When temps soar high enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk, you know it’s time to devise ways to beat the extreme heat. Instead of sticking to plain old H2O, why not make a nutritious and refreshing drink from seasonal fruits? Not only are they easy to prepare, they’re healthy, inexpensive and plentiful. Here are 5 cool drinks to quench the heat and tickle your tastebuds:Peanut Butter Strawberry Smoothie
When you think of smoothies, it’s a safe bet that peanut butter-and-fruits combos don’t come to mind. On paper, this drink may seem strange, but this mix of nutty, pulpy, tart and juicy make for a curiously revitalizing, nutrient-packed smoothie.
1 ½ cup strawberries
1 cup plain Greek yogurt, non-fat
1 cup milk (skim, non-fat or whole)
¼ cup pineapple juice
⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon honeyMethod:
- Mix the strawberries, yogurt, milk, pineapple juice, peanut butter and honey.
- Blend until smooth.
- Blend in more honey to taste.
- Chill in freezer for a few minutes if desired, or serve immediately. Makes 2-4 servings.
Banana-Orange Yogurt Smoothie
Bananas are the signature fruit of the tropics, making them an essential ingredient in cool-down drinks this summer. Follow this simple recipe for a quick pick-me-up in the sweltering heat.Ingredients:
1 large frozen banana, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 cup chilled orange juice
½ cup plain non-fat yogurt
4 ice cubes
1 tablespoon honeyMethod:
- Combine all ingredients.
- Blend until smooth. Add more honey if desired.
- Serve immediately.
This purplish-blue concoction may look otherworldly, though it’s actually sweet and very beneficial. The blend of coconut water and lemon juice gives you an extremely hydrating drink that’s packed with water-balancing electrolytes and potassium.Ingredients:
1 ½ cups freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 ¾ cups sugar
8 cups coconut water
4 cups water
½ of lavender syrupFor lavender syrup:
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cups water
3 tablespoons dried lavenderMethod:
- Mix lemon juice, coconut water and water in a pitcher.
- Shake or stir mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Set aside while you make the lavender syrup.
- In a saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and lavender.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, allowing it to boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 20 minutes.
- Strain the resulting syrup through a sieve to filter out the lavender.
- Set aside filtered syrup to cool, then add to the coconut lemonade.
Most shakes call for the use of ice cream. Not so with this cooler that’s popular in Asia and South America. All it needs is some choice, fresh avocados, ice, milk and a blender. The sweetness comes from the condensed milk, so there’s no need to add sugar. As for the other milk in this recipe, choose the non-fat variety or switch to almond or rice milk to reduce the calorie content. This shake might be too thick for a straw, but very refreshing nonetheless.
1 ripe avocado
2 cups ice cubes
½ cup fat-free condensed milk
½ cup non-fat milk, chilledMethod:
- Halve the avocado. Remove the seed and spoon out the avocado flesh into a blender.
- Add the ice cubes, condensed milk, and non-fat milk.
- Blend the mixture until desired smoothness.
- If the shake is too thick, add a little milk to reach the desired consistency. Add honey or sugar to taste.
Fresh Mint and Ginger Lemonade
A good alternative to the usual lemonade, this chilled delight blends the tart goodness of lemon with invigorating mint, and the hydrating and pH-balancing benefits of ginger.
½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
⅓ cup chopped fresh ginger
⅓ cup honey
2 cups boiling water
⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
1 ½ cups (about) cold water
Fresh mint leaves
About the fruit
The fruits used in these drinks have two features in common; they’re in season during summer, and most of them have a significantly high potassium content. Even ginger and mint leaves are rich in potassium, and there’s a good reason for recommending these recipes — potassium offers several benefits, foremost of which is that it helps regulate body temperature by evenly hydrating the body’s cells, especially in hot weather. You can forget the cold beer and soda pop as these will actually dehydrate you. With these fruit drinks, you have healthier, tastier and more efficient means of cooling off this summer.
|Coconut (water)||250 mg|
|Mint (leaves)||569 mg|