Keepin’ It Cool

watermelonsWelcoming the heat of the Tucson summer is often a love-hate relationship.  We love it because this relaxing time of year beckons swimsuits and hats, and we hate it because (needless to say) it is so darn hot!  Summertime certainly impacts our daily routines; exercising and chores are done in the early morning hours when it is still somewhat cool and the afternoon hours are for hunkering down in our air-conditioned cars, offices, and homes.  At the Heirloom Farmers Markets, we love the mornings–the freshly picked vegetables and fruits are still firm and moist  and the vendors are busy and cheerfully await the early morning rush.  So when you venture out to the markets, make sure to bring a cooler for your fruits, veggies, meats, eggs & cheese (keep them from cooking in the car!), a hat, sunscreen, and your market bags for those other goodies you may find.

The summer plethora of fresh vegetables and fruits have been showing up in my kitchen: sweet melons like watermelon, lemon-drop cantaloupes, and honeydews, and fresh vegetables like asparagus, zucchini, onions and eggplant.  This time of year, we move from the warm soups and braised meat to more cool salads, fresh salsas, and days of poolside grilling.  Here are a few tips to keep you cool:

  • Cook oven-free meals using a crock-pot or outside grill, salads are also great.

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Eat your melons! We are seeing watermelons, cantaloupe, and many heirloom varieties.

  • Fill a water-chilled spray bottle, be sure to hit your pulse points like your wrists, neck and inner elbows and knees.

  • Eat spicy foods. Sounds counter-intuitive but citizens of  hot countries like Mexico and India consume spicy foods that in turn help create sweat to cool off.

This weekend brings soaring temperatures of 105 degrees, the markets will be open at 8 am!