Watermelon: the official mascot of summer

Whenever I see watermelon, I just think of summer. For me, it has become the mascot of summer. So what better way to kick off the summer than to write about how to make the most of your watermelon.

Watermelon 411

The great thing about watermelon is that it is only 46 calories per cup so it is a great low calorie and refreshing treat. In addition to low calories, it also contains vitamin C (each serving contains 20% of your daily vitamin C) and vitamin A (each serving contains 17% of your daily vitamin A). Both of these nutrients are not only potent antioxidants but they are also two nutrients that are mandatory for a strong immune system. Potassium is another nutrient that makes an appearance in watermelon and this is a mineral that helps steady blood pressure. In addition to all of that, the actual color of the watermelon is a great way to determine how much lycopene your watermelon contains. Lycopene is a plant pigment that is linked to lower rates of heart diseases and certain cancers and is found in pink-flesh varieties.

Too much Watermelon?

Although this may not be a problem for some people, sometimes we get stuck with this giant monster watermelons we don’t know what to do with. Instead of eating watermelon the same way for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, try a different route. Brush some watermelon slices with olive oil, sear on a hot grill for 5 minutes, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Makes for a great savory snack! Another idea: make a great salsa spin-off by tossing watermelon with diced cucumbers, chopped cilantro, minced jalapeno pepper, and a squirt of lime juice. One last idea: try using watermelon in place of tomato in salads. Adds a great added dimension to your salads and is especially yummy with feta cheese and peppery arugula.

Don’t spit those seeds!

While the seeds can be a nuisance, they are edible and can make a great little snack. Just toast them with a few of your favorite spices. Not only are they edible but they also contain fiber, protein, and magnesium!

How to pick out the perfect watermelon:

Look for these clues to quality:

a creamy yellow spot: this means the fruit was allowed to rest on the ground and fully ripen before being harvested. If there is no spot, that means the fruit was picked prematurely.

high density: the heavier the fruit, the juicier the slices. To find the juiciest watermelon, make sure to compare a few of similar size and pick the one that works your muscles the most.

uniform shape: forget size and roundness. Choose a fruit that is symmetrical. Irregular shape = poor growing conditions, which sap flavor

Wait before you go….

One last tip to make the most of your watermelon! You can actually control the levels of lycopene in your watermelon by storing the uncut watermelon at room temp. By doing this, you will raise its lycopene levels by 20%. Just makes sure to wash and slice the fruit within a few days of purchase and store leftovers in the fridge!

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8 thoughts on “Watermelon: the official mascot of summer

  1. Pingback: Menu Plan Mondays « Fruitalini Yogis

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