Make us your home page
Instagram

Foods that provide relief from the sweltering summer, with recipes

Just like taking a dip in a chilly pool cools the outside of your body, eating certain foods can help combat steamy weather from the inside.

The best foods to beat the heat are fruits and vegetables made up largely of water. That leaves you with lots of produce to choose from, among them watermelon, melons and broccoli. But you don't have to stop there.

It's not coincidence that in countries around the equator spicy foods are the norm. They get you sweating, which actually lowers your body temperature. So don't shy away from hot peppers, ginger or even horseradish when you need some relief from the heat.

What should you avoid? Ice cream, believe it or not. It seems refreshing, and it is tasty, but your body has to work harder to process the ice-cold treat and that creates heat within.

A frosty mug of beer might also seem like a good way to cool off, but remember that alcohol dehydrates a body. Go easy on the booze or make sure you're drinking plenty of water, too.

The accompanying recipes, from refreshing smoothies to gazpacho and a gingery salad dressing, will come to your aid on a super-swelter day. And we've got plenty of those, don't we?

1. Watermelon

This thirst-quenching fruit is about 90 percent water so it helps to replenish what you're losing because of heat. There's a nutritional boost, too, with vitamins A and C in the pink flesh, plus some antioxidants. Eat ice-cold wedges for immediate relief or mix it into salads or drinks.

Fast: Crush chunks into a tall glass; add ice-cold soda water and some sweetener if you'd like.

Flashy: Watermelon Waldorf Salad

2. Ginger

It may be counterintuitive, but spicy ingredients like fresh ginger, along with hot peppers and horseradish, actually help lower body temperatures by forcing us to sweat. (Though who needs help with that as July yawns into August?) Ginger is also a source of potassium and has long been used to help relieve tummy ailments. In the middle of a sweltering summer, consider it to flavor drinks and add to stir-fries loaded with other watery veggies for a cooling effect.

Fast: Stir into hot tea with lemon and honey.

Flashy: Japanese Ginger Salad Dressing

3. Mint

Those Doublemint Twins were on to something when they touted the refreshingly icy nature of mint, be it in gum or mojitos. There are traces of a few vitamins in fresh mint leaves, but it's really the cooling property as it hits your tongue that offers the relief.

Fast: Muddle leaves into your iced tea.

Flashy: Mint-Honeydew Ice

4. Mangoes

There's a reason that the mango lassi is practically the national drink of India. The yogurt and mango smoothie is comforting refreshment when the subcontinent sizzles. Mangoes, which are plentiful this time of year in markets and on backyard trees, is another watery fruit. There's added benefit from the fruit's fiber, which slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream and keeps us satisfied longer.

Fast: Add diced fruit to plain yogurt and sprinkle with granola.

Flashy: Mango Lassi

5. Cucumbers

Like watermelon, this salad staple is mostly water, your best ally in the fight again heat. Its natural properties help reduce swelling and bloating, which can occur in hot weather. Besides helping internally, slices of ice-cold cucumber on the eye can reduce puffiness. It's also super low in calories so cukes are a dieter's good buddy.

Fast: Toss slices into ice water for that spa-day effect.

Flashy: Silky Gazpacho

More refreshing foods

Melons. Tomatoes. Grapes. Broccoli. Corn on the cob.



>>EASY

Mango Lassi

1 cup chopped mango (peeled and stone removed)

1 cup plain yogurt

½ cup milk

4 teaspoons sugar, to taste

A dash of ground cardamom (optional)

Put mango, yogurt, milk, sugar and cardamom into a blender and blend for 2 minutes, then pour into individual glasses and serve. Can sprinkle with a little cardamom.

Serves 1.

Note: The lassi can be kept refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

Source: simplyrecipes.com

>>MODERATE

Mint-Honeydew Ice

8 cups cubed honeydew melon

1 ½ cups loosely packed fresh mint leaves

1 ½ cups simple syrup (see note)

4 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Pinch of salt

Bourbon or rum (optional)

Stir together first 5 ingredients and process, in two batches, in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour mixture into freezer container of a 1-gallon electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. (Instructions and times may vary.) Drizzle with bourbon or rum just before serving, if desired.

Makes 2 quarts.

Note: To make simple syrup, heat equal parts sugar and water in saucepan on stove, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cool completely before using.

