Metrolife: Try these homemade cool drinks

Youngsters in the city are ditching their favourite aerated drinks this summer and turning to homemade fresh juices, ‘lassis’ and traditional refreshments.

Nithya Ravi, homemaker by choice and a food blogger by passion, says, “For me, the summer season is all about fresh fruit juices, smoothies, ‘lassis’
and buttermilk. This time, I have made ‘Aam Panna’ which is a favourite of my daughter. ‘Panagam’, which is a traditional jaggery-based drink in the South, is also on my list. It has many health benefits and you can have it as many times as you want.”

She believes that if a child is taught about the harmful effects of aerated drinks from a young age, their fondness for them will decline eventually.

To make classics like ‘lassi’ more attractive to her child, Nithya experiments with fruits.

“I mix seasonal fruits like watermelon into lassi. I sometimes use mango to make iced tea. There are a lot of variations that one can make with seasonal fruits and ingredients. ‘Cucumber lassi’ is another drink I make,” she says. 

Aerated drinks can have an adverse effect on one’s health — staining of teeth, tooth decay, weight gain and diabetes are some of the known effects. 

Priya Santhamohan, a homemaker, stopped buying aerated drinks after she noticed that with regular intake, her teeth started staining. Now, she is instilling the habit of having fresh juice in her kids.

“When we make a cool drink at home, we can keep a check on the quantity of sugar and other ingredients being used. This apart, it is a good way to teach children about the different kinds of traditional recipes. I am glad some of the schools are also banning aerated drinks on their school campus.”

Every summer she stocks her fridge with ‘neer mor’ (spiced buttermilk), thandai or ‘Panakam’. Priya says, “’Panakam’ is loved by my family. The fact that it needs just a few ingredients — jaggery, water, ginger, cardamom — which can be found easily in the kitchen, makes it a favourite of many.” 

Sumukh V Thallam, founder of Candy Crafts, opts for organic and cold pressed juices. “Fresh juices are high in nutritional value, there is no artificial flavour and colouring. These keep the body hydrated and energised.”

Sumukh recalls a favourite summer drink that his mother used to make during his childhood. “Coconut water, grated coconut, jaggery and lime are the only ingredients one needs to make this simple drink. I still make it every summer and it is one of my favourites. I also make another drink with cold water, chat masala, rose petal crush and ‘falooda’ seeds. The ‘falooda’ seeds help keep the body cool.”

So make some time this summer and mix yourself a good drink.  

Benefits

One can keep a check on the quality of water 

It is freshly prepared 

It’s also economical 

Sugar content can be tracked

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