Cool and Calm: Six Foods for the Sunburnt

Cool and Calm: Six Foods for the Sunburnt

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Emily Han
Aug 24, 2009

When it comes to sunburns, prevention is best, but sometimes you forget to pack the sunscreen or stay out a little too long. You might not feel like cooking or even eating much while recovering from a burn, but it's important to keep your body healthy and hydrated. Here are six cooling ingredients with delicious – and manageable – dinner, dessert, and drink ideas.

Barley. Considered a cooling grain in many cultures, barley can be served in summer salads like Roasted Beet Salad with Barley, Feta, and Red Onion, in chilled Yogurt Barley Soup, or even in drinks like Lemon Barley Water and iced Korean Barley Tea.

Cucumber. While you're slicing cucumber rounds to soothe your eyelids, make up a batch of cucumber water or juice and whip up a Quick, Cool Cucumber Sauce for Sandwiches and Vegetables. Cucumbers also star in this nutritious, Easy Gazpacho.

Lime. You'll want to drink lots of liquids while recovering, and limeade is the best kind of "medicine." You can also add a squeeze of lime to your cucumber water (see above) or make Cucumber Ice Pops with Lime (omit the chile; you don't want to overheat).

Mint. Is there any herb more refreshing than mint? Add mint to fruit salad and iced tea, serve it with peas (along with prosciutto or in Pasta with Mint Pesto, Peas and Ricotta Salata), or make a refreshing herb sorbet. Pair mint with cucumber to double the impact!

Mung Beans. Mung beans may be used in sweet and savory dishes. Try our recipe for creamy Chè Đậu Xanh (Vietnamese Dessert Soup With Mung Beans), which has the benefits of both mung beans and coconut milk, another purportedly cooling ingredient. Also check out reader tips in More Uses for Mung Beans.

Watermelon. The most cooling foods also happen to be in season right now. Slice up a ripe, juicy watermelon and, with not too much more effort, make a Watermelon, Rosemary, and Feta Salad or a lovely Watermelon Dessert with lemon and mint.

Any other ideas? What do you like to eat or drink while recovering from a sunburn?

Related: Stay Cool! This August, Beat the Heat at The Kitchn

(Images: Emma Christensen, Elizabeth Passarella, Flickr member quinn.anya licensed under Creative Commons, Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan, Emily Ho, Faith Durand)

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