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Natural coolers

During summer, we have to make sure we don’t get dehydrated. This means drinking lots of refreshing and thirst-quenching liquids, like water, juices, fruit shakes or smoothies. Avoid unhealthy drinks. A friend from Hawaii shares some tips on how to prepare flavored natural drinks for her kids by using fruits and herbs:

Chop some melons or chunks of honeydew. Place them in ziplock bags and freeze. Drop frozen melons into a pitcher of water, where they act as flavored ice cubes.

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Cut some lemons or limes into round slices. Put them in a pitcher of cold water and let the flavors mix. Sweeten with honey if you wish, or you can make lemon ice cubes by putting smaller lemon slices in the ice tray with water.

Make herbal ice cubes using mint, tarragon, lemon balm or basil. Wash leaves, and blanch them with hot water (optional). Put a leaf or two in each section of the ice tray with water and put it in the freezer. Serve with cold water. Freezing is an excellent way of preserving herbs. You may chop the herbs before putting them in the ice tray, if they are to be used for cooking.

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Clean the root bulb of lemongrass. Chop it into thin, circular sections and let its bits stand for some time in a pitcher of cold water. (Lemons are more expensive and seasonal, while lemongrass is cheaper and available the whole year round.)

Boil some screwpine (pandan) leaves with forest tea leaves (tsaang gubat). Let them cool, then serve with ice and honey or muscovado sugar. Do the same with other herbs, such as mint, tarragon or oregano.

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TAGS: column, Entertainment, natural coolers, R. Valencia and S. Bismark
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