When it’s blazing hot outside, the last thing you want is a hot meal. Chilled food and cold drinks help you keep cool as you enjoy the summer weather, and ingredients like cucumber and mint also keep you bloat-free and refreshed. When the temperature outside rises, cool off with these heatwave-friendly recipes.

1. Feta Watermelon Salad

Photo by Libby Perold

When the very thought of hot food makes you sweaty, cool off with a refreshing watermelon, feta, and mint salad. The hydrating watermelon and cool mint will chill you out, and the Greek flavors will make you feel like you’re lounging on a beach in the Mediterranean.

2. Spiked Arnold Palmer Coolatta


Photo by Phoebe Melnick

The Arnold Palmer is a classic summer drink. It’s cool, refreshing, and goes great with alcohol, so it’s pretty much a win-win-win. When making an Arnold Palmer into a next-level cocktail, most of the work is done for you (by Dunkin’ Donuts). All you have to do is order a Arnold Palmer Coolatta and add limoncello or the liquor of your choice. This and many other recipes for boozy summer drinks can be found here. You’re welcome.

3. Whipped Cream Parfait


Photo by Katharine Richter

You KNOW your mom is going to make something involving whipped cream, strawberries, and blueberries for your 4th of July BBQ. This is America after all, and there’s no combination of foods more refreshing and patriotic.

Might as well get the party started early by whipping up a whipped cream parfait for a light and tasty snack. Just layer berries with whipped cream and add some nuts, chocolate chips, berry preserves, or anything else you’re craving for a good old American snack that won’t weigh you down. If you’re feeling really gourmet, try these delicious mini cheesecake parfaits.

4. Homemade Mango Salsa


Photo by Sydney Segal

Savory dishes are taken to the next level when you add sweet summer fruits, so the next time you’re craving chips and salsa, add some fresh mango or strawberry to the mix. Check out these four recipes for fruit salsas and add a refreshing summer twist to your snack.

5. Sangria Slushies


Photo by Kelly Logan

We can all agree that most cold drinks are waaay better frozen. Frozen lemonade, Frappucinos, boozy frozen Capri Sun, the list goes on and on. Sangria is no different. The already refreshing drink is taken to the next level by throwing it into the blender with frozen berries. Follow this recipe and let the pool-side sipping begin.

6. Fresh Fish Ceviche


Photo by Lexa Rowland

This South American seafood dish involves raw fish, onions and other veggies, lime juice, and cilantro. It’s easy to prepare, super healthy, and will surely cool you off on a hot day since it’s always served chilled. If you like sushi, you’ll love ceviche, so give it a try the next time you eat out, or follow this easy recipe to make it at home.

7. Banana Ice Cream


Photo by Nick Schmidt

This is a recipe that vegans, paleos, and health-conscious people swear by since it’s an all-natural and dairy-free alternative to ice cream that tastes just as good. When it’s hot outside and you’re craving a cold treat, whip up some banana ice cream instead of reaching for the real thing, since the dairy, artificial flavors, and added sugars in regular ice cream can make you feel bloated and sluggish.

Just toss some frozen ripe bananas into the blender with a splash of vanilla almond milk and blend until smooth. Add some cocoa powder or peanut butter to the mix for some extra flavor (or if you’re not crazy about bananas) and voila! – a smooth and creamy dessert without all the artificial stuff.

8. Veggie Sushi


Photo courtesy of food.com

When you’re in the market for a cool and refreshing meal, sushi is a great place to start. And you want a lighter dinner that won’t make you feel bloated or fatigued, avoid rolls with fried ingredients and mayonnaise-based sauces. A cucumber roll is easily digestible, low-fat, and the detoxifying cucumbers will help you feel refreshed, cool, and energized.

9. Berry Compote

Photo by Paige Marie Rodgers

Having access to farm-fresh berries in the summer means putting them on everything. You can toss them in a smoothie for breakfast, put them on your banana ice cream, freeze them and use them as ice cubes in your sangria, water, and cocktails, and make berry compote to go on your waffles, pancakes, desserts, and just about anything else. Just warm frozen berries in the microwave and stir in some sugar until the mixture reaches a syrupy consistency.

10. Fresh Hummus


Photo by Paige Twombly

Nothing says summer like the Mediterranean vibes of homemade hummus. It’s simple to make, there are infinite variations to try, and when paired with pita chips and cool veggies, it’s the perfect beach day snack. Try these four easy recipes to take you hummus up a notch.

11. Tzatziki


Photo courtesy of whatsgabycooking.com

Tzatziki is a Greek condiment made with strained yogurt, cucumber, mint, lemon juice, and garlic, and is usually paired with shawarma or falafel. It also happens to be awesome on its own, so go ahead and treat it like dip. The cool cucumber and mint make this Greek sauce a summer essential. Try this recipe to discover your new favorite condiment.

12. Shandy Popsicles

Photo by Sofia Gonzalez

Summer Shandy is pretty much the unofficial official drink of summer, so an easy way to get away with double-fisting at your next day party is to make shandy popsicles. Just pour you fave shandy flavor into popsicle molds and freeze. Add lemonade to the mix for extra sweetness, and some thinly-sliced lemon or grapefruit if you’re feeling fancy. Bottle of shandy in one hand, shandy popsicle in the other… what more could you want on a hot summer day?