Beat the Heat with Watermelon

Watermelon has always been a classic when it comes to a thirst-quenching summer treat. A two-cup serving of watermelon contains just 80 calories. It is an excellent source of vitamins A and C and is also a good source of vitamin B6. At 92% water, watermelon provides fluids along with a dose of health promoting phytonutrients. Watermelons are versatile and can be served so many different ways. Cut your watermelon in wedges, cubes, slices, or rounds. But always start off by rinsing the outside of the fruit with cool running water. This is necessary to prevent any germs or bacteria from being transferred from the knife to the flesh while cutting the melon. In case you were wondering, one pound of watermelon yields just over 1 ½ cup of fruit. Now, grab your cutting board, a sharp knife, a large bowl or platter and get ready to enjoy your melon!

10 Ways to Celebrate Watermelon All Month Long:

  1. Make Ice Pops: Celebrate summer with these fun, healthy ice treats. They are super easy to make and even more fun to eat.
  2. Make watermelon lollipops: Simply insert a popsicle stick into the watermelon rind for a unique way to serve watermelon slices.
  3. Use in smoothies: Add watermelon cubes, Greek yogurt, strawberries, and a banana for a delicious watermelon smoothie.
  4. Make an Appetizer: Watermelon Feta Bites are always a hit: Skewer a cube of watermelon, a basil leaf, a piece of feta cheese and another cube of watermelon on a decorative toothpick. Get fancy and drizzle with balsamic glaze prior to serving.
  5. Grill it: Place watermelon wedges on a preheated grill and cook about 2 minutes per side, until caramelized. Enjoy as is or serve with a garlic chili sauce for a Thai flair. Grilled watermelon pairs nicely with grilled chicken, beef or fish.
  6. Make a salad: Mix salad greens, cubed watermelon, sliced onion and a bit of feta cheese in a bowl. Just before serving, toss the salad mixture lightly with extra virgin olive oil
  7. Make a Pizza: Use a slice of watermelon as crust for a summer fruit snack that is fun for the whole family.
  8. Juice it: Blend small chunks of seedless watermelon flesh into a blender until pulverized. Add a small squeeze of lime juice and blend for a few seconds. Serve over ice for a refreshing summer drink.
  9. Make a Salsa: Try this sweet and spicy Watermelon Salsa that is livened up with fresh mint, ginger and jalapeños.
  10. Make watermelon sherbet: Cut 3 cups of seedless watermelon cubes and freeze solid. Using a food processor and working in batches, add ½ cup of vanilla yogurt. Process until mixture becomes smooth and creamy. Serve immediately for a frozen yogurt/soft serve consistency. For a firmer consistency, freeze for 1 to 2 hours. This makes about 3 cups or 6 – ½ cup serving.

By the way, if find yourself with more melon than you can eat before it spoils, freeze it. Cut the melon into cubes and freeze on a parchment covered baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag. The flesh will soften after it has thawed, but the thawed fruit will be fine for smoothies, juices, sherbet, or soups.

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