Are You and Your Cooler Ready for Warmer Weather?

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

During the warm summer months, I am always on the go. Whether that means that I’m sitting on the sidelines of some athletic field, watching my boys playing whichever sport is in season, or heading to a friend’s house for a girl’s night potluck, don’t fret about the safety of your food! Two things are very important when transporting foods that must be kept cold. First, packing a cooler properly is one of the best ways to assure foods stay cold. Secondly, choose to take foods that travel well in a cooler. These three easy recipes can be prepared at home; then store them in your cooler to take on the road, to a party, to the park, or wherever your travels take you. 

First, let’s consider how to make sure foods stay cold enough in a cooler. A good rule of thumb for keeping perishable food safe in a cooler is to add ice to a cooler so that the ice takes up about one-third of the cooler's volume. The night before I intend to take food somewhere in a cooler, I fill three one-gallon zipper-lock bags with ice and store them in my refrigerator's freezer. When it comes time to load my cooler, I distribute the ice bags among the food and bottled water to avoid creating a warmer zone at the top of the cooler.

If you don’t like the possibility of cooler water seeping into your food, you can always just pack your food in containers that won’t take on water no matter what. After doing a decent amount of research, (including testing some other supposedly “leak proof” options) I keep foods dry and safe from cross contamination by placing them in airtight bags or sealed plastic containers. Have you found a good, reliable leak-proof food storage container for your cooler foods? Let me know in the comments if you’ve found a container brand that works well.

Now, let’s talk about foods that travel well in a cooler. If you want to ditch the basic deli meat and cheese sandwich, this easy-to-make wrap is a great option for you! 

Barista Grilled Chicken Wrap --

Think of salads when you plan foods that travel well in your cooler. They make a big difference and are a nice change from chips or other sides. I like to make a pasta salad. It’s heartier than a salad containing only veggies and travels super in a cooler.

Cold Spaghetti Cucumber Pasta Salad --

These dessert pastries not only taste delicious, but they are also beautiful! And, of course, when properly packaged, they travel well in the cooler.

Apple & Fig Rose Pastry --

The warm weather will be here before we know it, so get out your cooler, and get it spic and span. Then, load it up with amazing foods to share with friends and family!


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