Watermelon Strawberry Bocconcini Salad with Basil is a delicious summer side that can help keep you hydrated during the hot and humid days.
Hydration Benefits of Watermelon Strawberry Bocconcini Salad with Basil
Watermelon and strawberries, which are 92% water and 90% water, respectively, make up the base of this salad. It can be difficult to drink the recommended amount of water when fluid needs increase during hot days, physical activity, and individual conditions and life stages. When this happens, water can also be eaten!
Find out your minimum water requirements in my previous blog “How Much Water Should We Drink?”.
Eating foods that are water-dense like watermelon, strawberries, lettuce, grapes, and tomatoes contributes toward daily fluid intake. If you’re tracking your water and falling a little short by the end of the day, consider whether any water-dense foods have been or can be eaten. (Find a list of more water-dense foods here.)
Ultimately, you know if you need more fluids if you fail the urine or thirst tests.
Nutritional Benefits of Watermelon & Strawberries
Although watermelon and strawberries are mostly water, they actually provide quite a bit of nutrition in their flesh. Both contain vitamin C. In fact, a serving of 8 large strawberries contains all the vitamin C you need in a day.
According to the USDA Food Composition Database and watermelon.org, two cups of watermelon has vitamin A (8%), B6 (6%), potassium (6%), magnesium (6%), thiamin (8%), and phosphorus (2%).
Bocconcini’s Nutritional Profile
Bocconcini is mozzarella cheese shaped into large pearls, a little smaller than golf balls. Bocconcini's nutritional profile is mixed.
On the one hand, one bocconcini ball provides about 6% of the RDA for calcium and 4g of protein. On the other hand, one ball also has 4.5g or 22% of the RDA of saturated fat. Anytime a nutrient is over 20% of the daily value, it’s high!
So while these pearls of cheese are delicious, it’s important to limit intake to one or two due to the high fat content.
Benefits of Basil
According to a report published in Nutrition Today, which reviewed the scientific literature on basil's potential health benefits, basil may help with controlling blood sugar and cholesterol levels in patients with diabetes.
Basil may also strengthen the immune system, alleviate stress and anxiety, enhance memory, and contribute towards oral and skin healing. More research is needed, but these benefits were based on human clinical trials and seem promising.
Allergens in Watermelon Strawberry Bocconcini Salad with Basil
Watermelon Strawberry Bocconcini Salad with Basil is free of 8 of the Top 9 allergens. It contains cheese, but this can be replaced with a dairy-free mozzarella or eliminated altogether. This summer side is gluten-free and vegetarian.
Watermelon Strawberry Bocconcini Salad with Basil Recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
¼ of a medium watermelon
1lb of strawberries (about 16 medium strawberries), rinsed
6 bocconcini pearls (or vegan cheese)
Handful of basil
2 Tbsp olive oil or Canola oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Quarter a medium-sized watermelon by slicing it in half and then half again. Dice one quarter of the watermelon into small cubes and add to a large bowl. Wrap and refrigerate the remaining watermelon. Discard the rind from the diced watermelon, or use it in one of watermelon.org’s rind recipes.
Remove the stems from washed strawberries and discard the stems. Cut the strawberries into thick slices and add to the bowl with the watermelon.
Cut each bocconcini ball into quarters and add to the salad bowl.
Wash and chop the basil. Add to the bowl.
Drizzle oil over the salad. If desired, add 2 shakes of salt and pepper.
Stir and serve immediately or refrigerate up to 2 days.
For nutrition coaching, help meal planning, or a protein assessment, schedule a virtual appointment with ZEST Nutrition at: www.ZESTNutritionService.com. Evening and weekend appointments available!