Yep. It’s summer.
Sultry, steamy, sunny, sizzling, sweaty and sometimes stifling…if it were any more humid last week the air would have simply transformed to water and we would have been left to fend for our gill-less selves in the new ocean. In these days of Deep Summer I walk by the bundles of skis by the front door, tidily packed in their bags for the warm-season storage, and that time of peace and exercise seems an elusive world far out of reach, like a joyful dream, fading as you wake….(sigh)…
But even I have to admit the beauty of these long days can be stunning. So here I am embracing the fruits (and the sweat) of the season and enjoying it. The top photo is of Scott’s handiwork, and the second is the outdoor dining area of a restaurant called Twigs in Rochester, MN with a dedicated gluten free kitchen! That’s right—gluten free shrimp tempura, homemade onion rings, fish and chips, butternut ravioli, Cuban wrap….check out their extensive Gluten Free Menu and drool.
Gazpacho is a classic chilled soup originally from the Spanish Andalusian area and made with blended olive oil, bread and garlic, has manifested into thousands of variations and now generally includes blended raw vegetables and sometimes fruits. It has become a favorite of fusion-recipe-stretching-and-meddling and this is no exception. Watermelon adds a refreshing lightness that rocks it on a hot day.
Watermelon, Cucumbers, Chiles and Mint—both Eastern and Western practices agree they are beneficial and cooling to the system.
“Watermelon’s cooling effect comes from its component citrulline, which is converted to arginine in the body” says pathologist Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler. Arginine is needed to produce nitric oxide, “a substance that relaxes the blood vessels, improves blood flow and may even protect from heart attack and stroke.”
Cucumbers contain antioxidants, and potassium and electrolytes that can help with preventing dehydration.
Spicy chile peppers contain capsaicin which irritates the skin and causes us to sweat thus helping with temperature regulation (as long as we stay hydrated).
Menthol in mint gives a cooling sensation in the mouth and other properties are a bonus of help with digestion, stress, and hypertension.
We live in an amazing world of Food.
Tis the Season!
Get out there to your garden and your local Farmer’s Markets and indulge decadently in the Bounty of the Heat. This is the time to mound your totes and then your plates with fresh veggies that were alive not many hours ago.
Unless of course you’re Down Under and are cross country skiing at Falls Creek in Australia or skiing to a back country hut at Snow Farm in New Zealand. Then you just enjoy how bleeping lucky you are!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Puree together in a blender or food processor:
4 cups Watermelon, chopped
3-4 Tablespoons Lime Juice, fresh
1/2 Jalapeño, seeded (or more if you like, and depending on the heat of the pepper)
2 Tablespoons White Onion, diced
1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
2 Tablespoons Mint, chopped
2 Tablespoons Parsley, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
Add and pulse chop or lightly puree, leaving a little bit of texture:
1 English Hothouse Cucumber, chopped
1 Tomato, seeded and chopped
Taste and adjust.
Serve chilled, garnish with Mint or Cilantro.
Other garnish thoughts:
- Chopped Almonds
- Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Toasted Cumin Seed
- GF Croutons
- Crumbled Mary’s Gone Crackers
…the days are headed in the right direction….a little image to keep me going.
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”