Cooling Watermelon & Shrimp Skewers
The contrast of sweltering, dry summers in the Pacific Northwest to our chilly and wet… all other seasons has really inspired me to tap into the traditional Ayurvedic method of choosing my foods and eating extra seasonally.
Mini Ayurvedic Refresher Course:
Pitta, Vata, and Kapha - collectively known as the doshas - are one of the most foundational concepts in the tradition of Ayurveda. The goal of Ayurvedic eating is to balance your personal dosha with doshas of the seasons Each dosha is symbolic of a paring of each of the five elements. Pitta is Fire + Water, Vata is Air and Ether and Kapha is Earth and Water. As with the elements, all three of the doshas can be found in everyone and everything, but in different proportions. They combine to create different climates, different foods, different species, and different individuals. When used in reference to a person, a dosha is your bodily constitution and may symbolize an imbalance within your body or mind.
Because summer is the most pitta of all seasons it’s more common for our bodies and minds to suffer from conditions resulting from excessive heat during the summer months. This excess heat leads to physical imbalances such as inflammations, infections, skin irritations, hyperacidity, heat rashes, and diarrhea.
As you’ve probably noticed, your body naturally leans towards balancing types of foods in contrast to the seasons: craving hot soup on a cold day for example. And mother nature is always quick to lend a helping hand by providing seasonal foods that are exactly what we need (see: watermelon and peaches in the summer, and squash in the winter). But for many (for me at least), my summers are also filled with late night pizza runs, taco food trucks and rose all day. The inflammation inducing alcohol, warming spices, hot sauces, and digestive slowing flours and cheeses are all very much the opposite of what our bodies are needing.
So, in light of trying to live my #bestlife I’ve been focusing my diet this summer on seasonal, cooling foods and I whipped up this way easy skewer recipe. It’s perfect for hot summer days spent lizard lounging on the bank of the Sandy River and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing.
If you’re interested in what other foods are great for balancing the fire of summer, Banyan Botanicals has a great Summer Food Guide here.
Cheers to summer!
Cooling Watermelon & Shrimp Skewers
A quick and simple summer skewer recipe featuring cooling seasonal watermelon and cucumber and garlic grilled shrimp. Don’t skip salting the watermelon, it amps up the juicy sweetness and reminds us faintly of summer at the beach.
Cook time: 15 Minutes
- 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 1 Tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grill
- 1 pound small shrimp, peeled, deveined
- Kosher salt
- 1 small seedless watermelon, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 cucumbers, thickly sliced
- 3 Tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
- Four to six 8-inch-long metal skewers or bamboo skewers.
- Whisk garlic, pepper, lime juice, and 2 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat; season with salt.
- Prepare a grill for medium-high heat; clean grates well, then oil. (Alternatively, prepare a cast oil skillet on medium high heat with one tablespoon of oil.)
- Grill shrimp, turning once, until cooked through and lightly charred, about 5 minutes total.
- Salt watermelon and cucumber to taste.
- Beginning and ending with shrimp, thread shrimp, cubed watermelon and sliced cucumber onto 6 skewers.
- Top skewers with feta and mint.