When summer temperatures skyrocket, no one wants to labor in front of a sweltering stove.
While cooking easy, oven-free meals can keep you cool, you should also be focusing on foods that help you stay hydrated.
"Hydration is always important, but especially in the summer since we sweat more and lose water through our perspiration," DJ Blatner, RDN, author of The Superfood Swap: The 4-Week Plan to Eat What You Crave Without the C.R.A.P., tells LIVESTRONG.com.
These six simple dietitian-approved dinners are stellar for hot summer nights — they don't require the stove and will help you maintain healthy hydration levels.
1. Cucumber Salad With Feta and Mint
This sweet and savory salad serves up two of the most hydrating foods — cucumber and watermelon — to replenish your fluids on sweaty days. Living up to its name, watermelon consists primarily of H2O with a 92 percent water content, Blatner says.
What's more, one cup of the juicy fruit offers 14 percent of your daily recommended value for vitamin C, as well as essential electrolytes like potassium and magnesium, per the USDA. That's important because your body depends on electrolytes to regulate fluid balance, muscle contraction and neural activity, according to the American Council on Exercise.
"This recipe also has mint, which isn't necessarily hydrating but does contain menthol, which has an immediate cooling effect as we chew it," Blatner says.
Get the Cucumber Salad With Feta and Mint recipe and nutrition info here.
2. Mediterranean Anytime Parfait
Layered with tomatoes and cucumbers (which are both made up of 95 percent water), this no-cook, Mediterranean-style parfait is majorly hydrating, Blatner says.
Even hummus and yogurt, the prime protein sources in the parfait, are good hydrators, with over 50 percent water and 80 percent water respectively, she says.
But if you really want to quench your thirst, consider adding celery — it's nature's sports drink, Blatner says. "That's because it naturally contains electrolytes lost in sweat, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium," she explains.
Get the Mediterranean Anytime Parfait recipe and nutrition info here.
3. Simple Ceviche
Packed with protein (a whopping 39 grams per serving), this savory ceviche counts on citrus juices from grapefruit and lime to "cook" raw fish and provides a heap load of hydration.
"Plus, the jalapeno naturally contains 92 percent water," Blatner says.
Just plan this delicious fish dinner ahead of time — ceviche must be refrigerated for at least four hours to allow the citrus marinade to work its magic.
Get the Simple Ceviche recipe and nutrition info here.
4. Hearty Gazpacho Bowl
"Soup is the ultimate hydrating food," Blatner says. And this refreshing, stove-free gazpacho bowl — which only takes eight minutes from prep to plate — will put your blender to good use.
In addition to all the hydrating veggies like cucumber and tomato, this hearty, chilled soup also includes protein-rich chickpeas (containing over 60 percent water) and two cups of tomato juice.
"There's still some salt even in low-sodium tomato juice, which can help replenish the sodium we lose in sweat" during scorching temps, Blatner says.
And with 10 grams of filling fiber and healthy fats from avocado, this gazpacho is guaranteed to satisfy your stomach.
Get the Hearty Gazpacho Bowl recipe and nutrition info here.
5. Raw Zucchini Caprese 'Pasta'
This pasta imposter incorporates everything you love about a big bowl of spaghetti — mozzarella, tomatoes and extra-virgin olive oil — minus all the carbs and calories.
A water-rich veggie, zucchini contains 95 percent H2O and is a great pasta swap because it's only 20 calories per cup, Blatner says.
Blatner also loves tossing together a 50/50 mix of zucchini noodles and chickpea pasta for a little extra protein power. To simplify supper, buy pre-spiraled zoodles and save yourself even more time in the kitchen.
Get the Raw Zucchini Caprese 'Pasta' recipe and nutrition info here.
6. Tomato and White Bean Salad With Herbs
It only takes five minutes to mix this no-fuss summer salad, which owes its garden-fresh flavor to herbs including dill and parsley.
While classic water-rich foods like tomatoes and cucumbers help you maintain optimal hydration in hot weather, white beans (with 55 percent water) also give you a big bang for your hydrating buck, Blatner says.
And though this light salad won't weigh you down, with the winning combination of veggies, beans, avocado and olive oil, it's sure to fill you up thanks to the healthy balance of carbs, fiber, protein and fats.
Get the Tomato and White Bean Salad With Herbs recipe and nutrition info here.