Beat the Summer Heat With Thirst-Quenching Refreshment Recipes

Staying hydrated when the temperature climbs requires a multi-layered approach. In addition to drinking plenty of water, try to choose foods that help replenish lost fluids. These are my personal favorite recipes for the hottest days of summer when I truly want to put the "refresh" in refreshment!

Watermelon Caprese

This spin on the classic Caprese salad swaps the tomatoes for watermelon, which contains about a half cup of water in every 1-cup serving.

  • Slice a small watermelon into approximately 3-inch by 3-inch squares, each about a half inch thick. 
  • Slice a ball of fresh mozzarella cheese into half-inch-thick slices.
  • Layer alternate slices of cheese and watermelon on a plate.
  • Top the salad with sea salt and ground pepper to taste, along with 2 T chopped fresh basil.
  • Drizzle the plate with balsamic glaze.

If you don't feel like chopping and assembling a salad, simply eat this melon by the wedge to take advantage of the 92% water content. 

Simple Cucumber Salad

This perfect lunch or side dish takes seconds to prepare and provides an incredible hydration boost thanks to the nearly 97% water content of cucumber.

  • Thinly slice about 1 lb. seedless cucumbers.
  • Toss cucumbers with about 1 1/2 tsp. sugar and 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Let sit for five minutes.
  • Add 1/2 of a small onion, sliced thin, and 2 1/2 T red wine vinegar.

Refrigerate this dish for 10 minutes before serving (or devouring on your own!)

Celery Soup

While we rarely allow celery to shine, it's an outstanding choice for enhanced hydration.

  • Chop a head of celery, a large potato and a medium onion.
  • Combine these veggies with 1/2 stick unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add sea salt to taste and cook for about 10 minutes or until onions soften. 
  • Add 3 cups of low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth and 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill.
  • Puree soup with an immersion blender or in a traditional blender.
  • Strain soup and top with olive oil if desired.

You can serve this unique soup either hot or chilled.

Strawberry and Tomato Panzanella Salad

Both strawberries and tomatoes are simply bursting with hydration, especially when you pick up fresh local summer produce. 

  • Tear two thick slices of rustic bread into bite-size pieces while preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Toss the bread with 1 tablespoon of olive oil on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons each of red wine vinegar and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste along with 3 cups chopped strawberries, 2 large chopped tomatoes and 1/4 cup thin slices of red onion.
  • Toss the salad and let sit for 10 minutes. Add the bread and garnish with 1/2 cup chopped basil and crumbled feta if desired. Serve immediately at room temperature.

This salad is a delicious showcase for seasonal flavors. 

Sauteed Garlic Mushrooms

Did you know mushrooms are full of moisture? Try this simple dish as a light lunch or companion to your go-to main dish.

  • Wash and slice 1 lb. of your favorite mushrooms. If you're new to fungi, we like creminis for this recipe, but any white or brown mushroom will do.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  • Toss the sliced mushrooms with 1 tablespoon soy sauce and add them to the pan.
  • Cook on one side for four to five minutes without stirring.
  • Stir in 1/4 cup white wine or veggie broth along with fresh herbs like thyme and garlic.
  • Cook for another three to four minutes.

With these healthy recipes, your body will have the necessary hydration for all your warm-weather adventures.