If you are caring for an elder loved one, nutrition is likely one of your biggest concerns. There are many factors that lead to a senior’s nutritional needs being met. Loss of appetite due to medications, chronic illness, or changes in bowel habits can create challenges. Your loved one may also have lost interest in preparing meals, or may not be able to use kitchen appliances or utensils such as knives safely. Summertime in the valley of the sun is another reason for loss of appetite, as the increased temperatures diminish appetite and also drive us all out of the kitchen and away from a hot stove.
Nightingale Homecare, the top rated Arizona home care agency, wants to help! We’ve compiled several of our favorite simple, delicious, healthy summer recipes. Enjoy!
- Breakfast Parfaits
Granola, yogurt and favorite fruit: blueberries, bananas, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, etc.
Layer equal portions in a parfait glass.
You can drizzle with maple syrup, cream or top with whipped cream!
Unless you are using bananas, these can be prepared in advance. Just cover and refrigerate.
- Tapas Plate with Marinated Chickpeas
This simple dish offered by realsimple.com is a great summertime option that can be made and plated in advance for your loved one to just pull from the fridge.
15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
½ cup raisins
¼ cup chopped roasted red peppers
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 scallions, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
½ pound Manchego cheese, sliced
¼ pound thinly sliced Serrano ham or prosciutto
½ cup mixed olives
½ small loaf country bread
In a medium bowl, combine the chickpeas, raisins, roasted peppers, parsley, scallions, oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Serve with the cheese, ham, olives, and bread.
- Zucchini Lasagna with Farmer Cheese
Martha Stewart offers this no cooking required recipe for “lasagna” made of garden-fresh zucchini and tomatoes, layered with creamy farmer cheese and basil leaves.
Salt and pepper
Season farmer’s cheese with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Layer 2 strips zucchini with cheese, sliced tomatoes, and basil. Repeat; top with zucchini. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with salt, pepper and basil.
- Mini Frozen Key Lime Pies
Epicurious offers this summertime favorite no-bake dessert. These mini pies can be prepared weeks in advance and frozen for your loved one to remove from the freezer when he or wants a sweet treat!
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (from about 8 crackers)
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3 tablespoons finely grated key lime zest, divided
1/3 cup fresh key lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Melt butter and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat or in a microwave-safe bowl. Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until fine crumbs form. With the motor running, drizzle in butter-honey mixture and process until well combined. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl; set aside.
Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat cream cheese in a large bowl until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add condensed milk and beat until smooth. Add key lime juice and lemon juice and beat to combine. Beat in 2 tbsp. key lime zest.
Using a whisk or electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip cream in another medium bowl to very soft peaks. Sprinkle powdered sugar over cream and continue to whip until it holds stiff peaks. Gently fold ½ cup cream into key lime mixture; cover remaining cream and chill.
Line muffin pan with paper liners. Pour key lime mixture into a pastry bag or plastic bag with the corner snipped off and pipe batter evenly into tins. Top each with 1 ½ tbsp. cracker crumb mixture, breaking up crumbs to completely cover, then press down gently to adhere. Freeze until set, at least 3 hours.
Remove pies from molds, turn upside down, and remove paper liners. Spread reserved cream over pies and top with remaining 1 tbsp. key lime zest.
Even though it takes a little more planning to prepare these and other healthy summer recipes for your senior loved one, it’s nice to enjoy the flavors of the season and take a cooking break! And Nightingale Homecare is on hand to help in a variety of ways: picking up groceries, preparing and serving nutritious meals, and even cleaning up the kitchen afterwards, just to name a few. Call on the top rated Arizona home care agency, Nightingale Homecare, at (602) 504-1555 to learn more!