Cooling Summer Drinks

Cheerful feast for the eyes & body
During the summer we all need to drink more, but who says we can't have some fun and prepare delicious and nice-looking beverages using healthy and colorful ingredients? The base must be water of course, in hot weather it is recommended to avoid alcohol, and we should try to minimize the amount of sugar too.
Variations on Ayran
The Turkish Ayran is basically a salty, thin yoghurt, but its refreshing properties are amazing. If you would like to prepare something similar but you (or the kids) prefer it sweet, mix yoghurt with still mineral water (the ratio is 2:1 for example 300ml yoghurt + 150ml water) then add one or two spoonful(s) of honey or rice syrup and season it as you wish: you can prepare it with fresh mint, melissa or basil. Put a bunch of the chosen herb leaves into your Ayran then mix everything properly in a blender until it becomes homogeneous. Pour it out on ice cubes, you can also add a sprinkle of lemon juice and a tiny bit of salt to spice it up. Enjoy!

Ginger Lemonade
The Ginger Lemonade is regarded as a traditional English beverage, but nowadays ginger flavoured drinks are popular all over the world. Of course the homemade version beats all the merchandised brands, and at least you know what's inside your cup: in a pot mix fresh sliced ginger with brown sugar (the ratio is 2:1 for example 10 dkg ginger + 5 dkg brown sugar), add one or two pieces of cloves, and the juice of one lemon (if it's organic, you can add some peel as well). Pour as much water into the pot as necessary in order to cover the ginger-sugar mix (approximately 1/4 litre) and boil the whole mass. When it starts to boil, leave it for 2-3 minutes, then remove it from the fire, and let it steep for half an hour. Then pass it through a filter (in order to remove the cloves, ginger pieces etc), add a bottle of cold sparkling water (0,7- 1 litre) and serve.

Mango Lassi
The delicious Mango Lassi originates from India, and it is an especially beloved summer drink as you can vary the fruits and spices according to your taste. Instead of mango, you can prepare it with pineapple, papaya or peach, the result will be equally refreshing. Also, you get a lactose free version if you use almond milk or rice milk instead of yoghurt. The most common version can be prepared similarly to Turkish Ayran: you mix yoghurt with still mineral water (the ratio is 2:1, for example 300ml yoghurt, 150ml water) then you add one or two spoonful(s) of honey or rice syrup, a little lemon juice and one (or a half, depends on the size of the fruit) peeled and sliced mango. You decide which spices you prefer: you can add half spoonful of ground cinnamon or cardamom or ginger, then you mix your lassi in a blender until it becomes homogeneous. Serve it on ice cubes.

Avocado-Banana Shake
This drink is a real energy bomb, full of important vitamins and Magnesium, not to mention the great taste and creamy texture. If you are not on a diet you can prepare it with 3,5% fat milk, if you want a lactose free version you can use soy milk or rice milk. Put a peeled banana and a peeled, sliced avocado into a blender. Pour 500ml cold milk onto the mix, and add one or two spoonful(s) of honey or brown sugar. To spice it up you should also add a sprinkle of ground ginger or cinnamon, or a spoonful of vanilla extract. Mix your healthy shake thoroughly in the blender, then pour it out and serve it right away.


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