With a heat wave rolling through California this week, it is important to find ways to stay hydrated.
Of course, keeping up with water intake is the most important, but there is also a long list of fresh produce that can assist in the task.
Some items, such as lettuce and bell peppers, may seem less obvious as being at the top of the list, but each yields more than 90% water content. Strawberries, oranges, peaches, cantaloupe, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes and zucchini are also very high on the list.
And, at about 92% water content and likely the most obvious on the list, fresh watermelon is just starting to emerge and will be readily available in time for the Fourth of July.
Watermelon is one of the most hydrating fruits around. It’s also a nutritious addition to our diets.
A one cup serving of watermelon delivers our bodies more than a half cup of water, along with dietary fiber and nutrients such as vitamins C and A and magnesium. It is also quite low in calories, providing only 46 calories per cup.
Watermelon is also notably rich in powerful antioxidants, including lycopene, which is commonly encountered in red foods.
I love the combination of watermelon and lime, and I find watermelon pairs quite well with seasonal basil, cucumber, and both feta and fresh mozzarella cheese. Whether tossed in a salad or carefully assembled on a skewer, the components converge quite nicely.
1 small watermelon, flesh cut into 1 inch cubes
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
1/2 medium red onion, cut into half-inch pieces
10 ounces feta cheese or mozzarella cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 medium Persian style cucumbers, cut into half-inch moon shaped rounds Aged balsamic vinegar
Optional: Good quality olive oil
Assemble ingredients on a skewer, one at a time. You can repeat for a second layer, but I typically just make a bunch of smaller appetizer skewers. Drizzle the skewers with aged balsamic vinegar. If desired, also drizzle with some good quality olive oil. If you have a flavored olive oil that you like, such as a citrus or herb based oil, those can pair quite nicely.
Yield: Makes about 8 servings.