Maybe you’re busy jetting between vacations and staycations, or maybe you’re sacrificing for the good of the planet by not running an air conditioner: wherever you find yourself this August, it’s likely to be getting a little steamy. Even the most eco-friendly cooling systems can have a limited effect on our internal body temperatures (especially if you’re blessed with a focused but fiery pitta dosha), which introduces an interesting complication to summertime eating and meal prep. I found myself crowned by beads of perspiration one recent Saturday night as I roasted broccoli and a sweet potato at 400 degrees for 40 minutes—required for a (delicious) bowl recipe I’d been craving. While the meal was ultimately a success, I was so hot and tired by the end of it I said no mas to the oven and gave myself a challenge to keep it off for the remainder of the season and opt for no bake recipes instead.
Putting aside the debate over raw diets (which are an obvious solution to the no-cooking problem), finding ways to creatively prepare un- or minimally cooked foods for yourself, friends, and family can drive even the biggest foodie mad. It’s easy fall into a rut of salads and smoothies without the diversity in flavor and texture that cooking techniques like roasting and baking provide plant-based ingredients of all sorts. And for many (like me), a diet of exclusively raw produce can be taxing on the digestive system even when you’re craving something cool and crunchy.
Fear not: Here at PD, we’ve been compiling a slew of options for you to try yourself, or to share with friends and family, that won’t make you any more sweaty than you already are—and may even provide an ounce of cool relief. From breakfast to dessert, drinks to sides, and everything your summertime cravings call for, here’s a comprehensive guide to making this your coolest oven-free, no bake August yet.
No Bake Drinks & Smoothies
Creamy and delicious, an unconventional combo of tahini and cauliflower (!) make this a year-round fav.
Just the right amount of sweet for your morning veggies.
An antioxidant powerhouse.
Heat making you sluggish? This smoothie has a kick of sweet and spicy to get you back in summertime gear.
A mocktail that will *actually* take the edge off with refreshing ingredients like lime and ginger.
No Bake Breakfast Bowls
This one will get you tons of <3s on Instagram—if you can remember to snap a pic before you dive in spoon-first.
Say what? Yes, this breakfast staple just got a cruciferous makeover
A gateway to chia pudding for the skeptics among us—disguised as pink lemonade in a jar.
A tropical and energizing way to start your day with endless topping options.
A classic twist on overnight oats, direct from the Swiss Alps to your table.
No Bake Salads
A Mediterranean fave that gets better the longer it lasts—if it lasts, that is.
Deconstructed sushi means more veggies, less bloat, same flavor.
Delight your fellow vegan party-goers with a classic they can actually eat!
Hydrating and colorful (tip: opt to cook your beets stove-top per the original or go raw)
A little bit bitter, a little bit crunchy, all satisfying in a mix of late-summer ingredients (tip: trade the broiler for the grill if you can!).
Turn hot hot hot into chop chop chop.
No Bake Sides & Snacks
Because homemade is *always* better than store-bought, whip up this easy and detoxifying dip to serve with everything from apples to zucchini, or if you’re as much of a hummus addict as I am, just enjoy as a main itself!
Bring this along to your next picnic or cookout and you’ll be the guest of honor—a savory, satisfying taste of Italy in every bite.
An unexpected way to get in your daily dose of probiotics, and the perfect condiment for your next VBQ.
These beautiful rolls are completely customizable and turn up perfectly crisped in minutes for the ultimate hors d’oeuvres indulgence when it’s been one of those weeks.
No Bake Mains
Make this brunch staple appropriate for any time of day with curated toppings
Invite your friends over for a roll-up party with these better-than-restaurant wraps and a versatile dipping sauce.
No soup for summer? Think again with this filling, cooling bowl of yum.
Imagine eating this with a bendy straw and tiny umbrella: the ultimate soup-cation!
When your smoothie has an identity crisis and thinks it’s soup.
No Bake Sweets
An un-crusted version of a pie lover’s creamy, super sweet favorite.
If making homemade ice cream intimidates you, this quick and easy recipe is for you—and just like the real thing.
Enjoy every last bite—yes, including the bowl!
Here’s everything you loved about Entenmann’s Pop ‘Ems, veganized
Just the right combination of ooey-gooey and crispy, and a perfect transition into fall for cool late-summer nights
Have you tried any of these no bake recipes? What are your favorite ways to stay cool in the kitchen?
Also by Jen: 7 Diverse Mantras for a Balanced Week
Get more like this—Subscribe to our daily inspirational newsletter for exclusive content!
Photo: Pixabay; Peaceful Dumpling Contributors (Molly Lansdowne, Jennifer Kurdyla, Mary Hood Luttrell, Lauren Kirchmaier, Quincy Malesovas, Juhea Kim, Lauren Sacerdote)