Beaches, fresh fruits, rain, and chilled drinks — all these draw up the perfect picture of summer. No matter how much we despise the gruelling heat, one cannot deny that we longingly look forward to these experiences during the hot and humid season. However, like everything else, summer comes with its own set of drawbacks.
Although some level of heat is beneficial for your body, as it can lead to soaking in good amounts of vitamin D from the sun, excessive exposure can have devastating effects. Exhaustion, headache, nausea, dehydration, dizziness, electrolyte imbalance, heavy sweating, and fatigue are just a few of the repercussions.
But nature is in fact miraculous, as it retains appropriate solutions for its own problems! Thus, to fight off common heat problems such as dehydration and fatigue, we are bestowed with a bounty of juicy and delicious fruits during summer. The pure juices contained in summer fruits act as natural refills for any deficiencies caused within our body.
So, to enjoy summer while it is in full swing without worrying about the drawbacks, the following refreshing and replenishing fruit drinks will be your saviours. These summer drinks are delicious, nutritious, and also rejuvenating at the same time.
This is concocted with two ultimate summer fruits – orange and strawberries. It is highly nutritious as it is made using pure fruit juices and tastes divine. Orange and strawberry are both loaded with potassium and vitamin C, which are vital to good health.
½ cup strawberries
2 tsp sugar
1 cup water
Making this juice is as simple as it can get. Start by preparing the strawberries – remove their heads and cut them into halves. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar and leave them to rest for anywhere between 10-15 minutes. This will allow to extract the fruit's natural juices.
Then, cut the oranges into halves or quarters and squeeze the juice out of them along with removing the seeds. Pass the extracted orange juice through a sieve to get rid of juice sacs and any unnoticed seeds so that you are left with a clear liquid, measuring about two cups. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar to it.
As for the strawberries, blitz them in a blender to get a fine puree and then pass this through a fine mesh sieve. This will help get rid of all the seeds so that you are left with pure fruit puree. Combine this with one cup of water to dilute it slightly. Lastly, mix the two fruit juices together.
The end product should be a clear and subtle orange-pink liquid that is reminiscent of a sunset. Do not leave this unconsumed for long as it may become bitter. Serve chilled and immediately!
BERRY COCONUT COOLER
Coconut water is crowned as the ultimate summer cooler. Not only because of its refreshing taste, but also for its health benefits. Watermelon and coconut have high potassium content, whereas lime is loaded with vitamin C. The tartness of raspberries further elevates the flavour profile of the triad.
5 cups diced watermelon
¾ cup raspberries
2 cups coconut water
¼ cup lime juice
2 tsp sugar
Handful of mint leaves
Firstly, dice up a watermelon to attain 5 cups of it. Blend this to get a fine juice and then strain this through a fine mesh sieve. Get rid of all the seeds and fruit pulp so that you are left with thin and translucent watermelon juice.
Next, cut raspberries into halves and puree them in a blender. After getting a fine puree, pass this through a sieve to get rid of all the seeds and solid substances. Add in 2 teaspoons of sugar to this and mix well. Squeeze a couple of limes and remove their seeds to get a 1/4 cup of lime juice.
Combine all these prepared ingredients together in a blender along with 2 cups of coconut water. Pulse them for a few seconds until you get a clear and homogenous mixture. You can adjust the level of sweetness by adding more sugar according to your taste preference.
Lastly, chill this in the refrigerator and garnish with a sprig of mint before serving to add a pop of colour and a burst of freshness. This tastes best when served cold.
Why eat your greens when you can drink them? This smoothie is a delicious concoction of everything green and healthy. Sounds too good to be true? Well, it is what it is! Kiwi and cucumber both contain vitamin C and potassium in abundance, making this smoothie the ultimate weapon to beat the heat.
1 tbsp sugar
1-2 cups water
2 tbsp chopped mint leaves
To make this nutrition packed smoothie, peel the skin of cucumbers and cut them into thick wedges. Do the same for kiwis so that you have manageable chunks of cucumbers and kiwis. Also, retrieve the juice of one lime and remove its seeds. Take a handful of mint leaves and roughly chop them to attain about 2 tablespoons of chopped mint leaves.
