Summer brings temperatures soaring into the 90s and even beyond, depending on where you live. Beach days and lake time are great but sometimes we get overheated. Our bodies tell us by way of physical symptoms when it may be time for some replenishment.
Wondering what to eat when it's really hot out?
Below find some foods to enjoy that will work to cool down your body, rehydrate your cells, and replenish your body of lost nutrients that were depleted after sweating in the hot sun.
Cooling fruits such as watermelon and cucumber.
Not only are watermelons and cucumbers in the same family, but both types of fruits hydrate the body. Watermelon flesh is made up of 90% water. Total water content of cucumbers totals 80 to 85%. These fresh and mild tasting fruits are a lot like munching on a cool drink of water. They go down easy on hot summer days and make the perfect ingredients for a fresh salad.
What do you need for a quick watermelon or cucumber salad? One or both of those ingredients. Plus an acidic fruit such as lime, a fresh herb such as mint, and some salt.
Slice up cucumber and or watermelon into a large serving bowl. Mix up a quick dressing using olive oil, fresh lime juice and a pinch of Himalayan salt. Muddle some fresh mint in a mortar and pestle and sprinkle over the cucumber and/or watermelon pieces. Pour the lime mixture over all. Toss all ingredients. Cover and chill for about 30 minutes. Serve as an accompaniment to grilled meats or fish.
Bananas are high in potassium which is one of the essential minerals that gets depleted after the body sweats excessively for an extended period of time. These tropical fruits go down easy and are kind to the digestive system. The enzymatic activity of bananas makes this sweet and somewhat filling fruit the ideal probiotic to aid in digestion of foods to follow.
One easy and fun way to enjoy a potassium rich banana in summertime is to turn them into frozen treats. Since bananas are naturally high in fructose (which is just another word for fruit sugar), half a banana should be sufficient for a snack without sending blood sugar soaring. Slice in half and insert a popsicle stick if desired. In a few hours, you’ll be enjoying a sugar-free frozen treat that’s similar to ice cream but without all of the processed sugar and fat.
For variety, try rolling your banana halves in melted dark chocolate and coaching with chopped walnuts or pecans before covering in waxed paper and freezing for several hours. The nuts will add protein and supply healthy fat. The dark chocolate delivers even more potassium plus offers a disease-fighting boost of antioxidants.
Pickled beets and eggs.
Do you crave lighter foods during the scorching hot days of summer -- like fresh fruit salads and lighter proteins? Your body instinctively knows that it takes extra work to digest and process heavy, rich foods. When it’s hot, we don’t need the added internal load on our already taxed system.
Pickled beets offer a power-packed burst of nutrition, delivering important minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc to our cells. These minerals deplete rapidly from our bodies under stress and when we sweat them out in hot weather. Also, beets are in season at this time of year, and isn’t it funny how nature always seems to know just what we need.
The pickling brine used in making pickled beets replenishes the body of lost sodium. The acidic vinegar helps the body digest the hearty root vegetable more completely. Tangy, tart and fresh, pickled and cold is a great way to take your beets. It’s a most enjoyable summertime snack that can help you recover more quickly after too much sun and hot weather.
Summer is also a great time to add pickled eggs to the rotation. Eggs prove to be an excellent source of protein, plus they’re easy to digest. As mentioned, in summer time we tend to crave lighter foods. Eggs go down easy and are kind to the stomach… and the chickens lay more eggs when the sun is high in the sky, don’t they!
To make pickled beets and eggs, prepare a pickling brine. Combine salt, vinegar, water and garlic pieces. Simmer your eggs to hard-boiled (about 12 minutes), let cool and then peel. Cook beets until they’re soft enough to pierce with a fork. Let cool. Peel away the outer layer of skin on your beets and then slice.
Place hard-boiled, peeled eggs and beet slices into a large glass jar that contains your prepared pickling brine. You can also slice up some red onions and sprinkle in pickling spices, along with a few sprigs of fresh dill, for fun and flavor. Cover and place the entire jar in the refrigerator. If you don’t have a big jar, add a few eggs and beet slices each to a Mason jar and top with the pickling brine. Cover and refrigerate.
Within a week or two, your pickled eggs and beets will be ready to eat and enjoy. They make a great take-along snack, and because they’re pickled, they preserve well.
Feeling hot, sweaty and tired? Try some pickled eggs with a side of beets, and a summer salad of cucumbers and watermelon with mint and lime.
Hilltop Herbals has added a refreshing new tea blend to our collection. Hibiscus Cooler is now available for purchase. A blend of hibiscus, lemon balm, rose petals and other aromatic herbs from Cheryl's garden. This inflammation fighter is cooling to the body and makes the perfect chilled sipper on a hot summer's day.