Summer is here. The hottest time of the year is also a favourite among many as schools shut down, holiday season starts, more outdoor activities, beaches, hills, fun get togethers, picnics, sport activities, festivals are celebrated with much enthusiasm. People are busy making plans and are always on the go. It is the time to play hard, destress, enjoy various fruits and flowers, soak the sun, tan and relax. But soon we often feel fatigued, drained and sweaty. Due to excess heat and humidity our immunity gets affected causing skin rashes, digestion problem, infection and seasonal flu. Dehydration and heat strokes are also common due to lack of proper hydration and balance of electrolytes. Fluid intake is very crucial for keeping the body clean, cool and well nourished. Not just water, buttermilk, vegetable and fruit juices and various others natural drinks are recommended to gear up against the rising mercury levels. So say cheers to a bunch of go-to revitalizing summer drinks from the comfort of your home for enjoying a vibrant summer season. Here sharing some recipes.
- Shikanji- Shikanji is the quick fix summer hydrating lemon drink which is easy to prepare with minimum ingredients. You can flavor your shikanji lemonade with any seasonal fruit or flower of your choice for added flavor and benefits. You can add raw mango pulp or hibiscus or cranberry to your shikanji. This drink prevents dizziness, nausea and controls blood pressure. It flushes toxins and purify blood. It reduces respiratory infections and boost immune system. It is rich in Vitamin C and alkaline to our body reducing acid reflux and protects body from oxidative damage. It helps in weight loss and balances the electrolytes. It is anti-depressant and calm the mind and body. It is also great for your skin, cleanses the liver and strengthen your bones.
Recipe- Dry roast cumin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom and black peppercorns. Grind the spices with some black salt into a fine powder. Take chilled water, add lemon juice, ginger juice, sugar syrup, crushed ice and powdered spice mix. Garnish with crushed mint leaves. You can replace water with soda.
- Solkadhi- A tangy appetizing coastal drink usually taken with meals for proper digestion helps particularly in summer season. It is a potent probiotic which improves your gut microbiome with cooling and healing properties. This drink has two main ingredients, one is kokum fruit and another is coconut. The purple colored pigment of kokum fruit called anthocyanins is a great antioxidant making this drink an immuno booster and anti-ageing tonic. It cleanse your digestive system preventing heartburn, constipation, bloating and abdominal pain. Good fats of kokum kadhi due to addition of coconut supports cardiovascular health, has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties and aids weight loss. Consume atleast once a day, preferably with lunch.
Recipe- Soak sour kokum petals in lukewarm water for 30 mins. Add chopped green chillies, crushed garlic, cumin seeds, curry leaves, black salt, sugar and mash the soaked kokum. Mix freshly extracted coconut milk and refrigerate it to let all the flavors seepin. Garnish with coriander leaves before serving chilled.
- Sattu ka sherbat- The protein packed sattu (gram flour and other powdered pulses) in a liquid sherbat form is the go to energy drink in many parts of India. It mitigates heat acting as cooling agent. This drink is a complete meal in itself, great to consume as breakfast, post workout meal or to avoid dehydration after outdoor visits. It is rich in iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, phorsphorus, manganese, insoluble fibres. It keeps blood pressure and sugar under control due to low glycemic index. It helps in cholesterol issues, skin and hair problems, cleaning the colon easing digestion and provide instant energy. It is low in calories, so weight watchers don’t have to worry. It is gluten free and improves bones, muscles and metabolism.
Recipe- For the salty version- Mix or blend sattu powder in water with black or rock salt, roasted cumin powder, lemon juice, mint and chopped green chillies. You can also add finely chopped onion, black pepper powder, coriander leaves paste and chat masala to enhance the taste. Serve chilled.
For the sugary version- Mix sattu powder with water, add jaggery powder or sugar, cardamom powder, little salt, mint and lemon juice. Serve chilled.
- Bel panna- Bel or wood apple are fruits which are eaten when ripened. This sweet aromatic fruit is great for summers as it acts as a coolant reducing the body heat. It is rich in fibre, vitamin A, B, C and antioxidants. It has a slight astringent taste. This drink is a great blood purifier and heals any wound quickly. It stops loose motion and cure diarrhoea. It is also good for your brain. It is a mild laxative tonic of summers with high nutritional qualities. It is antifungal and kills internal parasites in the body. Making our gut healthy this drink cures constipation and reduces inflammation. It improves our immune system and fights chronic and infectious diseases. It repairs damaged tissues and eliminates toxins from the body. It aids digestion and prevents gastric ulcer. This drink is good for liver, reduces menstrual pain, reduces high blood pressure and anemia.
Recipe- Crack open the hard shell, scoop out the pulp. Take the pulp along with water and mash well to get a semi-liquid fluid. Strain the pulp of bel fruit and throw away any solid particles. Mix with water, jaggery powder, crushed black pepper, cardamom powder and black salt.
- Kokum sherbat- Kokum or mangosteen is a tropical fruit whose outer covering is sun-dried and used as a souring agent in many dishes. The fresh fruit is preserved as Kokum sherbat. Kokum sherbat is good for digestion, cools the body, reduces acidity, is anti-inflammatory. Typically in summers this juice reduces excess body heat and prevent heat strokes. Being rich in anti-oxidants it fights infections and keeps the skin youthful. It supresses appetite and detoxify your body. This drink has high nutritional value and helps in building your immune system. It is a great drink for weight loss and calms your mind reducing anxiety. This concentrated syrup can last upto 2-3 months if refrigerated well.
Recipe- Soak fresh soft Kokum petals (without seeds) in lukewarm water for 2 hours, mash well or puree and strain the Kokum juice. Take the Kokum juice in a pan and add sugar or jaggery, roasted cumin powder, black salt, black pepper powder and cardamom powder and cook until the jaggery dissolves. Once it start boiling, lower the heat and let it cook little. Strain and refrigerate the concentrate. Mix it with water in 3:1 ratio with kokum puree, mint leaves and lemon juice while serving.
With these homemade easy summer drinks you are sure to beat the summer heat in lip smacking ways. Make sure to avoid caffeinated beverages and artificial high sugar or sodium loaded processed drinks. Enjoy.