It’s absolutely beautiful here in Tennessee this morning. The sun is out, the breeze is blowing and it’s a cool 70 degrees. I’m sipping a cup of coffee and watching the boys through the window as they play in the garden. I’m going to soak up every minute of this beautiful day because starting tomorrow the cool breeze will be gone, replaced by a bright, hot sun and 6-7 consecutive days of 100 degree heat. I see from my Instagram feed that we aren’t alone in that. So I put together a few recipes to keep us all cool and hydrated.
Healthy Pink Lemonade - This recipe is incredibly refreshing thanks to the cooling properties of watermelon. Make this ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. We call it pink lemonade because it’s a beautiful shade of pink and has a light sweet flavor.
- Juice of 1/2 a watermelon
- 1 lemon - washed and thinly sliced
- 1 pitcher of cold, filtered water
Directions: Fill a large pitcher 3/4 of the way full with filtered water. Use a melon baller to scoop the fruit out of your watermelon. This technique leaves the juice behind in the rind. Put the watermelon in a bowl and store in the fridge for an afternoon snack. Pour the leftover watermelon juice into the pitcher of water. Drop in your lemon slices. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours and serve cold. If you want it a little sweeter you add a 5-6 drops of liquid stevia.
Homemade Lemonade – This is an easy recipe the kids can make themselves. It’s difficult to get our youngest to drink enough water to keep him hydrated on hot, humid days. Adding a little sweetness and giving him the opportunity to make it himself always goes a long way to helping him to drink more.
- 1/2 a lemon
- 2 cups of filtered water
- 3 drops of liquid stevia
Directions: Pour a tall glass of filtered water. Wash a lemon and cut it in half. If you aren’t using both halves, keep the extra half in an air tight container in the fridge. You can also put it aside to clean your shower or sink. Use a citrus squeeze or your hands to squeeze the lemon juice into your water and add the liquid stevia to taste. Stir, chill or drop in a few ice cubes and enjoy!
Fruit Infused Water Bar - This is a fun idea that lets everyone in the house customize their drink and also helps use up any fruit that’s not going to last much longer. Wash and cut up whatever fruit you have on hand. Place each in it’s own bowl with a spoon and set it out on the table. Place some fresh herbs on a separate plate (basil, mint and rosemary work well for drinks). Put out a bucket of ice, large glasses, straws and big pitcher of filtered water. You can’t help but drink more water as you experiment with different flavors.
Fruit Ice Cubes – If you have an ice cube tray or even a mini muffin tin you can make fruit infused ice cubes. Drop a few berries or small chunks of orange, lemon or lime into the tray. Add the leaf of your favorite herb. Fill with water and freeze for 4-6 hours. Keeping these ice cubes on hand for hot days makes drinking all the water you’ll need to stay hydrated a little more exciting.
A Tip - Drinking sugary beverages like sweet tea, soda and cool-aid can actually contribute to dehydration if they are consumed in large quantities or with other sugary treats like ice cream and cookies. Why? Your kidneys purge excess sugar through the urine, which carries water out along with the unwanted sugar. This process is called osmotic diuresis and it prevents your kidneys from reabsorbing needed water.
How do you stay hydrated and cool when it’s 100 degrees?