eating in a heatwave, part 1

For the past couple of weeks I’ve had a song from the musical, Oklahoma!, stuck in my mind. It’s a song I think I’ve only heard once, maybe twice. But it’s absolutely been on repeat on my internal playlist.

In the show, it’s about finding commonalities between the farmers and the cowboys. In my mind, it started as a Harry Potter reference (this Gryffindor is becoming friends with a Slytherin!)

But on the summer solstice, as our beloved Junuary weather forsakes us (that’s the cold and wet we usually get for much of this month in the Pacific Northwest) the version ringing in my head is: “The blender and the freezer are your friends (are your friends!)”

Because they are literally going to be saving lives in this heat.

As some of you may know, I’m not a big fan of hot weather. (I got this from my mother. Hi, Mom!) I live in a place that’s supposedly gloomy and rainy for most of the year because gloomy and rainy actually perks me up.

When this kind of hot weather comes, I visibly wither, and either escape to my old home on the Oregon Coast (40 degrees cooler!) or hide in my basement bemoaning my fate.

And it’s tough to eat in this kind of heat.

Which is where the freezer and the blender come in.

Usually, I’m not a big fan of smoothies in lieu of meals. But when temperatures approach triple digits, cold liquid meals are self defense.

Today I started the day with my beloved watermelon gazpacho. (Grab the recipe here.) I gave it a boost with some collagen powder and spinach leaves. The next time I make it, I’ll remember to add Calendula flower from the garden, too.

Later today the day I’ll likely do something with frozen artichoke hearts. For a treat, I might blend up frozen cherries with some unsweetened cacao nibs.

Even though these are technically smoothies, I think of them more as drinkable salads. I don’t add water — watermelon and/or cucumber bring enough — and they retain all their fiber. It’s just easier to keep them cold cold cold when it’s hot hot hot.

This week, my blender will definitely be getting a workout.

As for the freezer… I’ll talk about that more in future post.

Until then, I hope you keep cool. And if you haven’t already gotten my watermelon gazpacho recipe, download it here.


—Dr. Orna