International treats for beating the summer heat

For some, summertime means binging on popsicles and adding exorbitant amounts of ice to drinks. Others take an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” approach and fill up on hot teas and soups. Carotino Red Palm & Canola Oil can be used as either cooking or finishing oil, meaning that you can take advantage of its goodness regardless of which cooking temperature you prefer. Get inspired by some of these dishes, taken from different countries around the world:

• Gazpacho (Spain): Although ripe tomatoes are the main ingredient, gazpacho is more than just cold tomato soup. This antioxidant- and fiber-rich soup combines some of the season’s freshest produce, such as bell peppers, cucumbers and garlic. Substitute Carotino for olive oil to add even more to its nutritional benefits.

• Ceviche (Peru): Those of you who get squeamish from the idea of eating raw fish can let go of that breath you’ve been holding. Freshly squeezed lime and lemon juices cook the fish without heat. You can actually see its flesh turn from an almost translucent pink to opaque white. Just be sure to use the fish the same day it was purchased.

• Fasolakia (Greece): This dish’s main ingredients – green beans, tomatoes and potatoes – all reach the peak of freshness during summer. The name might be intimidating, but this dish is easy to customize around your family’s specific tastes. For example, use Carotino instead of olive oil to sauté the ingredients. Fasolakia can be served hot, right after cooking. Refrigerate the leftovers to enjoy cold the next day.

• Bruschetta (Italy): Perfect as an appetizer or simple snack, bruschetta is great in the summertime when tomatoes and herbs such as basil and parsley are in season. If you don’t have a tried-and-true recipe, start here and make adjustments for your palate.

• Meze (Middle East): Essentially an appetizer platter, meze can include feta, hummus, kalamata olives, falafel and more. The idea is to give your body a little bit of everything. Most of the components can be found at grocery or specialty stores. Use canned chickpeas (garbanzos) and a little Carotino to make your own home-made hummus.

• Korean fried chicken (Korea): This is perfect for anyone who loves spicy treats. Unlike typical American fried chicken, Korean fried chicken is fried twice, making it crunchier and surprisingly less greasy. Traditional recipes call for frying in sesame oil, but don’t hesitate to substitute Carotino for its high smoke-point.

Memorable meals can be both nutritious and creative. Look into your roots. Now is the perfect time to dust off an old recipe and put your own twist on one of your grandmother’s favorites.