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  • Julie Johns, L.Ac.

Beat the Heat with Fresh Foods from Your Garden

Summer is a time of warmth, light, expansion and growth and creativity. Our gardens thrive and our produce ripens. This is a time of year when we can create colorful plates with fresh fruits and vegetables to replenish nutrients and water. Cook lightly, sautéing vegetables quickly with a modest amount of hot-flavored spices to bring body heat to the surface where it can be dispersed (i.e. sweated out). Red and green peppers, cayenne and black pepper, fresh ginger, and horseradish in small amounts can help disperse heat. Juxtapose the heat with cooling fresh foods from the garden such as lettuce, sprouts, cucumbers, and mint. Be aware that while ice cream and iced drinks are a summer treat, they are cold in nature and can cause contraction, halting digestion. Instead, cool down with juicy fruits such as apples, watermelon, lemon, and lime.

When you carve into that sweet, juicy watermelon on the hottest days in July, hold on to the rind to create a cooling salad...

Watermelon Peel Salad

Clears Summer Heat & Stomach Heat; Generates Body Fluids & Relieves Thirst

Serves 4


• 1 lb watermelon peel

• 1 tsp salt


• 1 clove garlic, minced

• ½ tsp sugar

• ¼ tsp salt, to taste

• 2 Tbsp sesame oil

• 3 tsp vinegar

One: Cut the white portion of the watermelon peel into 2 X ½ inch strips. Discard the green part.

Two: Combine the strips & salt in a glass bowl, Mix & let sit for 5 minutes. Rinse to remove salt. Place peels on towels to dry.

Three: Whisk together dressing & toss watermelon peel. Marinate 1 hour before serving.

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