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How to Drink More Water, Delightfully

June 2, 2014

The temperature’s rising, and so is our thirst — but we’ll admit that unglamorous H2O often takes a backseat to cold brews and ice-cream treats. Science backs those extra trips to the cooler, though, as even mild dehydration can interfere with brain function and mood. Stay happily hydrated with these creative reasons to keep your glass at least half full.

A garnish is the oldest trick in the book, but think beyond lemons and limes. Cucumber makes for a refreshing savory swap.

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Cubic Formula

An icy accent makes plain water look good enough to drink. From fruit and flowers to leafy greens, the options are endless — and the refills will be too.

Celery Ice Cubes

Raw celery leaves

Cook’s Note
Celery leaves have a bunch of other surprising uses: Mix the raw leaves into a garden or fruit salad for a fresh, herbal note; put a handful into a stir-fry; saute them with aromatics as a base for soup or stew; pan-fry them to garnish a roast.

1. Freeze leaves in ice cubes to pack a cocktail or another drink with an extra hit of bright celery flavor.

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Coconut Case

Hailed as nature’s sports drink, coconut water will replenish your electrolytes along with your thirst. Try it in an ice pop or gelatin shot, or sip it straight from the fruit.

Coconut Water

1 young green coconut

1. Remove husk from coconut, cut a circle around the top, and pry open. Then jazz it up by adding chilled green tea and mango juice or a drizzle of honey.

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Bang for Your Bite

Choosing foods with a high water content — such as cucumbers, watermelons, and luscious summer tomatoes — is a tasty approach to hydration. This mouthwatering salad uses all three.

Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Basil Oil

2 cups fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups cold cubed watermelon (from about 4 1/2 pounds watermelon), rind removed
3 heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 Kirby cucumber, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices on the bias
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup crumbled soft goat cheese (4 ounces)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Make the basil oil: Prepare an ice-water bath. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Blanch basil for 1 minute. Transfer to ice-water bath to stop the cooking process. Drain.

2. Puree basil in a blender with olive oil until smooth. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth-lined fine sieve set over a bowl. Let stand until oil drips through, about 1 hour (do not squeeze cheesecloth).

3.Make the salad: Toss together watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, olive oil, and lemon juice in a bowl. Transfer to a serving platter, and sprinkle with goat cheese. Drizzle with basil oil and more olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Garnish with basil.

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Drink Your Veggies

Still hungry? Find satisfaction in a bowl of ice-cold soup (yes, soup). It’s called gazpacho, and we love all kinds: classic tomato, its golden cousin, and even savory-sweet watermelon or peach.

Golden Gazpacho

2 pounds yellow heirloom tomatoes, cored and quartered
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 medium yellow squash (6 ounces), halved lengthwise and thickly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into large chunks
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/2 cup carrot juice (fresh or canned)
3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt
1 avocado
1 small red heirloom tomato

Cook’s Note
For the best color and flavor, choose deep yellow heirlooms and golden yellow squash for this take on gazpacho.

1. In a food processor or blender, working in batches, combine yellow tomatoes, onion, squash, bell pepper, garlic, carrot juice, vinegar, and oil. Pulse until finely pureed. Season with salt. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours.

2. At serving time, halve, pit, and dice the avocado. Core and dice the red tomato. Serve soup in chilled bowls topped with avocado and tomato.

Swig on a Stick

Water is still water, even if you consume it in solid form. See more fan-favorite ice pops right this way.

Fruit Salad Ice Pops

1 peach, cut into 1/2-inch slices (1/2 cup)
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
3 ounces blueberries (1/2 cup)
4 ounces strawberries, hulled and halved ( 3/4 cup)
1 1/2 to 2 cups 100 percent white-grape juice

1. Arrange some of each fruit in eight 3-ounce ice-pop molds, making sure pieces fit very snugly. Pour enough juice into each mold to just cover fruit. Insert ice-pop sticks and freeze until solid, 6 hours (or up to 2 weeks).

Flush with a Rush

While you shouldn’t rely on coffee or tea as a water replacement, new research indicates that these drinks do not, in fact, cause dehydration. One more case for your cold-brew habit.

Coffee Frappe

Sweet iced coffee is blended with vanilla ice cream for a homemade version of a coffeehouse treat.

3 medium scoops vanilla ice cream
1 cup ice
1 cup chilled brewed coffee
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons Simple Syrup
Whipped cream
Cocoa powder

1. Blend ice cream, ice, coffee, milk, and simple syrup in a blender until smooth. Pour into a tall glass. Top with whipped cream, and dust with cocoa powder.

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