It has been pretty hot out lately and there is nothing more refreshing than a cold slice of juicy watermelon. Did you know that August 3rd is Watermelon Day? What better time to indulge in all things watermelon!
5 Facts about Watermelon:
- Not only does it quench your thirst, it can also quench inflammation that contributes to conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and arthritis.
- Watermelon is a fruit and a vegetable! Watermelon is the product of a seed-producing plant and has a sweet taste. But it is related to the cucumber, pumpkin and squash family. The dual nature of the watermelon makes it entirely edible.
- In Egypt and Israel, the sweet taste of watermelon is often paired with the salty taste of feta cheese.
- Over 1200 varieties of watermelons are grown in approximately 100 countries worldwide.
- Early explorers used watermelons as canteens.
Despite popular belief that watermelon is made up of sugar and water only, watermelon actually provides a high amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for a low amount of calories.
One cup of diced watermelon contains 43 calories, 0 grams of fat, 2 grams of sodium, 11 grams of carbohydrates (including 9 grams of sugar) and 1 gram of fiber. This one-cup of watermelon will provide you with 17% of vitamin A, 21% of vitamin C, 2% of iron and 1% of calcium for the day.
How to pick a good watermelon:
- Look for the yellow field spot. The creamy yellow spot means the watermelon was on the vine getting sweet and ripe and was picked at just the right time.
- Make sure its heavy. Pick the heaviest watermelon, this means its super juicy.
- Pick one that has white scars and brown dots or lines. The scars, lines and spots are evidence that the watermelon was so sweet that even the insects were trying to get some.
- Choose a dull watermelon. A shiny watermelon is underripe. You want to choose one that is dull, that means its sweet and ripe.
- Look for darker skin. Dark skin on a watermelon suggests a sweeter watermelon.
How to carve a watermelon:
Here is an easy way to cut a watermelon, especially if you have little ones around, the pieces are smaller, easy to grab and less messy.
- Cut watermelon in half.
- Lay the watermelon flat side down and cut into strips about 1 to ½ inch wide.
- Then turn your watermelon and cut the same size strips in the opposite direction.
- You will end up with watermelon “strips” perfect for little ones to pick up and eat.
Watermelon Ladybug Snack
- Watermelon slices
- Carrot shreds
4 Ingredient Watermelon Sorbet
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 8 cups seedless watermelon
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- In a small pan, add sugar and water and bring to a boil. Cook until sugar is dissolved then set aside to cool.
- Puree watermelon in batches and place in a large bowl.
- Add sugar syrup and lemon juice and mix well. Place in a 9×13 dish, cover and place in freezer until firm.
- Seedless watermelon
- Feta Cheese
- Juice from 1 lemon
- Olive oil
- Chopped basil (you can substitute basil for mint if you prefer)
- Salt & pepper
- Baby arugula
- Whisk 1 part fresh lemon juice with 3 parts olive oil, chopped basil, and salt and pepper.
- Cut watermelon and feta in to cubes.
- Toss dressing, melon, feta and arugula together and serve.