Beat the heat this summer by selecting delectable and nutritious foods, spices, and aromas that cool you down. These flavors are some of the best that will help you relax in the heat. Check out 4 of my favorite recipes for chilled summer soups and herbal infused iced teas.
1. El Gazpacho Soup
Try a chilled summer soup at lunch or before your main course at dinner to cool you off on a hot summer day. Gazpacho soup is typically made with tomato, cucumber, red bell pepper, onion and garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, water, and salt. However, I recommend substituting the vinegar with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
This is because lemonade and sour foods, in general, are associated with refreshment because they stimulate salivation. When you get dehydrated on a hot day, your mouth starts to go dry. According to a 1960s research in Japan, sour flavors stimulate salivation more than any other taste.
A gazpacho chilled summer soup wets your mouth and gives you the impression of hydration even after you’re done with the soup. Research shows that we’ve conditioned our body this way and become used to associating acidity with refreshment. Cleansers and air fresheners are highly scented with lemon essential oil. So we connect the clean smell of lemon with refreshment when it’s in our foods.
In 15 minutes, you can prepare a serving for 4 people with these ingredients:
- 2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped
- 1 cucumber, pulled and chopped
- 1 pound fresh ripe cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 1/2 slices of stale crusty white bread (about 75 grams)
- 2 tbsp (or to taste) freshly squeezed lemon juice or red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 thin slices baguette sourdough bread (optional) and olive oil for brushing
- Place the peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, garlic, and spring onions in a large bowl.
- Add the bread and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the lemon juice and olive oil and blend together by hand, making sure to press out all the juices.
- Chill in the refrigerator and let it soak for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
- Put the vegetables into a blender and blend until smooth; check it consistently.
- Add more olive oil for a richer flavor and to thicken slightly. Adjust the seasoning as desired.
- Cover and chill again.
- Make toast by brushing bread with olive oil and toasting in a skillet over medium heat until it turns golden brown and crunchy.
- Drain excess olive oil on a paper towel.
- Serve the chilled gazpacho soup garnished with fresh chopped basil and a drizzle of olive oil and toast on the side.
2. Herbal Infused Iced Tea
A herbal infused iced tea is another summer favorite for cooling down and can be enjoyed any time of the day. You can choose from this list of freshly picked herbs or essential oils to infuse your tea.
Peppermint is fresh, minty, and sweet. It is a powerful vasoconstrictor for cooling down in the summer heat. Research shows that it’s better than coffee as a stimulant.
The aroma of this native American herb is delightfully warm, softly fresh, and lovely with a slightly herbal note. Spearmint oil is mild, gentle, and less intense than peppermint. Because of its soothing, relaxing, and uplifting action, spearmint may be useful for treating mental fatigue and depression. A refreshing aperitif, spearmint may be useful for relieving digestive conditions like flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, and nausea.
This citrus tastes fresh, sweet, and fruity. It energizes and refreshes your body and mind and helps you to stay focused
Lemongrass is fresh, lemony, sweet, and herbaceous. It refreshes and renews your life energies.
Grapefruit smells fresh, bright, crisp, and pleasantly fruity. The uplifting grapefruit oil stimulates feelings of euphoria, promotes natural weight loss, and has a reputation for curbing the sweet tooth. It stimulates increased metabolism, promotes detoxification, and is an excellent body cleanser and builder.
Oranges are sweet, fresh, and fruity. They are refreshing and a rejuvenating body tonic that promotes happiness and eases tension.
3. Lemongrass Black Tea
- Black tea or tea bags
- Pure lemongrass essential oil
- A jar with a tight-fitting lid
- Put half a pound of your favorite black tea in the jar or use tea bags if you prefer.
- Dispense 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil on a paper towel and lay it on top of your loose black tea or tea bags.
- Seal the jar with the lid and leave for 7 days. The scent of the lemongrass will be absorbed into the tea leaves.
- After 7 days, remove the paper towel, prepare, and serve your tea as you like it and enjoy.
- Keep your lemongrass scented black tea sealed tightly and store in a cool, dry place like a cupboard. If stored properly, the scented tea will approximately last up to to 6 months.
4. Fresh Lemongrass Tea (De-Caffeinated)
These quantities will give about 4 servings of 6-ounce cups.1
- 2 cups of lemongrass stalks (chopped)
- 1/4–1/8 cup of honey or maple syrup for taste
- Lime slices for garnish (optional)
- Boil the water over a high heat in a saucepan.
- Add lemongrass and bring it to a low simmering boil for 5–10 minutes.
- The longer you boil, the more flavorful your tea will be.
- Reduce the heat and allow the tea to cool slightly for about 5 minutes.
- Strain the stalks from the tea.
- Add honey or maple syrup sweetener.
- Chill in the refrigerator and pour it over ice.
A Word Of Caution
These recipes have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All statements are intended for information purposes only. Health decisions are much too important to be made without the advice of a health care practitioner. As with any dietary or herbal supplement, you should consult your doctor before using any product. If you are nursing, pregnant, or considering pregnancy, you should consult your health care practitioner prior to using any health supplement product.
|↑1||Stiles, KG. The Essential Oils Complete Reference Guide. Page Street Publishing Company, 2017|