3 Ayurvedic Recipes to Keep You Cool This Summer

Summer is here with its promise of bare feet, hot sun, farmers markets brimming with a rainbow of produce, and a general lightness in our collective hearts.

To stay healthy and radiant this season and to balance the intensity of summer requires mindful, intuitive adaptation, says Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science of health. Choosing foods that are sweet, bitter, and astringent—i.e. fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits that help our body to naturally cleanse itself from the inside out—is key, as is engaging in calming behaviors such as gentle yoga and meditation to soothe and nourish the body and mind.  

If you would like to feel more peach-like than prune-like in a few months, here are some simple and delicious Ayurvedic recipes to inspire you toward more equilibrium this summer.


 Summer Chia Pudding

Warm foods are considered easy to digest in Ayurveda and can be a boon in the summer when our body’s digestive fire calms down slightly in order to compensate for the intensity of the sun’s heat. I like having this chia pudding on the warm-ish side, but you may also have it cool if you prefer, on a hot day. The chia is great for helping to move a sluggish digestive system and cardamom is good for too much heat in the body. It makes a great breakfast, snack, or dessert and is vegan and gluten free. 

Ingredients:

¼ cup chia seeds
½ cup hot water
1–1 1/2 cup almond milk (I prefer to use homemade almond milk, but if you are using store-bought try The New Barn’s, which is closest to homemade)
1–2 tsp raw honey or maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
½ tsp cardamom powder or cardamom seeds ground finely into a powder
1 tsp coconut butter

Directions:

  1. Pour hot water over chia seeds and mix thoroughly. Soak in the refrigerator for several hours or even overnight to make a thick, gelatinous chia gel.
  2. In a bowl or in a blender, mix in all ingredients. Blend lightly and taste. Adjust for sweetness.
  3. To serve, garnish with some summer berries and fresh mint leaves. 

Warm Beetroot + Turmeric Salad

This warm salad calls for grated beetroot and either fresh or dried turmeric powder, lightly sautéed with coconut and spices that add both taste and nourishment. Both beetroot and turmeric are cooling and cleansing, while the coconut adds flavor and a sweet taste that calms and cools. This recipe is gluten free and can be vegan if you omit the yogurt. Serves 2–4.

Ingredients:

2 cups diced beetroot
¼ cup finely chopped turmeric or ½ tsp turmeric powder (be sure to taste some raw turmeric first to see if you like the taste)
Cilantro leaves to garnish

Tempering:
1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
2–3 curry leaves
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp salt (Himalayan salt)

Directions: 

  1. Steam beetroot until tender.

Tempering:

  1. Heat oil in a pan at medium to medium high with the mustard and cumin seeds. Allow them to crackle. (The mustard seeds may try to hop out of the pan so hold a lid close.) Then turn down the heat to medium.  
  2. Add the curry leaves and keep stirring. If you are using dry turmeric powder, add it now as well.
  3. Quickly add the steamed beets (and if using, the finely chopped turmeric).  Sauté for 2–3 minutes.
  4. Mix in the shredded coconut and salt and fry for a few seconds more.  
  5. Add a little bit of water if needed. 
  6. Serve with a garnish of lime and fresh cilantro leaves.  
  7.  If you are not vegan you can also add a dollop of fresh whole milk plain yogurt, or crème fraiche on top.

Lemon Lime + Basil Water

This is a cooling and refreshing thirst quencher that is ideal on a hot summer day. Drink cool but not cold to keep your digestive fires easeful. Vegan and gluten free. 

Ingredients: 

2 organic limes
1 organic lemon
8 cups water
Handful of fresh basil leaves

Directions: 

  1. Wash limes and lemons well. Cut them into thin round slices and place in a bowl with water. Allow the flavors to infuse for a few hours or even overnight in the refrigerator.  
  2. To drink, bring to room temperature and strain before serving.
  3. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

* These recipes are my creations and adaptations but I have had many sources to refer to, including my mother, my grandmother, the KARE Ayurvedic Center in Pune, India, and the extensive Indian vegetarian cookbook Lord Krishna’s Cuisine by Yamuna Devi.   

Photos by Insiya Rasiwala-Finn 


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Insiya Rasiwala-Finn grew up with Yoga and Ayurveda in Bombay, India. Today she writes on yoga, wellness, travel and parenting for publications ranging from Conde Nast Traveler, Times of India and the Globe & Mail and is known for her lively, passionate and modern approach to Yoga and Ayurveda with insights from the east and west. Follow her at READ MORE