It may be a scorcher outside, but it doesn't mean you have to lose your cool! Hosting can be stressful as it is, and with the added presence of the summer heat, you should be able to keep cool, calm, and collected. Stocking your kitchen with the right foods will keep you chilled out all season long. In addition to serving these fresh picks, be sure to drink plenty of water and eat lightly!
Chicago-based nutritional expert Amanda Skrip shares her five foods to eat to stay cool at home and when you're hosting guests:
1. Eat Your Water
Water-rich produce like watermelon, cucumbers, radishes, and even leafy greens, will quench your thirst and keep you hydrated. These foods are bright in color and make for a great presentation. And they are low in calories, easy to digest, and rich in anti-oxidants.
Add cucumber or melon to a pitcher of water for extra, crisp flavor. Use fresh-cut crudité to dip into spreads and salsas rather than salty, fatty, and dehydrating chips. Spend extra time in the produce section and at green markets this summer, and you'll be fresh and glowing through the fall.
2. Get Zesty
Lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits are some of the most cooling fruits around. They are also great at aiding in digestion and breaking down fatty foods.
Keep citrus on hand to make salad dressings or to squeeze onto plain veggies, especially when platters will be sitting outside for a while — it slows down the wilting and browning process.
Adding lemon or lime to plain water is a great way to liven up the flavor — and to get a giant dose of vitamin C. Your strengthened immunity will keep summertime colds at bay and ready to host all summer!
3. Stay Fresh
Herbs like mint, basil, cilantro, and parsley have naturally cooling and soothing properties. Their fresh flavor will liven your spirit as well as garnishing your plate! Get in the habit of adding fresh herbs to your cooking for packed flavor. They are also great tossed into salads and blended into smoothies.
4. Spice It Up
Spicing it up will cool you down! Adding heat to dishes with ginger, chiles, cayenne, and black pepper might make guest's mouths a little fiery, but will help cool the body's internal flame. Grate fresh ginger into marinades or sprinkle chile flakes on bland chicken or vegetables.
Foods to Avoid: Oily, fatty, and salty foods, as well as soda and sugary beverages — they make it difficult to digest.