Earlier this week, we talked about how important hydration is for your immune function, especially during the hot summer season. We also shared how staying hydrated is about more than just drinking water, but also about eating hydrating foods. Few foods are as hydrating as watermelon — a single cup of watermelon is approximately 91% water — and it’s also surprisingly healthy. While many view it as a refreshing fruit, watermelon is actually a vegetable with high levels of immunity-boosting vitamin C, potassium, copper, vitamin B5, and vitamin A. Watermelon is also one of the best sources of lycopene and other phytonutrients that enhance your overall wellness. Stay hydrated, quench your thirst, and bolster your immunity with this collection of hydrating watermelon recipes.

1. BREAKFAST: Omega-3 Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie

Start your day with a breakfast shake that looks and tastes like summer, and is also hiding a secret ingredient: creamy chia seeds that add lots of protein, fiber, and healthy omega-3 fats. You’ll jumpstart your digestion and energize your body and mind all morning long. Plus, omega-3s are important for immune function, and have a diverse array of other benefits, including smoother skin, reduced inflammation, and a healthier cardiovascular system.

2 cups fresh watermelon, cubed and deseeded, then frozen
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 ripe banana, frozen
1/2 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
Juice from one fresh lime (approximately 2 tsp)
2 tbsp chia seeds

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy. Enjoy!

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2. LUNCH: Hydrating Watermelon Salad

This refreshing recipe combines quite a few hydrating powerhouses, including watermelon, cucumber, and leafy greens. You’ll literally be eating nearly a glass of fluids as you dine on this crisp lunch. The cool textures and flavors of the veggies and fruit pair well with the heavier, salty textures and flavors of the feta cheese. The addition of mint, which cuts through the cheese’s saltiness, adds a twist that makes this dish a standout at home, in the backyard, or at your next community barbecue.

3 cups watermelon, cubed, deseeded and chilled in your fridge
1 1/2 cups cucumber, thinly sliced
2 tbsp fresh mint, minced1/3 cup feta cheese (or a plant-based substitute), crumbled
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients and chill in your fridge for 2-3 hours to allow all the flavors to mingle. Enjoy chilled.

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3. DINNER: Sweet and Salty Prosciutto Watermelon Skewers

This recipe is both savory and sweet, creating a fusion of flavors that will forever reinvent how you view and serve watermelon going forward. It shines as its own main dish, but also makes for a great side dish at picnics or barbecues. Juicy watermelon is paired with sweet summery melon. The fruits add a refreshing, crisp counterbalance to rich, salty prosciutto meat (you can use a vegan alternative, too) and creamy mozzarella cheese. And every bite comes to life with the bright, surprising addition of balsamic glaze.

5 cups watermelon, cubed and deseeded
5 cups cantaloupe melon, peeled and cubed
10-15 slices of prosciutto, torn and folded into bite-sized pieces
1 package of mozzarella pearls,
1 cup of fresh basil leaves
Balsamic glaze

Thread the skewers through the fruit, meat, cheese and basil in alternating arrangements (e.g., a cube of watermelon, a piece of cheese, a cube of cantaloupe, a basil leaf, a piece of meat, and so on…). Drizzle with the balsamic glaze and serve chilled.

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Hungry For More Watermelon Recipes? Keep Reading More:

3 Refreshing Watermelon Recipes for a Stronger Immune System