Since we are in the height of summer, it is a good idea to change our diet accordingly. We should opt for cooling foods and natural drinks that will ensure we stay refreshed and energised. While packaged ones may seem convenient, it is always best to opt for homemade options. Fortunately, there are many delicious drinks that you can easily prepare at home. When we say summer, you may think of lassi, sweet sherbets, ice cream smoothies, and flavoured sodas. But the sugar content of these drinks may pose a problem for some. If you're looking to cut down on your sugar intake this season, we've got you covered. We have come up with a list of traditional as well as innovative drink recipes that don't include sugar. Check it out below.
Here Are 10 Healthy Summer Drinks Without Refined Sugar:
1. Chaas (Buttermilk)
Good old chaas is one of the most popular ways to beat the heat. In India, different regions have their own version of this drink - taak in Maharashtra, neer mor in South India, masala chaas in North India, etc. You can make chaas using just three ingredients: curds, water, salt/ rock salt. Other common additions include cumin (jeera), coriander, ginger, pepper, etc. This drink provides simple comfort and healthy hydration. You can also give it a unique twist by making cucumber chaas or beetroot chaas. Click here to know more.
2. Sol kadi
This Konkan drink is infused with kokum, coconut, coriander and a hint of hing (asafoetida). It is also lightly spiced due to the addition of chillies. Sol kadi is a traditional concoction that is known for its digestion-friendly properties. Its distinctive flavours provide soul-soothing refreshment while its nutrients nourish your body. If you're on a weight-loss diet, you can also consider consuming this drink. Click here for the full recipe for sol kadi.
3. Gajar Ki Kanji
This North Indian drink is especially consumed during Holi. But its probiotic properties and nutrient content make kanji a good choice during summer too. It can be made using carrots, mustard, salt and water. Some recipes also add beetroot and other spices. The drink has to be allowed to ferment for a few days before consumption. Click here for the full recipe for Gajar Kanji.
4. Watermelon Cooler
Watermelon is well-known for its hydrating properties and is widely consumed in this season. This simple cooler contains watermelon, basil, lemon juice and club soda. You can use mint leaves if you don't have basil. Since watermelon has a relatively high natural sugar content, this drink remains delicious even without a sweetener. Pro tip: add a pinch of chaat masala to give it a unique flavour. Find the complete recipe here.
5. Zesty Coconut Cooler
Coconut water is one of the healthiest natural energy drinks you can choose. It is well-known for its detoxifying and cooling properties, apart from a range of other benefits. Give your coconut water an interesting twist by making this zesty cooler. All you need to do is add some lemon juice, mint and honey to it. We also recommend adding chia seeds or sabja seeds to make this drink even more nutritious. Click here for the full recipe.
6. Cucumber Mocktail
There's no doubt that cucumbers are a summer-friendly ingredient, thanks to their high water content. When it comes to beverages, you can opt for a quick mocktail, like a virgin cucumber cooler. This drink requires only cucumber, club soda, lime and mint. Click here for the recipe. If you want to take it a notch higher, you can opt for a cucumber lime mocktail that also contains a hint of ginger and honey. Complete recipe here.
Also Read: 5 Healthy And Interesting Ways To Add Cucumber To Your Summer Diet
7. Mango Coconut Smoothie
A truly unique drink to try this season is this delicious smoothie made using fresh mangoes, coconut milk, curds and a small quantity of oats. Packed with vitamins and minerals, this smoothie can keep you refreshed and energised for many hours. Abandon your sugar-laced milkshakes and try this mango coconut smoothie now! Click here for the full recipe.
8. Sattu Sharbat
Coming back to traditional drinks, sattu sharbat is another amazing choice. A simple way to enhance the nutritional content of drinks is to swap refined sugar for healthy, organic jaggery. However, remember that jaggery is still a type of sugar and needs to be consumed in moderation. This sattu sharbat contains a little jaggery, and the base is made using roasted chana, jeera, red chilli powder, ginger powder, mint and black salt. Click here for the recipe and benefits.
Also Read: How Gol Paani (Jaggery Water) Can Help You Stay Hydrated This Summer
9. Aam panna
Aam panna is a beloved way to enjoy green mangoes. It is also considered to help combat heat exhaustion. This raw mango drink typically contains cumin, mint, rock salt and sugar. However, we have found a special recipe that uses jaggery instead of sugar to make a low-cal aam panna. Great news: this drink is weight-loss friendly too. Check out the exact recipe here.
10. Jal jeera
Finally, how can we not recommend jal jeera for summer? This traditional drink has a predominant flavour of cumin but also includes mint, coriander, tamarind, ginger, chillies, etc. Jaggery is used to balance the spices and introduce a hint of sweetness, but its taste is far from overpowering. Click here for the step-by-step recipe for Jal Jeera.
Thanks to these drinks, you can beat the heat in a healthy way and also keep your sugar intake in check. Try them soon!
Also Read: 5 Weight Loss Diet Tips For Summer To Keep In Mind
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
About Toshita SahniToshita is fuelled by wordplay, wanderlust, wonderment and Alliteration. When she is not blissfully contemplating her next meal, she enjoys reading novels and roaming around the city.