It’s hot outside. So hot that the air is wavy and the only living things moving with any speed outdoors are mosquitoes. So hot that walking from inside to outside makes you feel like you are walking into a thick rug that is rolled up inside of an oven. So hot that all you want to do is dunk yourself in a kiddie pool filled with ice and never get out.
In Ayurveda, summer is high Pitta season. Hot and wet. Sticky to the max. Although we don’t want to put the fire out completely, we also don’t want to fan the flames. This is why I tend to avoid eating curries over the summer. I also prefer to eat foods that are more cooling in nature or that increase the watery aspects of pitta, easing our transit through this hot season.
Since that kiddie pool scenario is sadly an unlikely option, mostly because the ice would melt too quickly for you to enjoy it, I’m giving you my 3 very favorite “snacks” to help cool off your body in the dog days of summer and give you some sweet relief from the heat.
The Ultimate Summer Green Smoothie
3 or 4 cups of greens (I use chard in the summer and green lettuce if it’s in my CSA, but you can use any greens)
1 small handful cilantro
1/2 lime, squeezed in
1/2 cup-1 cup almond milk or coconut water (depends on how liquid-y you want your smoothie or how creamy)
optional~ raw honey, coconut milk
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend that baby up! Distribute between 2 glasses. If you want it sweeter, you can add a small amount of honey. I don’t usually, but if the bananas aren’t as sweet a small amount of honey can give the flavor a boost. I personally like to mix in some coconut milk, after it’s been blended for the additional cooling and healthy fats.
Cilantro is great here because it’s a naturally cooling herb but if you’re not fond of cilantro, substitute mint.
Summery Sweet N’ Sour Juice
a large handful of mint
Add your ingredients into a juicer, if you have one. if you don’t, you can blend this up and then strain it through a mesh sieve. You don’t need a juicer or fancy kitchen equipment. This works just as well when strained.
If you are using a juicer, make sure you do the pineapple first with the mint and lime. Add the cucumber in last as it will gunk up your juicer with the seeds.
You might need to make this in batches if you have a normal size juicer!
With a high water content, cucumber is a perfect food for summer. Cucumber is a fantastically hydrating fruit. (Yes, fruit!)
Chill before drinking for maximum cooling benefit!
Minty Watermelon Popsicles
Serves 6 (only because my popsicle molds are in a set of 6!)
1 small watermelon
1 handful of mint leaves
1/4 lime (sans peel)
optional: blackberries, maple syrup, pineapple, mango
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and liquidize. Taste for sweetness. You can add in a small amount of maple syrup if you want them sweeter.
Pour into your popsicle molds and try to be patient.
Milly tried her best for patience, but asked me every 30 seconds after we made them if they were ready yet. As a result, she had 2 for breakfast this morning.
In the batch you see in the photo all the way at the top of this post, I used blackberries because I had some leftover and they give a nice tang to the sweetness of watermelon. Be creative. Lots of other fruits would combine beautifully with watermelon to make delicious popsicles!