Since summer temperatures can be extremely hot, TCM encourages us to eat foods that are cool in nature to avoid internal heat.
Cool off from summer heat with melons, and stone fruit that are packed with flavors and juice. Also include cucumbers, radishes, aromatic herbs, wild rice, or cold noodles in your diet. If you have excessive heat going on (thirst, irritability), it might be a good idea to add bitter-tasting vegetables such as arugula, watercress, and bitter melon to your diet. Balance off by adding foods that also invigorate your earth energy and Spleen: shan yao (Chinese yam), ginger, millet, rice, peanuts, adzuki beans, barley, lotus root, mushrooms, asparagus, bok choy, and perilla leaves.
We are happy to share some of our favorite summer recipes with you.
Hydration of the body is a must in the summer heat. These teas invigorate your heart and spirits:
Helps to alleviate restlessness and relieve summer heat.
A sweet, aromatic herb that helps to reduce anxiety, insomnia and supports the immune system.
Mint + Licorice Root
Promotes digestion, soothes sore throats.
Ginger + Lime
For those with a colder constitution (i.e., cold hands and feet/poor digestion/ loose stools), this is a balancing tisane to ease bloating, stimulate appetite and improve circulation.
Add a small handful of herbs as needed in hot water, steep for 5 minutes. Sweeten with a bit of raw honey or monk fruit if desired. Take a deep breath, enjoy!
Super Cooling Salad
We love this salad as it is full of cooling foods. Besides, it is simple and quick to prepare, which means it can be a great light snack on a hot summer day.
Slice the red and yellow tomatoes into thin slices and dice the cucumber.
Add a can of white beans (preferably soaked the night before cooking).
Squeeze lemon juice into a bowl and add Himalayan sea salt.
Toss in the chopped parsley and add the olive oil along with ground pepper.
Just mix all the ingredients and enjoy the dish!
A Chinese proverb says: Eating wonton on Dongzhi (Winter Solstice) and noodles on Xia Zhi (Summer Solstice). Cool noodles in summer are a great way to banish heat from your stomach and improve your appetite.
Boil the noodles and add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil to keep the noodles from sticking together and enhance the flavor. Let the noodles cool down.
Fry vegetables in neutral oil for light softening. Let them cool down.
Add the soy sauce to the bowl and place the noodles and vegetables on top.
Sprinkle the dish with aromatic herbs and chopped scallions.
Note! Although this is a cool dish, reheat it for 30 seconds to 1 minute before eating to soften the noodles that harden when cooled.
Mung Bean Soup
We love mung beans as a simple medicinal food to quell summer heat. It’s packed with nutrients, great for detoxification, inexpensive, easy to find and make. Here are two versions, savory and sweet. Ensure mung beans are soaked at least 6-8 hours prior to cooking, overnight is best. Usually 1 cup of bean to 3 cups of water is a good ratio for soaking. Be sure to discard the soaking water and cook with fresh water for both recipes.
Savory Mung Bean Soup
Heat stockpot on medium high. Combine ghee, cumin, and ginger and heat till fragrant. Add soaked beans, water, and a pinch of turmeric to the stockpot, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until beans are soft.
Add your favorite vegetables such as chopped kale, spinach, and carrots, continue to simmer for another 15 minutes. For a richer flavor, use vegetable or chicken stock.
Sweet Mung Bean Soup
In addition to mung beans, this sweet recipe also calls for soaked lotus seeds. The ratio of lotus seeds to mung beans should be 1:4. Be sure to remove the center sprout from lotus seeds after soaking, otherwise you will be eating bitter soup.
Place mung beans, lotus seeds, and water into a stockpot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes or until beans are soft. Add sugar to taste, we prefer sucanat or coconut sugar for the minerals and micronutrients.
Chilled sweet mung bean soup is super delicious on a hot summer day. Soup will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.
Note! If you have a cold constitution, stick to the savory version.
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.