In the summer heat staying hydrated is even more important than usual. Fluids help flush toxins out of our organs, carry nutrients to our cells, can help keep blood pressure within normal range, provide a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues, can help lower your risk of heat stroke, and can help reduce summer headaches.
Keep on top of dehydration by drinking liquids throughout the day, because once your body sends you the signal “I’m thirsty” you are already dehydrated.
The amount of fluids you need is related to your age, gender and activity levels. Check out the Eat Right Ontario’s Guidelines for how much you need to be drinking.
Water is always a good choice, but milk, coffee and tea as well as juice (in moderation) are good choices as well. Alcohol is a dehydrator, so if you are drinking some cocktails on a hot summer day, don’t forget to drink in moderation and drink rehydrating non-alcoholic drinks as well.
On a hot summer day there’s nothing like a glass of ice tea. And contrary to popular belief tea is not dehydrating.
Commercial iced teas are loaded with sugar, sugar and more sugar plus the valuable antioxidants are destroyed in the processing.
This recipe lets you utilize those antioxidants as well as decide on the sweetness level by adding what you like right after brewing. See the recipe for Simple Syrup below.
Old Fashioned Iced Black Tea
Makes – 8 cups
Although most people think of ice tea as regular tea that is cold, try being creative and brew a pot of ice tea with Earl Grey, Irish Breakfast or your favourite blended tea.
I like making decaf as well as caffeinated for all the caffeine sensitive people in the crowd.
If you drink really weak tea, this one maybe too strong, add extra cold water to your liking.
½ cup (125 mL) loose tea or 6-8 – 2 cup tea bags
4 cups (1 L) boiling water
4 cups (1 L) cold water
1. Hot your clean 4 cup (1 L) tea pot.
2. Discard water. Add loose tea or tea bags. Pour in boiling water and let steep for 4-6 minutes
3. Fill a 10 cup (2.2L) jug with 4 cups (1 L) cold water.
4. Stir tea. Gently squeeze tea bags and discard. Pour tea into the jug of cold water. Refrigerate until cold.
5. To serve, add lemon if desired. Pour into glasses filled with ice.
Zero calories, fat, sodium, carbs, fibre, and protein.
If you want sweet ice tea, add simple syrup – see recipe below.
1:1 ratio of water to sugar, you can use regular sugar, honey or Agave
Flavourings – Fresh mint leaves or sliced ginger
- Place water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil stirring until the sugar dissolves.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Add flavourings like mint leaves or chopped fresh ginger if desired.
- Cool completely, remove flavourings, pour into a jar, cover and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
1 tbsp (15 mL) of Simple Syrup = 45 calories, 12 g Carbohydrate
Iced Spiced Black Tea
Add 4 cinnamon sticks and 4 cloves to the pot before you add the tea. Follow the directions for Old Fashioned Iced Black Tea.
Iced Blackcurrant Tea
Add 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) blackcurrant syrup, can be bought under the Brand name of Ribena, to 1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened iced tea.
Professional home economist tip:
Tea bags and leaves make wonderful food for your garden, those antioxidants just don‘t stop. I usually discard loose leaves around my plants. Tea bags can be torn open and the loose leaves can be sprinkled around your plants as well. Here’s to a healthy you and your posies.
Watermelon Raspberry Lemonade
Refreshing and naturally sweet, this watermelon drink will help keep you hydrated as well as supply your body with lycopene, potassium, Vitamin A, B6, and C. I adapted this recipe from www.watermelon.org
4 cups watermelon
¼ cup frozen raspberries
½ cup water
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1. Place watermelon, raspberries, water and lemon juice in container of electric blender, cover and blend until smooth.
2. Refrigerate for at least one hour or serve over ice cubes.
Makes approx.. 4 cups (1 L)
One serving = 1 cup (250 mL)
Each serving contains: 60 calories, 0.75 total fat, 0 sat fat, 0 trans fats, 3 mg sodium, 14 g carbs, 1 g fibre, 1 g protein
for more inforamtion on watermelon check out my post on Wonderful Watermelon.
‘Tis the Season for Frozen Cocoa
Tis frozen cocoa recipe gives your body not only necessary fluids, but add in some calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It’s a great treat for the summer months.
Every great summer blender drink needs a fabulous blender. I am loving my Cuisinart Blender.
1 cup (250 mL) skim milk
2 Tbsp (30 mL) natural cocoa powder
1 Tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar or sweetener of your choice – more if needed, but just a tad…
1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract – only pure will do – the artificial kind has a funny after taste
2 Tbsp (30 mL) skim milk powder – see below
2 cups ice
1. Put all ingredients into a blender. Whirl till smooth and the ice is blended in. This is slightly noisy, but well worth it. Divide into 2 equal servings, share. Viva La Cocoa!
Makes – 3 cups (750 mL)
Serves – 2 – 1 ½ cup (375 mL) per serving
Each 1 ½ cup (375 mL) serving contains:
145 Calories, 2 g Total Fat, 0 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 90 mg Sodium, 18 g Carbs, 1 g Fibre, 9 g Protein.
Professional home economist tip: you can find powdered skim milk in the same aisle as the canned milk, usually on the bottom shelf. Loaded with protein and calcium it can really bump up the nutrition and the creaminess of a blender drink.
Coconut Water and Pineapple
I was never a fan of coconut water until I tried O.N.E. It’s the real deal, just pure coconut water from green coconuts, no added preservatives or sugars.
This has become my go-to drink for the summer.
Coconut water contains potassium which helps lower blood pressure and magnesium which can help relax muscles. This hydrating drink is a perfect portable beverage. Low in calories and sugar I make it and sip all afternoon.
½ cup (125 mL) O.N.E. coconut water (I usually add 1 cup/250 mL)
½ cup (125 mL) pure pineapple juice
1 cup (250 mL) ice cubes
1. Place coconut water, pineapple juice and ice cubes in container of electric blender, cover and blend until smooth. Serve.
Makes 450 mL
One serving = 90 calories, 0 total fat, 37 mg sodium, 23 g carbs.