As a runner, I constantly struggle to stay adequately hydrated, especially in the hot, humid Mediterranean climate. My doc explained that our total body water content declines as we age and urged me to up my fluid intake. And menopause just makes it worse; crazy hot flushes are another hydration stripper!
After experiencing another crushing headache after a particularly busy day last week I’d had enough. You see, I don’t always notice my thirst building (I know – odd!) and often forget to drink enough water (is there no hope for me?! ) so I’ve decided to try and up my hydration levels in other ways. One of my goals for this summer is to pack as much fruit and veg (especially veg, as I prefer them) into my day as possible. We often focus on the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables but it’s easy to overlook the fact that we can also boost our water intake from the foods we eat. There’s also that added nutritional bonus I mentioned – that these foods are also rich in antioxidants, vitamins, electrolytes, and fibre that are great for our health.
Top of my must-eat list are watermelons, which are 92 per cent water and just everywhere here in Cyprus in July – being sold from the back of trucks at the side of the road.
It’s pretty easy to gauge which are the super watery fruits and veg – celery, cucumber, courgette (zucchini) etc but here’s a list of the hydration stars:
|Over 90% Water||Over 70% Water|
Who knew that vegetables were so water-rich over fruits?! I always imagined fruit to have the higher water content.
I’ll often start my day by adding berries to my breakfast porridge and include a salad at lunch time (I have a few of my faves to share with you in a future post).
Today, I have this dish to share with you which is just brimming with so much goodness; broccoli, cauliflower, courgettes, peas, carrots, green beans, onion, sweet potato, tomatoes, spinach, coriander and black-eyed beans.
Vroom Vroom Veggie Burst with Black Beans and Almonds
I’ve indicated the rough quantities I used but honestly, add whatever you fancy and substitute veggies you’re not keen on. I didn’t use garlic either as I’m not super fond of the after taste but I think most people would want to add a couple of crushed cloves.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
- 2 courgettes (zucchini) sliced
- Handful cherry tomatoes, halved
- 250g broccoli florets
- 250g cauliflower florets
- Large handful green beans
- 100 g frozen peas
- 1½ – 2 teaspoons of: cumin, coriander and turmeric
- Sprinkling chilli flakes (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 400g tinned black eye beans, rinsed and drained
- 8 tbsp almond milk
- 8 tablespoons koko dairy-free yoghurt
- Handful slivered almonds
- Handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- Handful spinach leaves
- Water or vegetable stock
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the onion. Cook to soften slightly then stir in the spices, ginger and chilli flakes. Gently cook for a minute then tip in all the veg plus the tin of tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
Add enough water or vegetable stock to just cover. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for around 20 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked. Add the beans and chopped coriander and heat through.
(Sometimes the cauliflower can take a bit longer and if you have time you could pre-cook it for 5-10 minutes before adding it to the pan. I don’t as I’m quite happy with it a little bit crunchy).
Mix together the almond milk, yoghurt and almonds and stir into the veggie mix.
Serve with couscous, quinoa, brown rice – whatever you fancy! As with most of these types of dishes – even better the next day 🙂