Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cool Down With Cucumber Bites and Naturally Sweetened Sippers

It's early in the morning and already scorching outside. I didn't realize when I moved here to Manhattan from sunny Santa Monica that the summers in the city would be hotter than the L.A. valley. I actually have been so eager for a change though, I have not minded all that much. Thankfully I know how to eat to keep cool! I plan on using up the brown rice I have by roasting it in a dry fry pan and then using the golden brown kernels for tea. Roasted rice tea helps to keep your body temperature even. You can drink it hot or cold.

I've also been having a lot of fun making different lemonade drinks by putting ice, lemon juice and agave or maple syrup in a blender with other additions like lime and mint (nice and cooling), strawberries or other fruits. I usually only combine one or two fruits with the lemon and blend well. You can also freeze these drinks to make your own Popsicles.

Cucumbers are cooling and delightful in the warm weather. for a snack, appetizer or side dish you can peel and slice topping with herbed tofu spread or what I like to do is peel the cucumber, slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and then fill with the tofu spread like boats. Cut into bite size pieces. Enjoy!

Herbed Tofu Spread
Makes about 1 Cup.

7oz, firm organic tofu, drained
1/3 cup white miso paste
1/4 cup Tahini
2 T. olive oil
2 large cloves garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons both of dried basil and oregano
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/3 cup water

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

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