Monday, March 20, 2006

"Indian Drinks And Sharbats" - Cool Fruit Treats To Beat The Summer Heat

Well,summer is officially here in India.Its getting hot and as we reside in a coastal area of Andhra Pradesh,the humidity levels are pretty high.Inspite of the sweltering heat,this is the time of the year I look forward to barbecues, watermelons,sweet juicy ripe mangoes,corn on the cob,lemonades and healthy fresh fruit drinks.

Summer offers a wider variety vegetables than any other season and ripe and juicy fruits like watermelons, guavas,lichees, mangoes, musk melons, sweet lime (mousambi), oranges,papaya, grapes,bananas, pineapples, sapota(chikku), pomegranate are available in abundance absolutely fresh from the farm and sold by the farmers themselves at the Rythu Bazaars (Farmer’s Market) at very reasonable prices(as there is no middle man involved here).It’s an absolute delight to visit the Rythu Bazaar and interact with the farmers and watch them arrange the fresh produce early in the morning...:)Infact I visit the Rythu Bazaar ,which is a stone’s throw away from my home,almost everyday on my way back home after my morning walk to pick up fresh vegetables and fruits.You can look forward to seeing some pictures of Rythu Bazaar,the farmers and their produce in my future posts.

During the entire summer season, I make a variety of cool thirst-quenching refreshing fruit drinks and salads almost every day.Summer is extremely harsh on us here in India and sometimes the temperature soars as high as 47 degrees Celsius and the coastal areas face high humidity.Its very common to find people suffering from heat strokes,heat exhaustion and heat stress during these hot weather months.The only mantra I follow for myself and my family to keep the body cool and prevent dehydration is by drinking plenty of fluids and eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables and reduce intake of oily and spicy food.Our consumption of vegetables and fruits during these summer months is the highest than in any other season.

I want to share some of the tips I generally follow during the summer season to beat the sizzling heat and stay cool.Drink water,water and more water...I consume a lot of fluids and drink atleast 12 glasses of water about 4 litres of water.If you have difficulty in drinking 12 glasses of water,ensure that you can drink atleast 8 glasses of water and supplement your water intake with healthy drinks of your choice like a lemonade or fresh fruit drinks.You don’t have to concote a fancy sharbat or drink,even a humble lemonade or nimmakaaya neelu (nimbu paani) will do.

When we are sweating, our bodies are losing out on essential moisture and minerals like potassium and eating fresh fruits or intake of fruit drinks and healthy salads replenishes minerals and helps absorb and retain fluids and helps us stay hydrated and refreshed.We drink a lot of tender coconut water throughout the summer season and we are fortunate to have home grown coconut trees.Those pictures you see are the coconut trees grown in our garden.Tender coconut water is the best bet for the hot summer.I just love the soft and creamy pulp of a tender coconut..its simply heavenly..:)According to Ayurvedic nutrition the liquid from a tender coconut (90% is water) is so pure and cooling with immense healing properties and is known to pacify pitta dosha and alleviates any pitta-related disorders.
I guess, most of us are used to air-conditioned environments during the summer season. My advice is to avoid extreme changes in temperature at once. If you are feeling extremely hot and are sweating, due to the sweltering heat,then don’t get into an air-conditioned environment immediately on entering your home.First try to cool your body down (room temperature) before getting into the luxury of your air-conditioned room. Our bodies should not be exposed to extreme temperature variations.Try to use as much of ceiling or floor fans to keep cool than AC’s.We spread dry coconut branches and palm leaves all over our terrace and use coir blinds to cover our windows to prevent heat of the hot sun from entering the house and wet the coir blinds which helps in lowering the temperature inside the house.
Avoid all aerated beverages and ice cold drinks with preservatives.They are a big 'no-no' and are banned in my home.I cant stress enough the importance of incorporating fruits in your daily diet regime which gives you fiber,vitamin C and strengthens the immune system.FRUITS to me are absolutely heavenly and are 'manna from heaven' and I can live off fruits..:).They are packed with nutrition, almost negligible calories,minimal fat,full of vitamins, phytonutrients and fibre and easily digestable.There’s nothing more delicious and nutritious as thirst-quenching refreshing drinks and fruit salads and with the abundance of fresh fruit choices available ,you sure can beat the heat and make this summer a savory experience.I hope to share with you a few of these fruit drinks and sharbats in my future posts.

