Fuel Your Summer Adventures with ASC-Certified Seafood
August 3, 2023
Whether you’re relaxing at a picnic in the park, hosting an outdoor cookout, sharing bites around the campfire or snacking after a hike in the hills, summer is the time for adventurous eating.
Protein-packed seafood lends itself well to every season, with summer offering even more opportunities to explore. No matter how you choose to cook up adventure, don’t forget to take responsibly raised seafood along for the ride.
Why? Seafood is full of high quality protein to fuel your outdoor activities. It also contains omega-3s, vitamins and minerals, which are all essential for maintaining optimal health. Eating seafood at least 2x per week can even reduce inflammation and promote heart health. That’s great news for those looking for ways to support healthy and active lifestyles.
Selecting products with ASC’s sea green label adds even more goodness to meals and snacks. Today, over half of all seafood we eat is farmed and that number is only growing, so it’s important to shop for products that not only sustain your summer activities, but our planet as well.
Sustainable aquaculture is vital to providing healthy, responsibly raised protein to seafood eaters around the world. Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is leading the charge when it comes to certification and labeling of responsible aquaculture (seafood farming) by ensuring greater traceability and transparency of the seafood you’re eating, while actively working to improve environmental sustainability and social responsibility.
When you “Sea Green. Be Green.” by shopping for the label at grocery stores and online, it’s a win for your body, your mind, and our communities. Here are just a few ways ASC-certified seafood can make your summer adventures more memorable.
Greater Grill Outs
Nothing signals summer like the smoky smells of grilling and campfires. Cooking seafood over a campfire adds sizzle to an otherwise typical night. Don’t let the flames intimidate you. Seafood is easy to cook once you know the basics.
- Grill thick and sturdy fillets like salmon and grouper over direct heat. Keep temperatures at medium or high to help keep meat from sticking to grates. Try to choose fillets that are similar in thickness so cook times align.
- Cook more delicate seafood like tilapia or trout in pouches or foil packets to seal in flavor and enable cooking without having to flip.
- Use skewers and planks to create full flavor experiences for proteins like shrimp. Just be sure to soak wood planks or skewers in water ahead of time to help avoid burning.
- Toss whole fish like trout and salmon on the grill to make a statement. Leave the skin on, stuff the cavity with herbs and lemon slices, score the fish every two inches almost to the bone, brush with oil and sprinkle with salt before putting on the grill. Turn gently halfway through and you have a main course that’s sure to wow your guests.
- Seafood cooks quickly. Fillets are done when meat is opaque and flakes apart with a fork.
“Salmon is an excellent choice for grilling and outdoor summer entertainment for several reasons,” said Kathy Liz, Marketing Director for ASC-certified Laguna Blanca Salmon. “First and foremost, the robust flavor of grilled salmon makes it an ideal centerpiece. Grilling salmon enhances its natural richness and gives the fish a smoky aroma which adds depth to the overall dining experience. Its versatility lets you keep preparation simple with olive oil, salt and pepper or you can get creative. In addition, salmon’s firm, meaty texture holds up well on the grill, making it less prone to falling apart or sticking to the grates.”
Don’t be afraid to go bold with seasonings. Dill is great for white fish like tilapia and grouper. Combine with paprika, salt and lemon pepper for a bright zing. Add chili flakes for some heat and put it all together with mustard and maple syrup to make an easy marinade. Or combine orange, honey, garlic and ginger for a sweet and savory finish.
Another way to create a unique experience is by skipping the beef and grilling up seafood burgers. For example, Del Pacifico has created a new line of shrimp burgers made with ASC-certified white shrimp that are responsibly raised near the scenic coasts of Sonora, Mexico using all-natural water from the Sea of Cortez.
“Shrimp burgers are made with our ASC certified, whole white shrimp, contain only 4 ingredients (shrimp, olive oil, garlic and black pepper) and no fillers or preservatives – so you can feel good knowing you are serving high-quality shrimp,” said Jennifer Barrett, Chief Commercial Officer for Del Pacifico Seafoods. Barrett suggests pairing shrimp burgers with aioli, avocado and red onion on a bun. A few other options include Thousand Island dressing, tartar sauce or the salsa of your choice!
“Topping options are endless and they only need a few minutes per side on the grill or in a cast iron pan before they hit your plate.”
Keep an eye out for certified shrimp burgers coming soon to a market near you.
Prefer to chill in the summer shade with a bottle of rosé? Make it your picnic memorable by filling your basket with portable certified seafood. Smoked salmon, chilled shrimp and tinned oysters are perfect on their own or added to spreads, dips and sandwiches. Bring along a loaf of bread or create a smørbrød, which is an open-faced sandwich traditionally served in Scandinavian countries that features fish, meat or vegetables on buttered bread.
Try this unique and surprisingly tasty smoked oyster dip made with responsibly raised Reese smoked oysters. It’s great with potato chips.
Seacuterie boards are another delectable twist that can easily elevate a low-key outing with the right ingredients. Pair your favorite ASC-certified smoked salmon with capers, pickles, pickled onions, seaweed salad, olives, lemons, hummus or hard-boiled eggs. Kanpachi ceviche with crusty bread is another refreshing option to cool off with on a hot day.
The most important part of picnicking is keeping your food fresh, especially in the warmer months. Ensuring your snacks stay cold by packing coolers with lots of ice. Frozen water bottles are a great way to chill foods and provide cool water for drinking as they melt. A few other tips to keep in mind as you plan and pack:
- Move items straight from the fridge to the cooler.
- Skip bringing mayo heavy dips and dressings, which can spoil more quickly.
- Don’t let perishable items sit out of the cooler for more than two hours.
Easy Outdoor Snacks
Outdoor enthusiasts who stay on the move now have even more convenient ways to enjoy certified seafood throughout the summer. Tinned seafood provides a complete grab and go option that needs no refrigeration and can accompany just about any adventure. It’s perfect for those seeking lean protein and nutritious ingredients to fuel hiking, swimming, biking or wherever the trail takes you.
Recently voted Best Meal Prep Protein by SELF Magazine, Freshé Meal’s bite-size gourmet tins featuring ASC-certified salmon are winning awards left and right. Their compact size, easy eating and curated recipes pack in flavor, nutrition and fun.
The company prioritizes an ongoing commitment to sourcing ASC-certified, responsibly raised seafood for their farmed products and limit their environmental impacts with creative packaging and business practices. Beyond the ethics of being good stewards, CEO and Co-founder Henry Lovejoy, together with his wife, set out to create a versatile, shelf-stable seafood item that’s both delicious and practical. Their tins have become a go-to for avid outdoor lovers across the United States.
“Freshé tinned seafood is the epitome of healthy convenience,” explains Lovejoy. “With our easy open lid, you can enjoy a delicious celebrity chef designed high protein meal in seconds; no preparation required.”
Tinned seafood has been around for centuries but made a comeback in recent years due to the pandemic and a renewed focus on sources of convenient and shelf-stable protein. Today’s tinned seafood can be found online or in stores with colorful packaging that’s easy to store, pack, open and enjoy from the trailhead to the mountain top. All you need is a fork and an appetite for adventure.
Don’t wait to create lasting memories. Give your summer a seafood savvy boost now to reap the benefits of healthy, low maintenance meals and fun in the sun. Check out our recipes for more ideas and look for ASC’s sea green label online or at a store near you.