Summer of 2021 will go down in history as the one roller coaster that simply won't give up. With Vitamin C tablets and hand sanitisers replacing mimosas and facemasks, there is clearly a lot happening.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, doctors are asking us to build our immunity by adding nutritious meals to our daily routine. Staying healthy is ideal at this time, because it is always better to be safe than sorry. "It should be noted that our bodies do not build up immunity overnight; one needs to balance their food habits and eat healthy, home-cooked meals over a period of time. Having said that, you can always incorporate immunity-boosting drinks to your diet," suggests Maheek Nair, health coach and celebrity trainer to Jasmin Bhasin and Abhijeet Sawant, to name a few.
Nair further explains that, "Immunity boosting drinks are great antioxidants and help reduce inflammation and aid in digestion, they also work wonders for the skin by helping re-balance the natural pH and improving the protective skin barrier."
So, to make matters easy for you, here's a list of 10 drinks that you can sip on while you fight the virus at home:
1. Sandalwood/Chandan Iced Tea
Sandalwood is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-ageing properties. Combined with lemon iced tea in this drink, it also makes for a great stress buster on a summer day, given its calming properties and refreshing flavours.
1l hot water
3-4 tea bags(can opt for green tea)
2 tbsp lemon juice 240 ml (for 1 litre of water) 60 ml (for one glass of tea)
1 tbsp sandalwood syrup
3-4 tbsp sugar or to taste (remember sandalwood syrup will have sugar too)
4-6 Ice cubes Pomegranate, to garnish
Prepare the tea by pouring hot water in a jug with tea bags. Let it brew for five minutes.
Remove the tea bags from the jug, add sugar and mix it well. Keep it in the refrigerator for one hour.
Remove the jug from the fridge;add lemon juice to the tea and mix well.
Add sandalwood syrup.
Garnish with pomegranate seeds. Serve cold.
2. Kokum Sharbat
Kokum is known to have many medicinal properties, besides preventing dehydration and sunstroke. It also acts as an antioxidant and immunity booster, and minimises the risk of illnesses. Apart from this it is antibacterial, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory. Rich in B-complex vitamins, such as niacin, folates and thiamine it makes for an ideal addition to your summer diet. Kokum juice is also known to boost digestion, prevent bloating, constipation or irritable bowel movements.
1/2 cup kokum pieces
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cumin powder, roasted
1 tsp rock salt
16-18 ice cubes
Place the kokum pieces in a deep non-stick pan.
Add 2-3 cups of water and sugar and mix well. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until the pieces are soft.
Cool it to room temperature and grind in the mixer along with its water to make a paste.
Add cumin powder, lemon juice and rock salt in the mixer and grind to make a smooth paste. Strain. This is the kokum concentrate.
Add kokum concentrate to a glass of water and serve.
Kashayam, a healthy and refreshing Ayurvedic drink is made with a combination of dry and flavoured spices. It is typically served as a healing drink especially for those who are ailing with a common cold or sore throat. It provides the necessary warmth and immunity to fight against the viruses, in addition to the fact it can also be served as a beverage.
For Kashaya Powder:
½ cup coriander seeds
¼ cup cumin seeds
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp fennel seeds/saunf
6 pods cardamom
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp ginger powder
For 2 Servings:
2½ cups water
2 tbsp jaggery
¼ cup milk
Dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper, fennel, cardamom and cloves in a pan on low flame until the spices turn aromatic.
Cool completely, and transfer to a blender.
Now, add turmeric and ginger powder.
Blend into a fine powder without adding any water. Kashayam powder is ready. Pro tip: store in an airtight container.
To prepare kashayam, in a saucepan take 2½ cups of water and add three teaspoons of your kashayam powder.
Add two tablespoons of jaggery. You can alternatively add sugar for sweetness.
Stir well and boil for five minutes or until flavours are absorbed well.
Turn off the flame and add milk. Mix well. Enjoy!