There are numerous ways to prepare refreshing fruit drinks and sharbats which are not only delicious but low in calories and full of nutrition.Most of them are traditional health drinks,herbal drinks and yes,they work on our skin as well and you can call them beauty enhancers too..:)These have worked for me and I hope they help you too.You will find that they are so simple to prepare with the least number of ingredients and yet effective in not only keeping us cool and healthy and bring out that shine to our skin and glow to the face.I look forward to sharing with you in my series on “Indian Drinks & Sharbats”,some healthy and refreshing fruit drinks,herbal drinks and sharbets which I prepare for my family during the summer season.So stay tuned..:)



Santhi said...

Absolutly looking forward for the series Sailu.

BDSN said...

Ofcourse Iam gonna stay tuned....

I remember those days back in Salem,TN when the days were really hot, we use to go to the terrace and spray water all over the terrace to keep cool...

Ashwini said...

I love juices of all kinds so I am def staying tuned :-)

Annita said...

Your post reminds me of my home land..My amma was telling its rerribly hot in Kerala too and i'll be coming to India this month end..
Looking forward for your series..

Lera said...

Wow sailu, Nice pictures of the coconut palm trees....:)quite Interesting to read. I gues, it's quite hot this summer in AP .

Lakshmi said...

Sailu, Are you an "ayurvedic Doctor" . prati sari mi blog visit chesinapdu annipistundi. Chala baga rastaru. Wonderful.
From all these days, I used to think that you are in USA, I didn't checked out your profile. Today, I did.

matalu ravatamu ledu, nijamu chala baga vuntayi mi blogs.

Melissa CookingDiva said...

It sounds like the perfect food to me! Loved the photo with different kinds of bananas. Hugs,

Alex said...

I will so be staying tuned...:) I can live on fruit alone too...

Also, I envy you so bad! We're getting snow today apparently and the only fruit we can get is completely tasteless at this time of year...

...but I can look at your pictures and fantasize...:)

Kitchenmate said...

Sailu, looking forward to your series and lovely post.
with 8-12 glass of water intake, you are sending most of digestive problems away:) and drinking water early in the morning is very health wise.

Angela said...

Wow. Thank you for such a comprehensive and delicious entry. I just discovered your blog and appreciate how you have blended foods with the overall concept of healthy living, whether that be mental, or physical! If you are at all interested in exploring some other interesting things in the blogosphere, you should check [this] out! Happy blogging!

a said...

Hey Sailu,

Can I have some of your guava's? We call it 'Bayabas' in tagalog word....Those banana's are tempting too and most especially "Coconut" - it seems like summer is approaching huh!


aloi said...

sailu, just discovered your blog and i am thrilled! i've started with indian cooking and really need some help. your site looks like it will do just that!

sailu said...

santhi,bdsn,annita,ashwini...I hope you enjoy all the summer drinks I concote for my family..:)

Thanks,Lera.Its May which is going to be really HOT.

Thanks,Lakshmi.Naaku Ayurveda ante chaala interest undi.Maa tatayya garu ayurveda nee advocate cheysevaaru.


Alex,your gonna love them for sure..:)

Absolutely right,KM.

Sure you can have as many guavas as you please,Tin..:)

Thanks for stopping by,Aloi.

mg said...

Sailu, i miss those guavas (lovely photos!). All those summer fruits you mentioned... yummmm. I can't stand heat that's over 30c. Keep in shade Sailu.

Puspha said...

WOW!!! summer fruits. Yummy.
Oh how I miss the fruits in my home.

Raniandraja said...

I am looking forward to the series. When you say aerated beverages, I assume that means carbonated beverages. I know that most carbonated beverages include many processed and unnatural ingredients but what is the problem with being aerated/ carbonated?

Did you see the falooda sharbat at the end of my post of vintage beverages. They are just the kind of beverages that we should stay away from actually. But interesting.

My wife is going to make your Pesara Pappu Kattu recipe tonite. Any kind of dal helps to rejuvinate me when I am sick. I have a lump in my throught and my Indian friends have taught me to drink warm milk with tumeric. Any other suggestions?

sailu said...

I sure am taking care to avoid the heat,Mae.Thanks..:)

Pushpa,I am glad the pictures brought back memories of India..:)

RR,most carbonated drinks are acidic and by drinking them we are encouraging our body to consume more carbon dioxide which is the cause of acid reflux.

Your falooda sharbat post is great and a lovely tasting drink.Yes its high in calories but I would'nt place the sharbat on the same lines as aerated drinks.Anyway any such drink in small amounts(once in a while) isnt so harmful,I guess..:)

You can read my post on home remedies for cold.