Summer Snacking: Whip up quick poolside treats using San Antonio ingredients

These three easy recipes are worthy of sun-kissed adventures.

click to enlarge When packing food to enjoy while relaxing by the water, try to embrace locally tied ingredients for a better experience. - Nina Rangel
Nina Rangel
When packing food to enjoy while relaxing by the water, try to embrace locally tied ingredients for a better experience.

San Antonians love to spend summer free time at the pool or river.

While packing an ice chest full of beer, sodas and bottled water comes as second nature for such excursions, it's not always easy to arrange snacks.

It can become easy to fall back on repetitive patterns or the rely on the afterthought of grabbing a couple bags of chips from the icehouse.

Never fear, fam — we've got some ideas to break you out of the summer snack rut.

When packing food to enjoy while relaxing by the water, try to embrace locally tied ingredients for a better experience. Start with fresh fruit sourced from nearby orchards — juicy peaches are in season, for example — and pair them with artisanal cheeses crafted by local dairies.

By supporting local producers, you not only savor the flavors of the region but also promote sustainable and community-driven practices that make your poolside adventure gratifying in more ways than one.

For a little additional help, we threw together three easy recipes worthy of sun-kissed adventures. All make use of San Antonio-tied ingredients.

Quinoa Salad with Twangerz Pickle Punch

If you're looking for eats you can prepare ahead of time and pack in a cooler, this easy quinoa salad is just the ticket. It's light, refreshing and full of flavor, not to mention vegetarian- and allergy-friendly. Use as much pickle salt as you like, since the dill, cucumber and citrus bring out the salad's crisp cucumber.

Twang was birthed in 1986 in a San Antonio garage. The homegrown company branched out from a line of beer salts into cocktail-rimmer blends, michelada mix and others food and drink embelishments.


1/4 cup olive oil

1 clove minced garlic

2 tablespoons lemon juice (A large lemon will usually suffice)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

Kosher salt and black pepper to taste


2 cups cooked quinoa, allowed to chill

2 cups chopped fresh spinach leaves

1 cup chopped cucumber

1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes

1 large avocado pitted, peeled and chopped

2 green onions, sliced

Pickle salt and black pepper to taste

Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, maple syrup or honey, salt and pepper into a vinaigrette. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado and green onions. Drizzle salad with dressing and gently stir until coated. Season with pickle salt and pepper to taste.

Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade-Tea

Homemade blueberry syrup mixed with refreshing lemonade and topped off with bubbly olive-leaf tea makes this a sweet and sparkling summer sipper. San Antonio-produced Special Leaf Pomegranate Blueberry is a fruit-forward variety of sparkling tea featuring the rich, tart flavors of the purple-hued fruits and earthy depth of the olive leaf. Store leftover blueberry syrup in the fridge for up to a week for use in salad dressings or over pancakes or ice cream.

Special Leaf began in 2014 at a South Texas olive orchard, where San Antonio chef Chris Cook first discovered the health benefits of steeping olive leaves into tea. He devoted himself to the project full-time in 2018 and has since scaled to offer four flavors.

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

1 cup fresh blueberries

Lemonade (we used H-E-B Fresh Lemonade)

Special Leaf Pomegranate Blueberry Olive Leaf Tea

Lemon slices for garnish

Make simple syrup by combining water, granulated sugar and fresh blueberries in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and boil the mixture for five minutes, until blueberries begin breaking down. Turn off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Pour mixture through fine mesh sieve into a small bowl and set aside to cool. To serve, pour one tablespoon of blueberry simple syrup into the bottom of a glass and top with ice. Pour in lemonade and top with a splash of Special Leaf. Garnish with lemon slices.

I Love Chamoy Fruit Salad

Adapted from an Instagram recipe shared by Annie Leal, owner of San Antonio snack-sauce producer I Love Chamoy, this fruit salad is perfect for post-float snacking. The addition of Leal's sugar-free chamoy plus Tajin seasoned salt gives this otherwise simple salad a decidedly puro kick. The citrusy sauce plays nicely with the chili pepper, lime and sea salt of the Tajín. The salad can be made up to a day ahead, but be wary of preparing it in any further in advance.

Mexico native Annie Leal created I Love Chamoy for her father, who was diagnosed with diabetes and could no longer enjoy the Mexican sauce. After spending months testing recipes, she created a sweet, tangy and spicy chamoy with no added sugar.

1 mini watermelon, chopped

1 pineapple, chopped

1 jicama, chopped

2 large mangoes, peeled, pitted and chopped

1/2 pound strawberries, quartered

2 seedless cucumbers, chopped

3 large limes, juiced

I Love Chamoy sugar-free chamoy, to taste

Tajín to taste

Add fruit to a large bowl and toss with lime juice. Cover and refrigerate for three to four hours before serving. When ready to eat, top with I Love Chamoy and Tajín.

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Nina Rangel

Nina Rangel uses nearly 20 years of experience in the foodservice industry to tell the stories of movers and shakers in the food scene in San Antonio. As the Food + Nightlife Editor for the San Antonio Current, she showcases her passion for the Alamo City’s culinary community by promoting local flavors, uncovering...

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