4. Bela/Bael Panna
Bela (wood apple), a summer fruit with medicinal benefits, is said to be useful for people suffering from gastritis and hyperacidity. Bela pulp is mashed, mixed with black pepper and ready to drink. Easy to prepare, this drink works best in the summer.
1 medium-sized wood apple
Juice of ½ a lime
1 tsp black pepper, powdered
Sprigs of fresh mint
4 glasses chilled water
5-6 ice cubes
Crack open the wood apple and use a spoon to scrape out its pulp into a bowl. Pour two glasses of chilled water to submerge the pulp. Cover and set aside for 1-2 hours.
Strain the thick, pulpy wood apple juice into another bowl. Press the pulp down with a spatula to completely extract the juice. Discard the seeds and fibre left in the strainer.
Add the remaining water to the juice and stir well. Add the lime juice and black salt.
Serve on the rocks, garnished with a sprig of fresh mint.
5. Kale, Apple And Spinach Juice
Nothing beats a green juice when it comes to health benefits, especially immune health. All the leafy greens in this recipe, such as kale, spinach and romaine lettuce, are packed with antioxidants that are known to have an immune-boosting effect. Just one serving of this nutritious juice will cover your daily quota of both vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as provide you with plenty of calcium and iron. What are you waiting for? Add it to your breakfast diet.
2 leaves kale
2-3 leaves (depending on the size) romaine lettuce
1 cup fresh spinach
2 stalks celery
1 apple, preferably green
1 piece ginger
Blend all the ingredients into the juicer till smooth.
Pour in a tall glass and enjoy it fresh.
6. Mulled Cider
This mulled, spicy cider is very easy to prepare and it also carries all the health benefits of apples, ginger, oranges and cranberries. Along with spices like cardamom and cinnamon, this one's an irresistible drink that everyone in your family will enjoy.
8 cups apple cider or juice
1 orange, thinly sliced
½ cup fresh cranberries
6 whole cardamom pods
1 piece ginger, thinly sliced
4 cinnamon sticks
3 whole cloves
Combine all the ingredients in a large pot.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
You can serve it warm or cold and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days.
7. Pepper Rasam
Down South, pepper rasam is the first thing people turn to in case of colds and coughs. Spicy and tangy, thanks to tamarind, black peppercorns, mustard seeds, asafoetida, it can be enjoyed as a drink, soup or with rice.
1 tbsp black pepper
1 red chilli
6 garlic cloves
1 tsp tamarind
1 small gooseberry
Salt, as per your taste
1 tsp ghee
½ tsp mustard
1 sprig curry leaves
1 pinch asafoetida
Soak tamarind and extract the tamarind juice, keep aside. Crush the pepper and red chilli (also can grind in mixer) coarsely.
Add the garlic (with skin) and crush them roughly.
Heat a kadai and add all the items under 'To Temper', followed by the quarter part of the crushed pepper and garlic and fry a little.
Add the tamarind extract and bring to a boil.
Add the remaining crushed pepper and garlic and salt. Mix well and switch off (don't let it boil).
8. Mint Buttermilk
Buttermilk is rich in proteins, vitamins and several minerals but low in calories and fats. Drinking buttermilk keeps us hydrated and energetic all day long. Probiotics in buttermilk also help keep our digestion in check and thus helps in removing toxins from our body.
1 cup yoghurt/curd
8-10 fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 tsp cumin powder, freshly crushed
1 tsp salt black salt
Chop the mint leaves finely.
Blend all the ingredients until smooth and frothy.
Add more water if you want it more liquidy.
Spice this buttermilk with freshly crushed cumin powder and serve with ice cubes.
9. Nannari Sharbat
Nannari is also known as Indian sarsaparilla and is a plant native to the country. It is used in Ayurveda. Nannari is cooling for the body and is excellent during the summers. It acts as a blood purifier and is one of the remedies for urinary infection. It also improves digestion.
Tarvene is a chocolate and chai fiend who is constantly on the hunt for cute cafes. You can catch her baking some Biscoff cheesecakes or binge-watching Netflix shows. She likes filling up her free time painting, listening to music or going on long drives.