grocery stores these days that provide alternatives, however, so if you’re planning a lengthy camping trip, here are some great ideas.

Keep up energy levels for hiking and playing, with yummy snacks. Some easy and nutritious choices are granola bars, apples and oranges—these are great because they keep in the car or the cooler and don’t squish easily. Dry cereal, dried fruit, cheese strings, rice cakes, graham wafers, and fruit cups are also great choices. Juice boxes are a good option for drinks, as they can be frozen and used to keep other perishables cold in the cooler.

Breakfasts can be quick and easy with home-made muffins and pre-made oatmeal mix. Home-prepared is better because you can increase the fibre and control the amount of sugar and salt, and more importantly, the additives. If you are feeling more creative, pancake mix can be put together as a dry mixture, and then add water. The batter can then be squeezed out of a Ziplock bag to form perfect pancakes. Instead of syrup, use fruit cups or yogurt for toppings, or you can mix up some wonderful fruit dip. Egg whites come in re-sealable cartons that are great for avoiding breakage of whole eggs. Stir in your favourite dip mix (instead of packing individual spices) and some cheese string for a scrambled eggs treat. Bagels are great as well; mix up your own flavoured cream cheese using a low-additive fruit dip mix.

Lunch can go beyond hot dogs if you like. Home-made soup prepared with low-sodium bouillon and lots of barley and chopped vegetables is a favourite. Freeze in portioned containers and place in the cooler to help keep other perishables cold; just remove and cook when ready. Bagel sandwiches with peanut butter or roasted chicken are popular. Wraps can be filled with lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers along with some mix-as-you-need-it salad dressing for a vegetarian lunch. Keep perishable vegetables at the top of the cooler and use them during the first couple of days camping.  Grilled cheese sandwiches make a great lunch, especially when you serve them with a simple home-made tomato soup for dipping. Hummus and pitas are great as well, and don’t forget the carrot sticks and low-calorie favourite dips!

Supper can be a specialty every night! Chicken and veggie kabobs are easy and can be cooked on a small grill. Spaghetti and meat sauce is a favourite in my family.  You can put the pasta on to cook while the meat is being browned. Packing the frozen meat in the cooler is another way to keep the cooler contents cold. A dried pasta sauce mix, added with low-sodium canned tomatoes and then a little parmesan cheese in a small container, is a special topper. Canned beans are a great quick protein; serve with crusty buns and some turkey sausage. A quick curry dish can be whipped up with some mango, meat or tofu of choice, coconut milk, and 2 teaspoons of a fine curry seasoning.

Some wonderful ideas for seasonal dessert favourites are watermelon, pineapple, and of course, smores over the fire!  Pudding can be whipped up quickly and served with graham crackers. A bucket of homemade cookies filled with oats, nuts, and chocolate chips are always gobbled up.

That’s one full car-load of food, but it beats a daily hot dog by a long shot.  Have your family give you that extra hug for prepping healthy, delicious meals in advance!  You can then hug them back for helping you mix dip, chop veggies, and roll cookies into balls.

If you’re looking for low-additive fruit dip and vegetable dips, low sodium bouillon mix, hummus mix, mix-as-you-need-it salad dressings, dried pasta sauce mixes, fine curry seasoning, taco seasonings, Belgian chocolate chips and other culinary help, contact Sandy Schaloske, Epicure Selections Independent Consultant at (780) 425-2791 or

Tags: food, kids

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