Cool off: refreshing summer recipes

mango-ice-cream Are you feeling low on energy or lacking an appetite? You aren’t alone. You’re just feeling the lull of Summer heat. While this season seems to bring with it a carefree vibe and vacation-state-of-mind, the truth is we feel drained. The hot weather has an intense effect on the body. Check out these summer recipes that are sure to rejuvenate you. Simply stated - we sweat more. According to an article on Huffington Post, “In the course of an average day, sweating, breathing, and waste elimination together leach more than 10 cups of water out of your body – and that’s without exercise.” Add in a hot day with your daily devotion to barre or spin class, and you may be on the road to dehydration. Dehydration has many side effects including: low energy, decreased volume of blood and even slows the metabolism. Don’t let the heat get you down. Combat the rising temps with cooling foods and lots of water. Ancient Chinese medicine practitioners encourage eating more yin (or cooling) foods to clear heat and toxins. One Green Planet offers these yin foods to cool us off:
  • Berries because they alkaline and generate cold energy
  • Dark leafy greens are made up of 80-95 percent water
  • Bananas clear intestinal heat
  • Avocados are easily digestible and nourish the blood
  • Coconuts conjure island daydreams and are a cool-your-body healthy fat
  • Romaine lettuce is great for salads and the liver for removing toxins
  • Melons are water-dense, delicious and the perfect summertime treat

A few uniquely cool recipes we love are:

Kelp and Cucumber Salad from The Whole Journey

Serves 2
  • 2 ounces kelp
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cucumber, sliced into thin rounds
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons tamari tamari
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Instructions: Put kelp in a bowl, cover with water, and let sit for 15 minutes. Drain from water and slice into bite-sized pieces. In a separate bowl, whisk together vinegar, maple syrup, and tamari. Add cucumber and kelp; mix well. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve.

Basil Watermelon Gazpacho from Mind Body Green

Serves 4
  • 6 cups cubed fresh watermelon
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1/4 teaspon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Instructions: Chill watermelon and cucumber in refrigerator ahead of time. Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor until roughly smooth (a few chunks are good!). Enjoy right away!

Mango Blueberry Ice Cream Floats from The Movement Menu

Serves 6-8 For the mango drink:
  • 1 pound frozen mango chunks
  • 3 cups coconut water
  • juice from 6 lemons
  • 1½ cups plain soda water
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
For the blueberry ice cream:
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries, thawed for 30 minutes
  • 1½ cups coconut cream (from the top of a can of coconut milk-- leave it in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours to separate)
  • ½ cup coconut milk (at room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  • First, begin preparing the ice cream. *Make sure your ice cream maker has been sitting in the freezer for at least 48 hours before you use it*
  • Place blueberries, coconut cream, coconut milk, cinnamon, coconut sugar and molasses into a high speed blender. Blend for 30 seconds, or until everything is well combined.
  • Plug in your ice cream maker, and turn it on. Slowly pour the mixture into the ice cream machine.
  • Let ice cream churn for 15-20 minutes, or until it begins to thicken well. Depending on how frozen your ice cream bowl is, it could take anywhere from 15-30 minutes to reach the desired consistency.
  • Rinse out your blender. Combine the ingredients for the mango drink all together and blend on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the mango chunks have pureed completely. The drink mixture should be quite smooth.
Pour the mango drink into a cup and top it off with a big scoop of the blueberry ice cream. You can add homemade coconut whipped cream on top and a fresh garnish of mint if you're feeling fancy. I didn't have the patience because the floats looked too tantalizing.