Summer Eating: Tips and Recipes

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There is more heat, humidity, and sunlight in the summer. So what does this mean for our internal body? During summer there is naturally a greater presence of fire and water (Pitta dosha), and its associated qualities including hot, sharp, penetrating, light, liquid, and oily. An excess of these qualities can lead to rashes, acne, burning eyes, rosacea, hot flashes, heavy sweating, hyperacidity, diarrhea, headaches, indigestion, heart burn etc. While mitigating severe heat imbalances requires a detailed personal consultation, there are some basic foods that everyone can incorporate to stay cooler. Luckily nature provides us with most of those foods during the summertime!

Which foods heat the body?

  • Eating hot, spicy, or oily foods including tomatoes, citrus fruits, peppers, onions, garlic, hot sauces, and more
  • Drinking coffee or alcohol

How can we pacify the additional heat that summer brings?

  1. Favor cooling, hydrating, sweet, bitter, and astringent foods in the summer. Sweet foods include most grains, maple syrup, milk, and licorice. Bitter foods include aloe vera, dandelion root, sandalwood, turmeric root, bitter melon. Astringent foods include pomegranate, green beans, peas, okra, alfalfa sprouts, most raw vegetables, goldenseal, neem, chickpeas. Cooling drinks such as coconut water, limeade or hibiscus tea are helpful.
  2. Avoid coffee and alcohol. If you enjoy alcohol, favor something more cooling like beer (especially IPA), punch, or white wine
  3. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Favor early morning or late evening sun and wear a hat if you must be in the midday sun.

Recipes

Hibiscus Cooler

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger
  • ½ cup dried hibiscus
  • Maple syrup
Instructions:
  • Bring water to a boil.
  • Add cinnamon, ginger, and hibiscus.
  • Cover and reduce heat to low.
  • Let simmer 10 minutes.
  • Strain and serve, sweeten with 1 tsp maple syrup per cup or to taste.

Cucumber Pumpkin Seed Salad

Salad

  • 5 cups chopped cucumberCucumber on White
  • 1 cup shredded carrot

Dressing (makes ~ 1 cup)

  • ½ bunch cilantro (1/2- 1cup chopped)
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ tsp rock salt
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • 2 ½ Tbsp lime juice (fresh)
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • Pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Combine ingredients together and shake.  You can also blend all ingredients together for a creamier dressing.

Fresh Cilantro Sauce: Great on rice, salad, just about anything! This was a favorite while we were in Ayurvedic school.

  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantrocilantro
  • 1 date, pitted
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp organic yogurt (substitute coconut milk if pitta is high, or goat cheese if kapha is high)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

  • Step 1: Put all the ingredients except the salt and pepper in a blender.  Blend until smooth.
  • Step 2: Pulse in salt and pepper.