Walking under the hot sun in Hong Kong is like putting yourself in a humid sauna room — you instantly start sweating and you will not stop until you go indoors into an air-conditioned building.
To combat the extreme hot wearer, I’ve been treating myself to cold treats. The obvious choices would be ice cream and gelato (XTC gelato – truly amazing!), but in my books, they are sometime treats since they are sugary foods that contribute empty calories. Thus, I’ve created some other types of cooling treats that can be enjoyed frequently without putting a burden on my health.
1. Frozen mini mango “cheeks”. In HK, I’ve found miniature mangoes in the supermarkets. Originally I tried enjoying them like regular-sized mangoes, but it was really time-consuming to peel and eat one at a time. So, what I started doing was cutting them lengthwise (cut as close to the core as possible and slice off the fleshy mango “cheeks”), then scoop out the mango meat with a spoon. Then, I put them into a container and into the freezer for an hour or so. The mango meat becomes half-frozen and becomes soooo refreshing. The experience is kind of like eating mango sorbet except the mango flavor is much more intense. Each bite is like a concentrated dose of extreme mango-ness….I just love it!
2. Iced tea. Sometimes to cool off, all I really crave is a nice cold beverage. Tea is my top choice. I’m not talking about the sweetened lemon iced tea, what I mean is ice-cold Chinese tea. What I usually like to do is throw a Chinese tea teabag into a glass of lukewarm water and just let it steep for an hour or two and then put it into the fridge. Normally hot tea takes only a few minutes to steep, but when I make cold tea, I like to let it steep much longer to let the flavour develop. Tea is one of my favorite drinks since it is thirst-quenching like water, yet more flavorful than plain water, and also a lot better than other flavoured drinks such as soda pops and juices since tea doesn’t have those extra calories.
3. Frozen fruits. Yes, as you can guess by now, I love fruits! They are my favorite way to add sweetness into my day. In my fridge, I always have frozen grapes and banana. Grapes become icy when frozen and the sweetness actually gets stronger. As for frozen banana chunks, they can be blended with a food processor into a creamy texture like soft-serve vanilla ice-cream, or I use simply use it as a topping for ice cream or yogurt to add texture and flavour. The best part about frozen fruits is that they last for a long time in the freezer so you can readily enjoy them anytime!
The first thing thar people turn to when they need to cool off on a hot day is often ice cream or some other icy, sugary treats, but there are actually many other delicious and nutritious options that offer the same refreshing sensation. Try my suggestions for a change!
What treats do you enjoy during the hot summer days?