Before you incorporate watermelon into recipes, you need to select a good one at the grocery store, farmers market or fruit stand, and then cut and store it properly.
Webmd.com offers some great tips, which have inspired me to confidently select and use watermelon often during the summer months.
- Pick a melon that’s free of dents, nicks, and bruises. Look for a yellow, not white, spot on the bottom. This signals that it’s ripe. A juicy, ready-to-eat watermelon will feel heavy for its size. When you thump it, it should sound hollow.
- Watermelon has more of this nutrient than any other fruit or veggie — even tomatoes. To load up on lycopene, choose a melon with bright red flesh rather than yellow or orange. And the riper, the better. Also, seedless melon tends to have more lycopene than those with seeds.
- Wash the outside of your melon before you slice into it. You don’t want your knife to transfer any germs to the inside. While melon tastes best right after it’s cut, you can store it in your fridge for up to 5 days. Freezing is an option, too. While the watermelon won’t stay crisp, you can thaw it to use in smoothies.
Hot days call for cool meals and snacks. I use a grill pan and grill up some watermelon slices (I also do the same with pineapple chunks) for a tasty treat.
A sweet and savory salad made with watermelon, cucumber, red onion, Feta cheese, avocado, mint, basil and a lime dressing (https://www.loveandlemons.com/watermelon-salad/) is one my family enjoys. They enjoy it even more after I decided to add walnuts or slivered almonds!
Instead of adding raisins or dried cranberries to a summer salad, I add watermelon cubes. They pair well with chicken, so I enjoy them over a bed of baby spinach or torn romaine leaves. I top with feta cheese and a bit of balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Some people enjoy a bed of arugula as the base of the salad, but we find it peppery.
My family requests watermelon, basil and a colorful array of tomatoes for a quick and tasty summer side dish.
A bright fruit salad that includes watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries is sweet and refreshing. For a touch more sweetness, add honey. How about serving watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew chunks in a hollowed-out watermelon for a refreshing dish that tastes as good as it looks.
We use a lot of ice during the summer months, and unless your beverage is strong, ice keeps it cold but waters it down. I puree watermelon cubes in the blender and then pour the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze. I use the cubes to cool non-alcoholic and alcoholic fruit-based beverages and introduce a bit of watermelon flavor.
When I opt for an adult beverage, I enjoy fresh watermelon juice, a shot of vodka and a couple of watermelon ice cubes for instant refreshment.
I usually make salsa with fresh tomatoes, but sometimes I’ll add some diced seedless watermelon to the tomatoes, salt and lime juice to make a sort of chutney we enjoy over grilled chicken.
Since watermelon is loaded with Vitamins A, B6, and C – all great for the skin – I enjoy a bit of “me time” with a watermelon face mask. I combine a tablespoon of watermelon juice (you can juice watermelon cubes if you like) and a tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt. I spread it evenly across my face and under my chin. I relax for 10 minutes or so and then rinse the mixture with cool water and gently pat my skin dry. My skin feels softer, refreshed and hydrated. I use the mask once a week.
How do you celebrate summer with watermelon?
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