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Keeping cool in the heat – ideas from around the world

This kind of weather tends to make me feel less hungry and more inclined to eating a salad but that doesn’t mean that food has to be less fun. Here’s my top five ideas, inspired by my travels, for keeping cool and eating well in the heat.

1. Melon Soup

This was served to me when I was on a fitness boot camp in the south of France in extraordinary heat a few years ago and it did the job (and helped me lose weight too!). It’s a great starter: basically, you take a Galia melon, split in two, whizz up the inside, add half a glass of chilled wine, pour back into your half melon to chill in the fridge for a few hours and serve with a piece of salty prosciutto floating in it and a dash of salt and pepper.

2. Iced coffee

Literally the only thing to drink in the summer in Tokyo, this is delicious. The easiest way to do it is to fill a glass with ice cubes, make up some espresso coffee (hot, with boiling water), pour over the ice cubes and add chilled milk. You’ll want to add some sugar syrup too – easy to make actually – or some flavoured syrup to ward off bitterness.

3. Smoked salmon and creme fraiche tagliatelle

We were talking about this at a barbecue yesterday – it’s a great cooling, refuelling dish. Slice up some smoked salmon, fry lightly and mix with some fresh peas, creme fraiche and fried onions (if you’re like). Add this cool, creamy sauce to pasta, preferably tagliatelle, and you’re done. The bonus is that it’s quick and easy to make and you can spend more time enjoying the sunshine!

4. Lemonade

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. For some reason that phrase has been in my head all weekend – the good news is that you don’t need to be having a bitter time to drink lemonade! Juice up a couple of lemons, add a tablespoon of sugar per lemon (to taste) and top up with cold water or soda water and ice cubes and you’re there. Costs pennies, tastes lovely, and no additives to speak of.

5. Frozen yoghurt

It’s not as if I’m really worrying about my figure right now, being 8.5 months pregnant an’ all, but keeping cool in the sunshine can mean piling on the calories as you scoff ice cream. Try Fro-yo instead – really easy to make if you have an ice cream maker. Just buy low fat natural or Greek style yoghurt, whack it in the ice cream maker and add some fruit or berries, vanilla essence and a tablespoonful or two of sugar. It creams up really quickly and tastes delicious – we ate loads when we were in Australia, where it’s as popular as ice-cream.

There are so many other things I could have added: Greek Salad, mild fish curries, water ices. What are your favourite things to eat in the heat and where did you get the idea for them?

About Laura

Laura Dixon has written 54 posts on this blog.

Travel writer, hotel reviewer and general fan of baking, bakeries and cakes.

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