The only thing that makes a pool day better is having the perfect snacks (okay, and maybe some food-shaped pool floats).
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, guys! The weather is warm but not way too hot, and you have enough time off accrued to afford a do-nothing day at home. You just can’t wait to put on your swimsuit and work on your tan by the pool. With the weather as perfect as it is and the right music going, the only thing you’re missing is the ideal poolside snack. On a do-nothing day, you don’t want to be running back and forth to the store or wasting time cooking complex meals.
Luckily, Chowhound is the home of the tastiest quick, easy, and light snacks perfect for a day spent beside the pool. You can make these the night before your lazy day and enjoy munching all day long!
Hummus is a healthy and refreshing snack, so I rarely ever feel guilty finishing an entire box of crackers when it’s accompanied by chickpea dip. This red pepper hummus only takes 15 minutes to make, and it gives traditional hummus a bit of extra flavor. The sweetness and spice are perfectly subtle and go great with pita, veggies, and chips, so make sure you make enough to last you the whole day. Get our Red Pepper Hummus recipe.
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When I’m snacking, I always go for something salty. The problem with that is that I often feel guilty after eating a bag of chips just to get my salt fix. However, these sweet potato chips are a healthier alternative to regular potato chips, with all the flavor of a rich sweet potato. They’re also a perfect addition if you’re planning on making that red pepper hummus listed above. If you’re a salty snacker like me, just be sure to drink plenty of water. We wouldn’t want you to dehydrate out in the sun all day. Get our Sweet Potato Chips recipe.
This is your day off, and you deserve better than just the standard trail mix. Three different kinds of nuts in this gourmet gorp will keep you fueled with protein all day long; dried cherries and blueberries sweeten up this treat; and chocolate and coconut make for added flavors that blend so perfectly with the fruit and nuts. My only tip is to watch how much chocolate you put in. If it’s overwhelmingly hot out and you’re sitting directly in the sun, you may have a bit of a melting problem. Get our Gourmet Trail Mix recipe.
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These extra-thick, freezer-safe storage bags are a great eco-friendly way to take your trail mix on the go.
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Why spend the time making a salad or going out to pick one up when you can just eat it as an easy dip? This Cobb salad dip is light, refreshing, and goes great with celery sticks. The recipe suggests starting this the night before in order to give your ingredients time to sit, and then throwing in the dry ingredients the next morning. While this is something you could make in 15 minutes, I definitely recommend following the recipe’s advice. The more the flavors sit with each other, the better the taste (and the quicker you can get to the pool in the morning). Get our Cobb Salad Dip recipe.
It’s a waste of a poolside day if you don’t get your drink on! Now that watermelon is back in season, stock up and use them to your advantage. These watermelon pops are soaked in vodka and Chambord (quite possibly my favorite liquors), and the vanilla bean will really bring the sweetness of this snack to the next level. Get our Vodka Watermelon Pops recipe.
I always love a good cucumber salad, especially in the summer. Cucumbers are cool and light, perfect for when it’s hot out. And watermelon isn’t the only fruit coming back in season. Melons like cantaloupe and honeydew will start making themselves known in tons of recipes this summer, including this refreshing salad. The slight acid from the cucumber, sweetness from the honeydew, and savory feta cheese make for the perfect poolside lunch…and dinner. Get our Melon and Cucumber Salad recipe.
Related Reading: 11 Chunky Summer Salads Sans Lettuce
When you were a kid, there was nothing better than getting out of the pool to a freshly made PB&J. You’d eat it while you were still dripping wet, and then jump right back into the water. I think these peanut butter and jelly fritters are the perfect poolside snack to stir up a bit of nostalgia. Get our PB&J Fritters recipe.
Cashews are a great snack year-round, but the herbs in the ranch powder in this recipe give the cashews a fresh, summery kick. And if you’re not big on cashews, the powder can work sprinkled on pita chips, potato chips, or even microwave popcorn instead. Get our Tangy Ranch Cashews recipe.
With a name like “Summer Berry Salad,” need I say more? This salad is chock-full of all the fruits you’ve missed in the winter months (such as strawberries and blackberries), and the citrusy syrup and mint leaves on top make for a fresh and crisp dish that tastes just like summer in a bowl. Get our Summer Berry Fruit Salad recipe.
Related Reading: How to Make Fruit Salad That Doesn’t Suck
Let’s face it, pineapples make any summer dish a hundred times better. So add it to the fresh cucumbers, savory avocados, and spicy jalapeños in this guacamole, and you’ve got yourself a go-to summer dish for partying or chilling poolside. And the best thing about this guac is that you could eat it with anything. I’d put it on a piece of toast and hit the pool first thing in the morning, then dip chips all day long—but if you’re cooking out, try it on grilled fish too. Get our Pineapple and Cucumber Guacamole recipe.
This takes a while to make, so I’d definitely do it a full day or so before you plan to spend an afternoon beside the pool. In my opinion, having your own summery homemade candy is worth a little extra effort. This soft and chewy candy is made with real summer fruits and tastes like gumdrops. You won’t be able to eat them fast enough while you’re soaking up the sun. And don’t think you’re just limited to grapefruits—any citrus fruit should work just as well. Get our Grapefruit Pate de Fruit Candy recipe.