Keep these summer food hacks in your back pocket all summer long. Learn everything from how to pick the best produce, to how to keep it fresh, to the latest grilling tips and tricks that are sure to score big points your next backyard BBQ.
1. Keep it Fresh
There’s nothing better than fresh summer produce. Find out how to make the most out of your berries, fruit, and veg.
Keep Berries Fresh for Longer
Keep your summer berries fresh longer by giving them a quick bath in a vinegar and water solution as soon as you get them home. Dry them and place them in a clean container lined with paper towels. The vinegar will help kill any mold that could cause spoilage, keeping the berries fresh for up to 10 days.
Storing Corn for Optimal Freshness
The sweetness of fresh corn on the cob comes from all the natural sugars in the summer vegetable. But as the corn ages, that sugar slowly turns to starch, so it is best to prepare and eat it soon after purchase. But if you can't, don't worry! You can make it last longer by taking it out of the plastic bag, leaving the husk on, and putting it in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Make Stone Fruit Last
There's nothing like fresh stone fruit on a hot summer day. If you want them to last as long as possible, for optimal freshness, store ripe, unwashed stone fruit in a paper bag to extend their shelf life by three to five days.
2. All-Star Grilling Tips
Master the grill with these all-star tips from our experts.
Grilling Turkey Thoroughly
We get it, sometimes it can be hard to tell when a burger is done grilling, especially when it comes to poultry. Turkey burgers are white meat, so they don't get as brown as a classic beef burger. Your best bet is to use a meat thermometer to check if it's cooked through. Canada Health recommends an internal temperature of 74°C (165°F).
The Ultimate Steak Technique
Getting the perfect juicy steak every time is all in the wrist. Frequent flipping of steaks during grilling will result in even cooking and avoid overcooking. So, grab those tongs for the ultimate juicy, tender steak!
Grilling beef burgers
When grilling, you want patties that have shrunk slightly in size and surfaces are evenly browned. Tip: Pressing down on patties can squeeze out the moisture, making the cooked burgers drier. Keep that spatula on flipping duty only!
3. More Ways to Use Your Grill
Think outside the box this summer, and use your grill for sweet desserts, making an authentic pizza, or add some char to your salad.
Finish Your Meal with Grilled Sweets
The grill isn't just for your main course. Fire up your grill for delicious desserts like fruit skewers with habanero caramel sauce or grilled pound cake with fresh fruit and whipped cream.
Pizza Night with a Twist
Take your pizza night to the next level this summer with grilled pizza. Your family will love this recipe for a delicious tomato and green pesto pizza.
Grill Your Salad!
Add some char to your greens with a grilled Caesar salad. The richness of the Caesar dressing paired with the smoky flavor of the barbecue gives this classic side a twist.
4. Make the Perfect Skewer
Summer means getting those kabobs on the barbecue! Find out how to make the perfect skewer with these tips.
Start with a good base
If you’re not using bamboo or steel, a firm-stalked herb will do the trick, and it will boost your flavours. Try rosemary for a sturdy skewer, all you have to do is pluck the majority of the sprig clean and skewer your marinated meat pieces and grill! You can always keep a few sprigs of rosemary on the sprig for a picture-perfect finish.
Grillin’ Shrimp Skewer Perfection
Fire up your grill for succulent shrimp ready for any backyard gathering. Shrimp cooked over dry heat, like on the grill, is much more forgiving than when cooked in liquids. Cook until you get that golden edge for a beautifully cooked shrimp. Find more grilling tips in our summer grilling guide.
Delicious dip hack
Get creative with Compliments yogurt cups! Mix any two dips – strawberry, blueberry, or raspberry – for a fruity dip that pairs perfectly with our Kitchen Dept. Grab ‘n’ Go fruit skewers for a delectable fruit kebab that will have everyone coming back for seconds.
5. Preserve fresh produce
Fresh produce is one of the many benefits of summer in Canada. Follow these tips to get the most out of your local fresh veggies and herbs.
Extend the life of your red peppers
Versatile in nature, sweet red peppers are perfect for sauces, dips, marinades and more. Preserving them by roasting them in batches not only extends their shelf life, but also makes them the perfect addition to burgers and sandwiches. All you have to do is clean them, broil them, and put them in a jar with plenty of olive oil. They'll keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Transform fresh mint to an easy pesto
A great way to make your fresh mint last longer is to make a mint pesto. Toss it with parsley, walnut pieces, lemon juice, and a single clove of garlic. It will add freshness to your grilled veggies, potatoes, avocado toast, pasta salads, and even lamb!
Preserving fresh basil
The best way to preserve fresh basil is to run it through your food processor. Coarsely chopped, preserved basil is the perfect addition to pasta dishes, grilled cheese sandwiches, and vinaigrettes.
6. Use up Fresh Produce
Don’t throw away any of your summer produce that has gone soft. Learn about inventive ways to use up your fresh produce and reduce your household food waste.
Use up soft peaches
Soft peaches are a great way to get creative in the kitchen. Mix them with ginger ale for a fresh peach Bellini, or even add them to your morning smoothies.
Make good use of soft strawberries
Vinegar and strawberries are the quintessential summer pairing and combine beautifully as a simple vinaigrette. To make: In blender, add 1 cup (250 mL) fresh strawberries, ¼ cup (60 mL) white vinegar, ¼ cup (60 mL) oil, 1 tbsp (15 mL) grainy Dijon mustard, 1 clove garlic, and salt and pepper to taste; blitz until smooth. Store any remaining mixture in the fridge.
Revitalize your cucumbers
Turn your cucumbers into a quick, crunchy snack by pickling them! Perfect on a burger or as a quick savory appetizer, revitalizing your cucumbers never tasted so good. To make: In saucepan over medium heat, mix 1½ cups (375 mL) water, ½ cup (125 mL) granulated sugar, ¼ cup (60 mL) white vinegar and 2 tbsp (30 mL) kosher salt. Let simmer just until sugar and salt are dissolved. While mixture is hot, add 1 cucumber sliced into rounds. Cover and let steep for 30 min. to 1 hr. Discard brine. Chill before eating, if desired.