Here comes summer along with its high temperatures and constant sweat! The smouldering summer heat can leave you feeling fatigued, lethargic, dehydrated and thirsty. To beat the heat we crave for some icy refreshing drinks to cool our body, and the biggest mistake we do to quench our thirst is by reaching out for colas or other aerated water. Here I give you some refreshing, healthy and natural options; so that as the temperatures around you soar, you can indulge in some refreshments – the healthy way!
Chaas or buttermilk is one of the popular summer cooler made with yogurt, all over India with some variations. Chaas is made by churning yogurt (curds/dahi) and cold water together in a pot, using a hand-held instrument called madhani (whipper). This can be consumed plain or seasoned with a variety of spices like asafoetida, fennel, ginger juice, curry leaves or coriander leaves. Buttermilk recipe >>
Jal jeera or jaljira is a refreshing, traditional Indian summer drink with health benefits. The unique flavour of this summer drink is the jaljeera powder where spices like roasted cumin, black peppercorns, cloves, black cardamom and black salt are ground to a fine powder and added to a paste of fresh mint and coriander leaves. Fresh mint and coriander leaves impart a refreshing fragrance and flavour. Traditionally, tamarind is used to make jaljira but one can use lemon juice too. Unsweetened boondi (made with chickpea flour) makes for a beautiful and tasty garnish.
The ever popular indian juice to quench your thirst and give you a boast of energy. Excellent for jaundice and has digestive properties, thirst quenching and keeps the body hydrated.
Aam panna is a very popular drink more so because mangoes are in season only a few months of the year. This refreshing drink is made using raw mangoes which are a rich source of vitamin C and also contain antioxidants which prevent us from several diseases. In addition to this, the drink has a cooling effect on the body and prevents one from a heat stroke and dehydration. This makes it quite healthy and tasty too. The spices added further enhance the flavour.
LEMONADE OR NIMBU PANI
Perhaps the cheapest summer drink but lemonade is surely very effective in beating the summer heat. Apart from being a rich source of vitamin C, lemon also has vitamin B, riboflavin and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium. Just take some chilled water, add little sugar and salt to it and squeeze a lemon in it and you have your lemonade. Spicy lemonade recipe >>
The heavier version of buttermilk, Lassi has been a part of the cuisine of northern India for a long time, and for various reasons. It is a nutritious drink that helps you maintain the perfect body temperature in hot summer days. Cardamom powder, rose water and saffron can also be added to give your lassi an altogether different taste.
TENDER COCONUT WATER
If you are staying in a place where fresh coconut water is available easily in summers then you are simply blessed. It is one of the best and the healthiest option to beat summer heat. The soft and creamy pulp of coconut tastes blissful and has also got some properties to heal the disorders one usually has in summers.