Simply put all these ingredients in a blender along with 1 tablespoon of sugar to cut through the tartness of the lime juice and kiwi. Blitz this into a uniform and smooth mixture, which represents a smoothie.
After this, begin adding water in little amounts until you get your desired consistency. If you want to keep a thick consistency, do not add more than 1 cup of water. Leave this to chill in the refrigerator up until the moment of serving and garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Once served, the layers will automatically separate giving it dual layers and textures. Consuming your greens never looked so soothing before!
COCONUT PRETZEL MILKSHAKE
Daily intake of dairy food in ample amounts is highly recommended by nutritionists, especially during summer when we are more prone to dehydration. Dairy products such as milk is rich in calcium content and coconut contains high levels of potassium. This milkshake is a delicious and hydrating drink that is formulated combining the two.
3 cups milk
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
3 tbsp salted caramel
½ cup coconut meat
½ cup salted pretzels
Whipped cream (optional)
In order to make this lip-smacking milkshake, very little preparation is needed. Scrape out the meat from one coconut to attain about 1/2 a cup of it. Then, take half a cup of salted pretzels, preferably in salted caramel flavour and place them in a single layer inside a zip lock bag. Give this a good bashing so that they turn into fine crumbs with a few chunky bits.
In a blender, pour in 3 cups of milk followed by the extracted coconut meat and fine pretzel crumbs. Then drop in a couple scoops of vanilla flavoured ice cream and 3 tablespoons of salted caramel. Blitz these together until you get a consistent mixture.
Before serving, pour this into your serving glass and top it with the accumulated froth of the milkshake or with whipped cream for a fancy presentation. You can also top this with whole pretzels for a fun look. Chill this in the fridge before serving and garnishing for best results.
CUCUMBER BASIL SEED JUICE
This subtle and refreshing cucumber drink is not only a delicious way to cool off the summer heat but also works as a great detox too. Cucumbers are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals that are necessary to rehydrate and energise ourselves during summer, while basil seeds sooth us internally. The subtle notes of ginger in the background further rev up the flavour.
3 cups water
2 tbsp basil seeds
1 inch ginger
1 tbsp sugar
Handful of mint leaves
Start by preparing the cucumbers – peel them and cut them into thick wedges. Retain half of a cucumber in its shape to use later for garnish. Add the cucumber wedges in a blender along with water and sugar and give it a blitz. You can adjust the amount of sugar according to your desired level of sweetness.
Once this becomes a uniform and smooth mixture with no cucumber chunks, pass it through a fine mesh sieve to discard any remaining solid substances. Then, drop in a couple tablespoons of basil seeds in it and wait for about 10 minutes until they are bloated.
Meanwhile, prepare the remaining ingredients for garnish. Slice the reserved cucumber into wheels, grate the ginger and cut it into thin slices. Add these along with mint leaves to the juice and allow it to cool in the refrigerator before serving.
TANGY WOOD APPLE JUICE
Albeit wood apple is one of our essential summer fruits, most people dislike its one-of-a-kind taste. The following recipe is not your ordinary wood apple juice, as it is jazzed up with the inclusion of sweet and tangy elements, which may possibly change your entire perception towards the fruit. It tastes sweet, tart, and refreshing all at once.
2 ripe wood apples
1 tsp black salt
½ tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp tamarind
1 tbsp jaggery
3 ½ cups water
Crack open the shell of the wood apples and scoop out the flesh from inside. Mix this with 3 cups of water and the best way to do this is by the help of your fingers. Squash the fruit adequately and separate all the seeds and fibrous strings attached to it. After that, pass it through a sieve and collect the diluted fruit juice only.
Soak 1 tablespoon of tamarind in half a cup of warm water. Let it rest for 5 minutes or so and after that repeat the same process with this as done for the wood apple. Squeeze out all the flesh and get rid of the tamarind's skin, seeds, and fibrous strings. Pass this through a sieve too so that you are left with pure tamarind juice.
Heat the tamarind juice along with jaggery just until the jaggery is melted. This should have a thick paste-like consistency. In a blender, combine the collected wood apple juice, tamarind and jaggery paste, cumin powder, and black salt. Blend all these well together and your delicious wood apple juice is ready to be served.
Food and Photo: Fariha Amber