As we wait for summer to arrive, we breathe in that holiday mood, which increases the desire for trips out and outdoor activities. The ‘swimming costume test’ is near, so even for the laziest people it is the right time to resume sporting activities, such as pleasant walks or cycling.
Often, while immersed in this type of activity, it is a good idea to stop for a break from time to time, a pleasant opportunity to refresh oneself and recover the energy spent in physical activity, perhaps with a tasty sandwich. As Dr Erminia Ebner, nutritionist biologist, points out, an idea for a nutritious ‘break’ could be a sandwich (preferably wholemeal or cereal) with two or three slices of bresaola and fresh spinach, dressed with a citrus sauce. “The combination of these ingredients balances the main nutrients that should make up every meal: the complex carbohydrates and fibre of bread, the noble proteins of bresaola, the ‘good’ fats of extra virgin olive oil, minerals and vitamins. The only thing missing is a portion of fresh fruit in season: two or three kiwis add vitamin C, which then helps the absorption of the iron contained in both bresaola and spinach’.
The activity that perhaps most of all represents the ideal combination of outdoor sport and spring trips is trekking. Trekking in Italy is a unique experience because of the breathtaking views and the many extraordinary trails along the boot, from the Alps to Sicily.
Each path is a continuous discovery among landscapes that in this period offer incredible colours, places linked to the history of Italy, and new flavours to be tasted perhaps during a nice typical lunch in a chalet or farmhouse. Trekking, in fact, also gives the opportunity to appreciate the countless traditional recipes of the Mediterranean Diet. Among those that involve the use of a cured meat, there are many that have their roots in local and regional culture, with numerous variations or small variations. You will discover that popular wisdom has over time created real treasures of incredible balance and nutritional value. If you are in the Veneto region, a recipe to try is Risi e Bisi, a thick soup made with vialone nano rice, fresh peas, pancetta and parmesan cheese. Excellent in spring, when these legumes are in season. Also recommended by Dr Ebner at the end of the meal is an apple.
If, on the other hand, you are in Lazio, we recommend Vignarola alla romana, a dish cooked with all the spring vegetables such as broad beans, peas, artichokes, Roman lettuce and a few mint leaves. The salami that characterises it could only be guanciale. This delicacy can be served with a slice of toasted bread or used as an excellent topping for pasta and risottos, but it is also a tasty filling for a savoury doughnut. A nice handful of cherries rounds off the meal.
Summer is approaching, therefore: an active lifestyle and a balanced diet are the pass to enjoy it at its best, expert’s word!