Summer is here and we’ve had our share of scorching hot temperatures already. Dealing with the hot summer days can be quite challenging with the heat waves, perspiration, dehydration, tanned skin and much more. Your diet needs to be full of cooling and hydrating ingredients so as to keep your body cool and hydrated all the time.
Sports drink companies would have you think that their products are the only option to stay cool and hydrated this summer, but that is not true! Those drinks are definitely good for the taste buds but not only are they loaded with artificial colors and flavors, they’re often sweetened with high fructose corn syrup and come in a plastic bottle. You can cool your body in a better and more healthy way and reduce your impact by making up your own summer drinks at home.
Here are a few great options
This drink is incredibly refreshing and simple to make. Melons are a great source of vitamin C, and when you make a puree instead of juice, you retain all of that healthy fiber. Here’s how to make your own melon puree:
> Slice up a honeydew melon into chunks.
> Blend until smooth - add a bit of water to thin things out if necessary.
> Put the puree in the fridge to chill before serving for extra cooling benefits.
> You could also make this with watermelon or any other sweet melon as well and it’s delicious.
Aam panna is an Indian drink known for its heat-resistant properties. It is made from raw mangoes and is yellow to very light green in color, and is devoured as a tasty and healthy beverage to fight against the intense Indian summer heat. It is not only refreshing but also energizing as well.
Ingredients - 500 gm green mangoes, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp kala namak (black rock salt), 2 tsp roasted and powdered cumin seeds, 2 Tbsp finely chopped mint leaves, 2 cups water
Here’s how you make it:
> Boil the mangoes till they become soft inside and the skin loses its colour
> Once it’s cool, remove the skin and squeeze the pulp out of the mangoes
> Mix all the ingredients mentioned together, blend and add 2 cups of water
> Put some ice in the glasses and pour the panna over it
> Serve and enjoy the drink
Cucumber & Mint Water
If you haven’t tried this, it might sound strange, but cold water with a couple of slices of cucumber and a sprig of mint is a splendid, cooling summer drink. You can serve this as one glass at a time or put together a whole pitcher to keep in the fridge. Here’s how to make an eight glasses of cucumber mint water:
> Combine a half of a sliced cucumber and 1/2 cup of finely chopped mint in a four quart pitcher
> Fill the pitcher off with 16 cups of water and chill until you’re ready to serve
> A spicy drink might seem counter - intuitive in the summer season, however spicy foods actually help your body regulate its temperature. This ginger cooler will do the trick perfectly.
> Ingredients - 1/4th chopped ginger, 1/2c chopped mint leaves, one lemon’s juice, 6 cups sparkling water, sweetener of your choice, to taste
> Blend all the ingredients mentioned and serve chilled. You could strain this drink in case you don’t like the texture of the ginger and mint bits.
Coconut water is a house of health benefits. It’s rich in electrolytes and potassium, which makes it the best option for replenishing your body after exposure to the summer heat. Of course, it’s not so easy for most of us to find a young, green coconut. Luckily, now you can find cans or boxes of coconut water at most natural food stores. Unlike coconut milk, coconut water is low in fat and calories. You can drink your coconut water chilled or add a squeeze of lime to brighten it up.
Chandan (sandalwood) has great cooling properties and drinking chandan can revitalise us during the hot season. The unique chandan ka sherbet is a perfect summer drink. Just take a sip of this superb summer delight to enjoy its refreshing and cooling taste.
How to make it :
> Rub the sandalwood piece with some water on a wooden rolling board till you get two teaspoon of sandalwood paste
> Take half a cup of water in a small bowl - add some saffron to it and heat until it dissolves completely
> Transfer the saffron mixture to a larger bowl - add the sandalwood paste, lemon juice, sugar, cardamom powder, salt and mix it well
> Refrigerate the drink for some time.
# Instead of turning up that air conditioner this summer, you can fall on some refreshing summer drinks to cool your body from inside out.