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.
Celery Ice Cubes
Raw celery leaves
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.
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.
Bang for Your Bite
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.
Drink Your Veggies
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
1 small red heirloom tomato
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.
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
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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