Summer is almost here, and you can already feel the heat! It’s time to loosen up your clothing and go for those kinds of cotton and linens. But besides your wardrobe, your diet needs a significant overhaul as soon as temperatures begin to rise.
It’s an undeniable fact that we tend to prefer colder foods during the summer months naturally. After all, our bodies know exactly what we need, all we need to do is listen to it! During summer, our bodies require foods that cool us from the inside, offer lots of hydration as well as replenish the nutrients lost through sweat.
At the same time, we also need recipes that don’t take too long to cook – standing at the stove for hours is unthinkable on a hot day! What’s more, we need to ensure we don’t reach out for processed, ready-to-eat frozen foods – these only end up doing more harm in the long run by making us ill, not to mention expanding our waistline.
So, to fulfill your body’s basic needs while keeping you cool and calm during summer, we bring you a list of cooling recipes that are perfect to beat the summer heat and don’t require you to spend long hours in the kitchen.
1. Choco Peanut Overnight Oats
- 4 tablespoons oats
- 1 tablespoon drinking chocolate powder
- 1 tablespoon natural crunchy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon flax seeds
- 1 small banana, chopped
- Place the oats into the bottom of a glass jar.
- Add the remaining ingredients except for milk, layering in the order listed above.
- Pour enough milk till you just cover the top layer.
- Cover the jar and leave in the fridge overnight.
- The next morning, stir through thoroughly and enjoy.
2. Banana Berry Smoothie Bowl
- 2 large frozen bananas
- 1/4 cup nut butter of choice
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup milk of choice
- Handful of berries
- Seeds and chocolate chips (optional)
- Blend together the frozen bananas, cocoa powder, nut butter, and milk till smooth.
- Pour the smoothie mix into a bowl and top with sliced bananas, berries, seeds, and chocolate chips.
3. Apple Strawberry Yogurt Parfait
- 150 grams Greek yogurt, vanilla flavor
- 1 apple, diced
- Powdered cinnamon (optional)
- A handful of chopped strawberries
- 2 tablespoons granola or muesli
- 2 tablespoons nuts, chopped and toasted
- Coat the apple pieces in cinnamon, if using. Place the pieces in a microwave bowl and microwave for about 2 minutes. You can also cook the apples on a stove. Let the apple cool to room temperature.
- Place half the yogurt in the bottom of a glass or jar.
- Place half the apple on top, following with half the strawberries.
- Top with 1 tablespoon each of granola and nuts.
- Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients. Top with some more strawberries and serve immediately.
4. Pasta Salad
- 250 grams penne or fusilli pasta, cooked
- 100 grams of cooked chicken, shredded
- 1 and ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ each of green, red and yellow capsicum, chopped
- ¼ cup grated cheese
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- ½ tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 small garlic clove, grated
- Salt, to taste
- Whisk all the dressing ingredients in a bowl till well combined.
- Put all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add seasoning as required.
- Pour the dressing over it and toss till all the ingredients are well coated with the dressing. Serve cold.
5. Rainbow Fruit Salad
- 250 grams fresh strawberries, chopped
- 250 grams fresh pineapple, pineapple
- 150 grams fresh berries
- 150 grams seedless grapes, sliced into halves
- 2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
- 2 small oranges, peeled
- 1 large banana, sliced
- 1/8 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Mix together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or cup.
- Add all the fruits to a large mixing bowl. Pour over the dressing and toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately.
6. Lemon and Lime Electrolyte Booster
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice, strained
- ¼ cup lemon juice, strained
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 cup cold water
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- Few mint leaves (optional)
- Mix the honey with a little coconut water till the honey is dissolved.
- Mix this along with the remaining coconut water, lemon juice and lime juice along with the chilled water.
- Serve with ice cubes and some mint sprigs.
7. Spiced Buttermilk
- ¾ cup plain yogurt
- ¼ teaspoon powdered cumin
- ¼ teaspoon Chaat Masala Powder
- A pinch of black salt
- A pinch of black pepper
- A pinch of ginger powder or grated ginger
- A pinch of asafoetida
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped
- A few mint leaves
- A few coriander leaves
- 1 cup cold water
- Salt, to taste
- Whisk all the ingredients in a saucepan or jug till well combined.
- Pour into glasses and top with chopped mint leaves.