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Monday, June 28, 2010

Five Tasty Ways To Stay Cool This Summer


It finally feels like summer around here.  We are making every attempt to keep ourselves cool during the day.  I thought that today I'd share five of my favorite summer drinks, all of which happen to be family friendly.



1-Orange Julius

This one has been a favorite since I was a little girl. It is sweet, creamy, and full of vitamin C.  I love to make my julius extra slushy by adding extra ice.  If I ever have extra I'll throw it into a dish and freeze it, I love eating it as a frozen treat.


  • 1/2 can frozen Orange Juice concentrate
  • 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 12-18 ice cubes


Add ingredients to blender. Blend ingredients together on high speed until all of the ice cubes are crushed.  (Serves 4-6)



2-Agua de Jamaica (ha-mike-ah)


My husband really loves this drink.  For those of you who have never tried it, or who are unfamiliar with the drink, it is a delicious herbal tea made from the hibiscus flower.  I can't really describe the flavor, but it is intense, sweet, and refreshing. It is a beautiful deep red color. I make it for my husband every Father's Day along with a favorite Mexican dish.


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers (1.5 oz) (you can find these in the mexican food section of most stores)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups ice


Bring water to boil and add flowers.  Simmer 5 minutes.  Pour infusion over sieve.  Discard flowers.  Add sugar and ice.  Serves 6.

I often find that the intensity flavor varies by flower.  You may want to add more water if the drink is a bit too intense.

3-Banana Milk

This is a drink that I remember my mom making for us before bed.  It is a simple flavored milk, that I am happy to give my son.  I typically serve this in the morning or before bed, but you can enjoy it anytime.  This is also a great way to use bananas that are a bit past their prime (we are pretty picky banana eaters in our house, once they are speckled brown we don't usually eat them whole).  You can warm your milk during the cooler months for a delicious warm drink.

1 whole banana
2 Cups of milk
a dash of cinammon
1 tsp sugar *optional

Blend ingredients together in blender and enjoy.  Serves 2



4- Aguas Frescas (Mexican fresh fruit beverage)


This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh fruit in the summer.  I only became familiar with aguas frescas a few years ago, but I love, love, love them.  You can use the fruit of your choice when making this drink, but here are some that work really well (pineapple, watermelon, mango, cantaloupe, honeydew).  I only recently tried honeydew (not my favorite melon), and it was so tasty.  My son drank it right up.  Aguas frescas are quite simple to make.  Chop up your fruit into small pieces, add a bit of water, a tsp or sugar if needed, and blend.  I'm going to link to a Food Network recipe if you want the specifics.  When I lived in Texas I'd enjoy a fresh cantaloupe drink in the mornings.  Sometimes the heat is so intense that it kills your appetite.  This is a great way to get something into your stomach and stay cool.



5-Limeade


I love fresh limeade.  In my opinion limeade is far superior to lemonade.  It really helped to settle my stomach when I was having morning sickness with my son.  I love to gather several limes and press them by hand.  I think that summer time should be about slowing down and enjoying the day.  Squeezing limes by hand (while more work) is so much more enjoyable than mixing up a can of concentrated juice. If you've never made it by hand give it a try.  All you need is: Lime press, fresh limes, water, sugar to taste, and ice.

This is a recipe that you make to taste.  Squeeze the juice of 3 limes (Not all limes produce the same amount of juice so taste test along the way).  Add water (about 1/2 pitcher...how's that for vague) taste to see if you have the lime flavor you desire.  Add sugar to taste (1/3 cup or so).  Pour over ice.  Enjoy.

Here's a recipe if my instructions are a bit to vague for you.


I hope that your all able to stay cool this summer, and that you slow down and enjoy your favorite drinks with your family.  These are some of my favorite options.  I'd love to hear about your favorites as well.

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