June 15, 2023

Summer Snacking Packed with Protein

President's Blog
Margaret Hudson
President, Burnbrae Farms
4th Generation Farmer

As I type this blog, it's very hot outside, and it's just the way I like it! There's a warm breeze in the evening, which makes it the best time to walk my dog, just before the sun goes down. Although, the other week I took her out after the sun went down and we encountered a skunk! Tomato juice to the rescue!!! I find that my kids and I are always more active in the summer, since there are so many fun outdoor activities to do. These days, we enjoy biking in the countryside, walking around the farm, exploring trails in nearby parks and swimming in the mighty St. Lawrence River.

When we're not outside, we seem to be in the kitchen! All of that activity builds up hearty appetites, and we've been enjoying family meals with nourishing snacks in-between. My idea of a perfect summer snack has to check two important boxes: it needs to contain protein, and it needs to have fluids to ensure we all stay well-hydrated.

My dietitian told me that it's important to enjoy protein after activity in order to make up for any muscle breakdown. So, I prepare snacks that contain eggs, Greek yogurt, cheese, peanut butter or other protein-rich foods that my family enjoys. We either pair the protein snack with a glass of water or we include fluid right in the snack - such as when we make nutritious homemade ice pops or smoothies.

Water is crucial every day, but it's especially important on days when we lose more sweat due to heat or vigorous exercise. Either way, we need to replace fluid that's lost through sweat, and water is the simplest way to do that. My dietitian also told me that drinks aren't the only way to stay hydrated since there's also fluid in many foods, including eggs, fruit and vegetables. Watermelon, cucumber, oranges and peaches are super-juicy and refreshing, and also help us stay hydrated during hot summer days. They are definitely on our summer snack list. We also use pasteurized liquid eggs in our ice pops and smoothies, which add both protein and fluids.

You may be wondering about using raw egg whites in smoothies. Since Naturegg Simply Egg Whites is pasteurized, it can be consumed right from the container. We've made it even easier to get protein from eggs - no cooking required. Each 1/3 cup serving contains 10g protein from egg whites. In our kitchen, we also use Naturegg Simply Egg Whites to add protein to ice pops and ice cream.

I'm so excited to share some high-protein, hydrating summer snack recipes with you:

Banana Berry Smoothie : Strawberries and bananas are blended to perfection and matched with egg whites for protein and fluid. You can also add a scoop of protein powder for an extra boost. More fluid is provided by coconut water, which adds important electrolytes such as potassium, which is lost through sweat on hot days.

Protein Power Smoothie : This drink features Greek yogurt and Naturegg Simply Egg Whites for a double hit of powerful protein. The flavour comes from blueberries and ripe bananas, which also add potassium.

Cocoa Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie : This delicious blend tastes like a peanut butter cup in a tall, cool glass! The fluid mostly comes from water (ice), and the protein comes from peanut butter and Naturegg Simply Egg Whites.

I use this recipe for Shaker Lemonade and add it to ice pop molds for perfectly sweet and tangy lemonade ice pops. After a few hours in the freezer, my kids and I enjoy these tart-sweet treats that are hydrating and contain protein from the pasteurized liquid eggs.

Sometimes, we make extra portions of the cocoa peanut butter and banana smoothie and add that to our ice pop molds. The result is a silky-smooth fudgy ice pop with a hint of peanut butter. Delicious!

Hope you are enjoying the summer like we are. It will soon be fall and back into sweaters and comfort food, so get outside while you still can!

Margaret Hudson,
President and CEO, Burnbrae Farms