This year around, summer promises to be particularly harsh. One good option to tide through it seems to be to soak in a pool until the sun sets. But since we have out-of-pool jobs and chores and no one has yet built a wearable ice-suit, we have to look for other options.
Some quick, refreshing drinks and snacks are just what you need to keep your body cool and hydrated. Not to mention the children, especially those tearing around in the outdoor heat during the school holidays – you’ll need yummy options to make sure they get their fill of fluids.
A close-up of a plastic water bottle in a bucket of ice as the Sun shines down on a hot Summer day. It is a good idea to keep hydrated while doing activities on a hot day.
You’ll also want to carry along a drink when you step out for the day. If your office has a fridge, you’re sorted. Label your bottle and store it in the fridge until it’s cool enough for you. No access to a fridge after you’ve stepped out of home? Invest in a good thermos. It’s not just for hot coffee, it will in fact become your best friend this summer, keeping your drinks nice and cold.
- Spiced buttermilk three ways: Cold buttermilk is practically a life saver on a hot day. Here are three options to try out. Lightly crush a piece of ginger, one green chilli and a few curry leaves with a mortar and pestle. Stir this into the buttermilk along with salt and serve over ice. If this isn’t to your taste, try a mix of green chillies, black salt, roasted cumin powder and coriander leaves. Simpler yet is a combination of pepper and mint leaves.
- Lime mint cooler: This is another classic that you can whip up in no time. Throw into a blender a fistful of mint leaves, a small piece of ginger, lime juice and sugar (or honey, for a healthier option). Blend well and dilute as required with cold water. Pour into a tall glass over ice and dress it up with a sprig of mint or wedge of lime.
- Iced tea: This one needs to be prepped a little in advance so that it has enough time to cool down. Steep four tea bags (or four teaspoons of loose tea leaves) with four cups of boiling water. Allow it to steep for 4-5 minutes, or till it reaches your preferred strength. Strain out the tea leaves/remove the tea bags and allow it to cool. Depending on your preference, you can sweeten it with sugar or honey, or flavour it with a variety of things: pomegranate juice, slices of lime, mint leaves and so on. Once it has cooled, cover and store in the fridge. Iced tea is a good choice for carrying around in your thermos.
- Fruit skewers: Thankfully, summer comes with summer fruits. Pick fruits that are juicy – the more the fluids, the more your body will thank you. Orange, apple, pear, pineapple, grapes and berries are all good options. Children will particularly enjoy colourful fruit skewers. Cut an apple and a kiwi into bite size pieces; peel one orange and keep aside. On a wooden skewer, stack up a piece of apple, a strawberry, a slice of kiwi, half a segment of orange and top it off with a blueberry. Pretty as a picture and yummy as well. You could also pack these off as snacks. Here’s a tip: freeze fruits like grapes and raspberries so that when you open your snack box later, the fruits will still be cold.
- Watermelon feta salad: Nothing says summer like a juicy watermelon. And this is perhaps the simplest salad you can put together. Deseed and cube a watermelon. Crumble feta cheese. Chop a handful of mint leaves. Toss all three together and your salad is ready. Optionally, you can add a squeeze of lime, salt and pepper, and a splash of olive oil.
So, don’t forget – stay indoors during the hottest hours and stay hydrated. And leave some water out for thirsty birds.