Source: Southern Living

>>MODERATE

Silky Gazpacho

1 cup chopped red onions

1 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 cup chopped English cucumber

1 cup chopped and peeled tomatoes

1 ½ teaspoons chopped garlic

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne

¼ cup tomato paste

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 cups tomato juice

Sprig of thyme

Balsamic vinegar or glaze (see note)

Mix all the ingredients except the balsamic glaze together in a bowl or other container, cover, and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, remove the thyme and blend all the ingredients in a blender until the gazpacho is smooth. You will have about 2 quarts. For a smoother texture, strain the soup to yield about 1 quart. Refrigerate the gazpacho until ready to serve.

To complete: Ladle the cold soup into bowls and splash with balsamic vinegar or drizzle balsamic glaze over top.

Note: Balsamic glaze can be made by reducing 2 cups of balsamic vinegar over a very low heat for about 2 hours. It can also be purchased and is usually stocked near the vinegars. A splash of balsamic vinegar will also add tang to this cold soup.

Serves about 12.

Source: Food Network

>>EASY

Watermelon Waldorf Salad

2 cups cubed watermelon (about ½-inch cubes)

½ cup sliced celery

½ cup seedless red grape halves

Dash of salt

¼ cup Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

Stir together watermelon, celery and grapes in bowl. Just before serving, stir salt into yogurt for dressing. You may want to add a little water to lighten the thickness. Pour mixture over fruit and stir until coated. Sprinkle with almonds.

Serves about 4.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

>>EASY

Ginger-Carrot With Pineapple Smoothie

4 to 6 ounces almond milk

1 banana, peeled

1 cup fresh pineapple, cubed

2 medium carrots or 1 cup grated/shredded

½ to 1 inch of fresh ginger, grated (to taste)

Start by adding the liquid to your blender, followed by the soft fruit. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until the smoothie is creamy.

Note: As with most smoothie recipes, you can easily make this a green smoothie by adding fresh baby spinach, romaine lettuce or your choice of dark leafy green. The pineapple and ginger should do a good job at masking bitter greens such as kale.

Serves 1.

Source: incrediblesmoothies.com

>>EASY

Japanese Ginger Salad Dressing

¼ cup soy sauce

1 lemon, juiced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root

1 teaspoon prepared Dijon-style mustard

2 teaspoons honey

Ground black pepper to taste

1 cup olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, mustard, honey and pepper. Once these are thoroughly combined, add the oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly. When all of the oil is incorporated into the dressing, pour into a glass jar and chill until serving.

Makes 1 ½ cups.

Note: Use this dressing for green salads studded with fruit such as strawberries, berries or oranges.

Source: allrecipes.com

Foods that provide relief from the sweltering summer, with recipes 07/29/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 10:22am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Tuesday May 30

    Events

    Finding Neverland: The hit Broadway show follows the story behind playwright J.M. Barrie as he struggles to find inspiration to create Peter Pan, until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. 7:30 p.m., Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, …

    Mitchell Wray, Jordan Cole, Finn Faulconer and Ben Krieger as the Llewelyn Davies Boys in the National Tour of Finding Neverland. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
  2. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  3. Restaurant review: Features Gastropub in Riverview is fine as movie theater fare, but unimpressive otherwise

    Food & Dining

    Movies aren't exactly dying. Despite all the sturm und drang of predictions that Netflix and streaming videos would kill the cinema, global box office receipts hit $38.6 billion in 2016, a 1 percent gain over the previous year. But that doesn't mean going to the cinema is precisely what it was a generation …

    Soft pretzels are displayed with a beer at the Features Gastropub in the Riverview 14 GDX  theater in Gibsonton, Fla. on Thursday, May 25, 2017.   The 5,900-square-foot Features Gastropub open in the . This element of the project is the brainchild of Philadelphia chef Brian Duffy, who appears frequently on NBC's The Today Show and the Spike TV show Bar Rescue
  4. From the food editor: I love that food is a huge part of Master of None's transcendent second season

    Cooking

    Deep into a late-night binge of Master of None, Aziz Ansari's Netflix series that returned for its second season May 12, I realized I was laying as far back on my couch as possible, blanket clutched up to my chin, eyebrows permanently raised.

    Dev (Aziz Ansari) and Arnold (Eric Wareheim) eat lunch in Modena, Italy, in the second season of "Master of None."
  5. Three 'MasterChef' contestants from the Tampa Bay area talk cooking inspiration and more

    Cooking

    When Gordon Ramsay's MasterChef begins its eighth season tonight, the Tampa Bay area will have three contestants to root for. A marketing director from Tampa, a dentist and Palm Harbor native, and an employee for a steel supply company are all trying to impress a trio of judges with their home-cooking skills.

    Jeff Philbin, from Tampa, left, Palm Harbor native Paola Annoni Patel, and Danny Flores, of Land 'O Lakes, will be competing on the season premiere of "Masterchef."