Recently I was having a conversation with a friend about travelling on airplanes. She’d just come back from a trip, had landed just a few hours earlier, and was in desperate need of a nap and a shower (her words, not my judgment.)
We started talking about our tricks for reducing that I’ve-just-been-sitting-on-a-plane-for-hours-and-feel-like-a-hot-mess feeling that I think we’ve all had at some point. You know when you stop in at the airport bathroom on the way to the baggage claim carousel, only to realize your hair is super greasy, lips are chapped, your skin is as dry as bad gluten-free toast, your eyeliner is smudged and you’ve got an imprint on your cheek from the seams of your inflatable pillow? You feel bloaty, thirsty, tired and really wish you had the ability to teleport yourself straight home to your cozy, comfy bed. I’m not the only one who experiences this, right?
We’ve all read countless times that one way to solve these travel woes – dry skin, digestive discomfort, a scratchy throat, fatigue etc – is to drink tons of water while in flight. It makes sense too, because the humidity in an airplane’s cabin is much lower than what we normally experience on land.
As someone who loves experimenting with things that improve my wellbeing, you’d think that I’d be all over this hydration thing. In most cases I am, but when it comes to flying, there’s a problem that arises as a result of these two facts:
- I am a sleeper on planes (as in, I’m usually asleep before takeoff) and therefore prefer window seats so I have something to curl up against.
- I have a bladder the size of a pea.
The problem? Drinking a ton of water to maintain hydration on a flight might sound good in theory, but it leaves me no choice but to either wake the person next to me and ask them to move (which I always feel SO terrible doing), or awkwardly try to climb over them in order to get out to the aisle.
Why am I telling you all this, you ask? Because it’s a very roundabout way of introducing today’s recipe, which is a super water-packed one. If you, like me, can’t chug gallons of water on the plane – or if you just have a hard time drinking enough water in general – this Hydrating Cucumber, Melon and Avocado Salad will be your best friend. It contains some of the juiciest, most water-packed fruits and veggies I could find:
- Watermelon: 92% water
- Cantaloupe: 90% water
- Cucumbers: 96% water
- Radishes: 95% water
Even if you don’t have any flights coming up, think of this salad like a great big refreshing drink for your entire body. The high water content helps to hydrate, and the combination of antioxidants, minerals and healthy fats is perfect for rejuvenating dry skin.
This recipe is one you’ll want to make close to the time that you eat it (as opposed to days ahead) because using such water-dense ingredients means that they’ll start to release liquid after a day or so. As far as dressing goes, just a bit of high-quality dark balsamic vinegar does the trick. I’m normally a purist who likes to enjoy my watermelon straight-up with nothing else, but the whole balsamic watermelon combo is one I currently can’t get enough of.
Hydrating Cucumber, Melon and Avocado Salad
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Ingredients (4-6 as a side dish)
- 3 cups sliced cucumber
- 3 cups watermelon cubes
- 3 cups cantaloupe cubes
- 1/2 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
- 2 cups radishes, cut into wedges
- 2 packed tablespoons each fresh mint and basil, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup high quality balsamic vinegar (see note)
Slice the melons, cucumber, avocado and herbs as directed above. Combine them all in a large bowl.
Sprinkle the hemp seeds and drizzle the balsamic vinegar over top. Toss to coat, then season with sea salt and black pepper as needed.
*Note: This recipe works best with a high-quality, thicker balsamic vinegar but if you don’t have one, here’s a hack: Pour 1/2 cup dark balsamic vinegar (a cheap one is fine) in a small saucepan and turn heat to medium. Let it reduce for a few minutes until it thickens up a bit, then pour it into a small jar and allow it to cool before pouring it over the salad.
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So tell me…
- What’s your favourite way to enjoy melons in the summer?
- Window or aisle seat – which camp are you in?