Health & Nutrition

Cool summer treats

Summer is the time to rustle up light meals and cool treats. Here are three recipes which will help refresh and rejuvenate your family through the long, hot summer months. - Rashmi N.

Guzzle up gazpacho 

Gazpacho is a cold soup made of raw blended vegetables. A classic of Spanish cuisine, it’s a summer favourite, as it is refreshing and cool. It’s also very healthy as the primary ingredient is tomatoes, which are high in lycopene, an antioxidant that boosts immunity, and provides vitamin C, vitamin E, folate and potassium. The soup also contains cucumber, an exceptionally hydrating food. 


* 2 garlic cloves 
* 1 onion cut into 1-inch pieces 
* 2 kg tomatoes, cored and seeded 
* 2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into chunks 
* 3 tbsp vinegar 
* 2 tsp salt 
* 1 tsp black pepper 
* 2 cucumbers

Preparation guide
* Mix garlic, onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers in a food processor; grind until the vegetables are small chopped pieces (or chop them using a knife). Add vinegar, salt, and black pepper; chill in a large bowl or individual soup bowls. Your gazpacho is ready!

* Peel and dice cucumbers and garnish.


Ice cream sandwich

Children will enjoy making and eating this frozen summer treat. Cocoa powder contains flavonoids that boost blood flow, improve heart health and fight cancer. Homemade cookies are healthy because they don’t contain preservatives, salt, flavouring, food colouring and margarine. 


* Ice cream, vanilla or chocolate (or any other flavour of choice)
* 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
* Four chocolate cookies
* 1 ¾ cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour (maida)
* ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* ¾ tsp baking soda
* ½ tsp baking powder
* ½ tsp fine sea salt
* 175 gm unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

Preparation guide

* Preheat the oven to 180°F. Line a tray with large baking sheets with parchment paper.
* Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
* Use an electric mixer to beat butter and 1 cup of sugar on medium high speed until well combined and smooth. * Beat in eggs and vanilla. On low speed, add the flour mixture and beat until all have blended well.* Place 1/2 cup sugar in a shallow dish. Roll the vanilla mix into 2 tablespoon-sized balls, then add sugar. Place on prepared baking sheets and flatten with the bottom of a measuring cup to a 2-inch diameter.
* Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the cookies are set. Let them cool for five minutes before removing onto wire racks to cool completely. Freeze cookies until firm, for at least one hour. These can be stored in airtight containers in the freezer for up to one month.

Making the sandwich

* Top one cookie with a scoop of ice cream. Place another cookie on top of the ice cream and gently press down to form a sandwich. Roll them sideways in chocolate chips. 
* Place the sandwich in the freezer. 
* Repeat for remaining cookies. Freeze for at least an hour before serving.


Taste the thandai

Thandai is a popular summer drink of Rajasthan. It is traditionally made during the festive seasons of Mahashivratri and Holi, with exotic nuts and spices. Calcium-rich milk and protein-rich almonds make thandai a nutrients-rich drink. Spices such as fennel fight indigestion, and pepper improves immunity. Poppy seeds are rich in minerals such as iron, zinc and phosphorus. 


* 1 ltr full fat milk (or fresh cow’s milk, boiled and cooled)
* 1/2 cup powdered sugar
* 10-12 black peppercorns (kalimirch)
* A few saffron (kesar) strands
Grind the following into a fine powder:
* 1/4 cup almonds (badam)
* 2 tbsp poppy seeds (khus-khus)
* 2 tbsp fennel seeds (saunf)
* 1/2 tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder
* 20 white peppercorns (optional)

Preparation guide

* Boil the milk and allow it to cool. Keep aside. 
* Add the ground powder and mix well. Refrigerate the mixture for 3-4 hours.
* Strain the mixture through a sieve, add the sugar, peppercorns and saffron and mix well.
Serve chilled.