So steamy that all you want for dinner is a hunk of frozen watermelon? We know the feeling. But ice-cold food isnât actually the best way to escape the hot zone. According to Ayurveda, the ancient indian practice of balancing energy for health, certain ingredients have properties that can help you beat the heat. Check out these recipes for your chillest summer yet.
The first meal of the day breaks the overnight fast, so breakfast should be soothing on the digestive system, as itâs still kicking into gear, Garivaltis says. Oats simmered in almond milk until they reach a velvety texture are gentle on digestion, as are sweet stone fruitsâany combination of nectarines, peaches, and apricots will do. SautĂ© them in coconut oil (preferred because its nutrients arenât lost during cooking) for a tropical touch.
âBitter is the best cooling taste we have,â says Nomi Gallo, an instructor at the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque. A trio of our favorite pungent greensâkale, watercress, and dandelionâcan help detoxify the blood and foster a bal - anced pitta, promoting enzyme function. Vegetarian proteins like chickpeas and quinoa make for a light but filling meal. (Mung beans, kidney beans, barley, and couscous would all work equally well here.)
âWe like to say âthe fire is the strongestâ around noon, because your digestion is working at its highest potential,â explains Gallo. âLunch is the time to have your anchor meal; eat it mindfully.â These wholewheat flatbreads stuffed with cauliflower, peas, and spinach crisp up within minutes in a skillet .
âDigestion starts waning after 6 p.m.,â says Gotham Ayurvedaâs Ferranti, âso make dinner your smallest meal.â Steaming these vegetables for a few minutes renders them more digestible ( âthe body works harder to break down raw foodsâ) without ruining crunch. With their anti-inflammatory and healing properties, the fresh herbs in the dressing lend an additional cooling boost and also can help with digestion.
Custard without the cream? Weâll take it . Especially when itâs laced with an exotic hint of cardamom, a spice that does more to transport us across the globe than any other we know. And with fresh berries (supreme cleansers for the body) as the main attractionâsweetened with just a drizzle of maple syrup and spiked with a splash of vanillaâdessert by no means needs to sabotage your day.