Relax and Refresh with “Cool” Nutrition

By: Kamil Szymonik

We’re in the middle of summer and it seems like it just can’t get any hotter, and not all of us can take a refreshing dip in the pool.  Whether living in the humidity on the east coast, or in the high temperatures of the West, summer is the most important time to keep your body as refreshed as possible.

Fortunately, we can keep cool by doing something enjoyable: eating! Unfortunately, being exposed to high levels of heat can take a psychological toll on our perceptions of hunger. Oftentimes, when we need food the most is when we are the most exhausted, and thus not in the mood to make our own meals. Feeling exhausted is your body’s way of telling you that you need nutrients and cooling consumables, both food and drink.

So What Are Some Options?

To stay refreshed after battling the heat, ideally, choose a meal that consists of more fresh vegetables and less cooked foods, such as red meats. Eating more fruits and vegetables will keep you hydrated, as fruits and vegetables offer a higher water content, than most other foods, such as red meat.

  • Chilled vegetables and fruit can be combined to create a refreshing meal like a cucumber-watermelon and mint salad with a feta crumble.
  • If you are looking for something more filling, avocado lettuce wraps with cold grilled chicken are a fantastic meal for those unbearable summer days.
  • When it’s 80 degrees and above, hot soup is not recommended. However, if you’re looking for something easy to make, a famous  Slavic soup known as “cold beet soup” could be for you. Packed with tons of nutrients, a cold beet soup can be prepared easily and it’s a pleasure to eat. As an added bonus, it can be made vegan!

We highly recommend checking out SV Ayurveda, an LA based company that specializes in various rose flavored products. They offer products such as rose petal preserves, incense and flavored oils. Their site features inspiring recipes for everything from rehydration drinks to the Rose Petal & Sesame Summer Delight, a new and exciting snack that goes beyond the standard and boring oatmeal we all know. Rose flavoring is very popular among European desserts and offers a perfect fresh floral flavor, just in time for these heat waves; be sure to check out their products and recipes and remember… stay cool.

Grandma Sophie’s Rose Petal Confiture

           My entire family comes from Eastern Europe (more specifically Poland), and my grandmother always made her own jams/preserves. During the summer she always had a blooming rose garden and she would use the rose petals to make a confiture. We would use this jam as a filling for polish donuts, known as pączki, or on top of some vanilla ice cream. The fresh, floral flavor is sweet and refreshing for the pallet. I Facetimed her and managed to get the recipe so I thought I would share it. 

You will need the following ingredients: 

  •     1 ½ cups of water
  •     About 2-3 cups of rose petals (any other edible flowers can be added to the mix such as hibiscus)
  •     2 cups sugar (preferably cane)
  •     Juice from half a lemon (you can add more if you want it to be more tangy)
  •     You can add honey if you want, 2 tablespoons recommended

Instructions

  1.     Place the roses into a saucepan or shallow pot and start to cook them until you see a simmer (8-10 mins).
  2.     Add in about 1 ½ cups of your sugar after simmering begins and begin to stir; be sure all of the sugar is dissolved.
  3.     Add your lemon juice.
  4.     Let it simmer for another 10 minutes.
  5.     Add the rest of your sugar and honey .
  6.     Keep an eye on it as it should simmer and bubble from time to time for another 15-20 mins.
  7.     Pour into a jar and store it in your fridge so that it is ready to be used whenever.
  8.     Enjoy!

We have some more helpful tips and tricks for your summer diet. Take a look here!

 

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