Monday, March 7, 2016

Healthy living in the tropics Cool drinks and Refrescos

It is warm here in the tropics. One needs to drink a lot to stay hydrated. Our favorite drinks are called refrescos here, aguas in Mexico. They are fruit favored waters; our homemade favorites, they usually add too much sugar in the restaurants, are Jamaica peach, Tamarindo ginger, Madarin, and Passion fruit. They are incredibly delicious and healthy too. You can used ordinary tap water for these as they are boiled for a few minutes. Then you avoid the toxic leaching of chemicals from plastic bottles from drinking bottles water, and generate less waste.

Here is a recipe for one of our favorites:

Tamarindo ginger: throw about 1/2 lbs tamarindo pulp, with or without seeds, into 2 liters of boiling water, break into small pieces first. Throw in about two to three inches of ginger root. Boil 3 minutes, this is just to sterilize them, for health safety. Add a bit of honey or raw cane sugar to taste. Let it cool and then throw it into a blender for a minute or two, pour it through a colander, add 2 more liter of cool water, let cool a bit more, and place in fridge. Enjoy

Here are some great recipes for aguas frescas from a whole variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains. You will never think of a cool refreshing glass of water the same after trying some of these. Aguas Frescas Recipes.

I will add more recipes over time.

Another favorite refresco is Hibiscus Peach. They grow a great deal of hibiscus here in Nicaragua. Our favorite supplier is a women's cooperative in Nandaime. They grow organic hibiscus and sell huge sacks for about $4. Hisbiscus is very high in the flavanoids and anti-oxidants that are contained in red wine....without the alcohol.

Soak a couple of big handfuls into a large pot of cool water (eight liters) overnight. Bring to a boil, again for health reasons. Let it cool. Put in glass pitchers and place in fridge. Pour over large glass of ice and add a touch of peach nectar. Enjoy! Here is an article on some possible health benefits of hibiscus.

Passion fruit refrescos are one of my favorites. Passion fruit is loaded with numerous healthy elements. It is very high in dietary fiber, one cup has the equivalent of four cups of bran! It is loaded with vitamins A and C, and a wealth of anti-oxidants. Here are a couple of articles on the nutritional and health benefits of passion fruit: Passion Fruit.

It is one of the easiest and fastest to make:

Scoop out the inner flesh of half a dozen passion fruit into a blender, add a bit of honey or raw cane sugar to taste. Throw in a couple handfuls of ice. Two liters of water. Blend and enjoy.

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