The summer heat is hotter than ever and we’re looking for ways to stay cool. At DEFINE foods we know how the heat can affect our bodies through physical manifestations like hot flashes, acne, and exhaustion, so to combat some of these natural effects, we obviously turn to nature’s medicine: food.
Remember in the winter how our bodies naturally gravitated towards soups, stews, and warming spices? Well, the opposite is true for summer. Now we crave all the raw, cool, and hydrating food that comes our way. At DEFINE foods, our favorites include dark leafy greens, zucchini, cucumber, melons, basil… The list goes on! These foods have a high water content, making them perfect for this sweaty season, as they can naturally help replenish what we’ve lost.
So if food truly does have the power to cool us down and keep us hydrated during this extremely hot season, how can we avoid the heat of the kitchen?
Well, if the idea of turning on the oven has you already breaking a sweat, you’re in luck. We’ve curated a list of three DEFINE foods recipes that don’t require any heat and are sure to keep your body cool and nourished.
Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Basil Pesto
Voilà! A deliciously hydrating dinner for a hot summer night.
-4 large zucchini
-1 bunch fresh basil, chopped + set aside a couple sprigs for garnish
-1 avocado, pitted + sliced
-¼ cup tahini
-⅓ cup lemon juice and lemon zest
-2 T olive oil
-Salt & pepper to taste
Run zucchini through a spiralizer or slice zucchini into long, thin strips. Set aside.
Blend the basil, tahini, lemon juice, avocado, and olive oil together in a high speed blender or food processor, adding water a little at a time until desired consistency. (You may not need water at all). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Toss the zucchini with the sauce. Divide zucchini among bowls and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and fresh herbs.
Zesty Green Gazpacho
Pair this chilled summer soup with our Raw Chili Salad Rolls and you might have a new favorite weekday lunch.
-8 thin asparagus pieces, tough stems removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
-1 cup water
-1 large handful of spinach
-couple sprigs of fresh parsley
-juice from 1 lime
-1/2 jalapeno, more or less depending on taste
-1 tsp cumin
-pinch of sea salt
-microgreens, to garnish
Place the asparagus and 1/4 cup of the water into a blender or vitamix. Blend until pureed and smooth. Add the spinach, parsley, avocado, lime, jalapeno, cumin and remaining water. Blend until smooth. Season with sea salt and adjust to your liking by adding more jalapeno and/or lime, if desired. Puree one final time.
Serve immediately or place in the refrigerator until ready to enjoy. Divide into bowls. Garnish with fresh microgreens and a drizzle of really good olive oil, if desired.
Stacked Watermelon Salad with Coriander-Tahini Dressing
This stunning appetizer will steal the show at any outdoor dinner party.
-½ watermelon, rind removed, thinly sliced into rectangle pieces
-¼ large cucumber, thinly sliced
-1 avocado, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced
-½ cup pistachios, toasted, cooled and roughly chopped
-¼ cup olive oil
-zest plus juice from one lime
-1 Tbsp tahini
-½ tsp honey
-¼ tsp coriander
-½ tsp sea salt
-freshly ground black pepper
-flaky sea salt and red pepper flakes, for garnish
-micro greens or fresh herbs like basil, cilantro or mint, for garnish
-chili olive oil (optional)
To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, tahini, honey, coriander, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Place one piece of watermelon in the center of a small plate. Stack a thin layer of avocado, followed by 3-4 slices of cucumber. Drizzle with a small of amount of the dressing and sprinkle some of the pistachios. Continue layering watermelon, avocado, cucumber, dressing and pistachios twice more. Drizzle with chili olive oil (if using) and garnish with fresh herbs, flaky sea salt, red pepper flakes and more pistachios.
As the summer heat continues, try incorporating these hydrating recipes and we promise your body will thank you.
For more meals that keep the heat at bay, check out our Week of Salads Meal Program. We use dark leafy greens, like kale and collard greens, fresh basil, and zucchini. Each meal is ready to be enjoyed and provides all the benefits (and more!) that cooling foods have to offer. Simply order online, and you’ll have a stocked fridge full of fresh, cool meals that will have you wishing summer never has to end.