Mmm…Mouthwatering Watermelon: Fresh Talk
When hot, sweaty and parched, some people go for neon-lit sport drinks. Me? I reach for fat hunks of watermelon and a stack of paper towels. The bright summer fruit hydrates the body and refreshes the palate whenever temperatures soar.
Watermelons are 92 percent water, so they come by their hydration properties honestly. In fact, if you prefer to drink your watermelon rather than eat it, you’re in luck. Ideas include a quenching, Mexican-inspired agua fresca, a minty watermelon slush made with red Zinger tea or something a bit kickier, like this watermelon gin fizz.
If you’re a fan of cold soups on warm evenings, try this gazpacho variant made with watermelon instead of tomatoes. For your salad course, toss watermelon on the grill (yes, grill!) or spice things up with chile-spiked watermelon with lime-honey syrup.
Feeling crafty? Here’s how to carve a watermelon basket. Simply fill with fresh fruit for a crowd-pleasing snack.
Selecting: The National Watermelon Promotion Board recommends seeking out symmetrical, dent-free watermelons heavy for their size. A sizeable yellow spot on the melon’s “belly” indicates the watermelon sat on the ground and drank up the sun — a very good sign!
Prepping: The FDA recommends washing all melons under running water before cutting into them. When slicing, use a sharp, heavy knife and plenty of caution. (Due to their shape, melons can roll, so as soon as you have a flat surface, steady the melon and then continue cutting.) Once halved, try scooping melons with a melon baller for a fun twist on classic triangular slices.
Storing: Store uncut watermelons at cool room temperature. Once cut, place wedges or melon balls in covered containers and store in the refrigerator.
Nutritional Benefits: Amelia Winslow, MS, MPH, a nutrition expert and the founder of Eating Made Easy, says watermelon is rich in vitamins C and A. “Just one cup gives you about 20 percent of each, but it’s also one of the best sources of lycopene, a phytochemical shown to help protect against several forms of cancer, including prostate, breast, lung and colorectal cancers.”
“An even bigger selling point,” says Winslow, “is that watermelon is 92 percent water, which means its big volume but low caloric value will fill you up without weighing you down. A whole cup of watermelon chunks has only 46 calories.”
She encourages watermelon-lovers to indulge in this summertime treat guilt-free.
Just find someplace discreet to spit the seeds.
What are you waiting for? Cut yourself a slice and explore all our watermelon recipes!