Sink your teeth into these chilled snacks!

It's that time of the year again! Of golas and gol gappas, sipping coconut water and munching juicy melons, dips in the pool and preening with parasols; absolutely no prizes for guessing its ‘in the summertime!' Summer actually is great for your body since the appetite is usually reduced by half with the heat playing spoilsport and knocking you off energy, use the opportunity to bite into some cooling and low cal bites to bounce off those sizzles.

Salads

Salads are everybody's best bud since every ounce spells good health, you satisfy your hunger and add zilch calories. Rummage through your fridge and chop everything you find in there — cucumber, tomato, broccoli, capsicum, cabbage, carrot, spinach (all have high water content). You could even add fruits like apple, orange and pomegranate.

Squeeze half a lemon, a pinch of salt and pepper, stir up together and chill that before you gorge on it. The carnivores can add a little chicken (avoid red meats) and those blessed with good metabolism can add a dollop of dressing, mustard or mayo depending on your taste. Don't store salads for too long though for raw food attracts bacteria faster in the heat.

Fruit yoghurt

Another scrumptious summer relish is yohgurt since it's very cooling, light on the tummy and full of calcium that we rarely get in quantities that we require. Plain yoghurt is fine with a dash of salt or a spoon of brown sugar, but if that doesn't sound delectable, you can easily slice up any fruits in the house like berries, bananas, pears and add a little cinnamon and sugar and eat it as a meal by itself. You can also replace the fruits with boiled potatoes and coriander, cucumber/onion/tomato or even boondi to make delicious raitas. Buttermilk is by far the best; since you end up having more water that way, try having a big glass with every meal.

Chaat

The neighbourhood paani puri stall hypnotically draws us towards it. Chaat is ‘the' summer cuisine especially because we are in no mood for anything made on the stove. Bhel, ragda patties, dahi wada, sev batata puri and our fave paani puri is what you can stick to. We understand that chaat made at home might not be as yummy as it tastes in the thaila, but unless specified that it's made using mineral water, please steer away from roadside chaat walas at all costs. With all kinds of puris and sev available at the grocer's, all you need to prepare is meethi chutney, boil some ragda and potatoes and you can whip up any of the above in a matter of minutes. You can also add kairi, garlic chutney, chiwda etc.

Ice cream!

‘Scream for Ice-Cream!' seems to be the kiddie anthem this summer! Why blame the kids, even we adults can't resist sucking on that orange lolly on a hot summer afternoon. Ice cream actually works wonders in this season. A lot of stores these days stock up on low-fat/ low-cal ice-cream for the ones worried about their 24-inch waist. But c'mon this is the only time we relish that cone, so go on, indulge! Bring home those big packs in different flavours and share with the whole family. Vanilla ice-cream mixed with cut fruits is awesome! You could also scoop out some choco-nut into the blender to get a yummy chocolate shake.

Forget about complaining about the heat for the moment; enjoy the nicer side to summer instead!