Beat The Heat With Watermelon

watermelon.jpg

About

Cat Campbell helps us to chill out with some suggestions from her watermelon favorites.

Cat's Commentary

watermelon agua frescaI know I seem to be stuck on fruit lately, but my family would be lost without it during hot weather.

The other day I bought some watermelon juice (made by Dole) and it was such a big hit with everyone that I quickly realized I should have purchased three cartons instead of one.

I did not buy a watermelon, so of course we all wanted some.  Despite the fact that we had ice cream (three kinds), waffle cones, cherry cheesecake, cherry and apple pie.

I went searching through my recipes and found several good ideas for using fresh watermelon. I especially like the beverages and I hope you will find something to your liking too.

Anything to help us cool off would be great. Stay safe and stay cool!

image: watermelon.org

Featured Recipe: Watermelon Aguas Frescas

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds seedless watermelon (1/8th of a good-size watermelon)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup or agave nectar

Instructions

I highly suggest using agave syrup rather than simple syrup due to its lower glycemic index. 

For the simple syrup: Mix 1/4 cup water with 1/4 cup sugar. Bring to boil over medium-low heat and simmer, without stirring, until all sugar is dissolved (about three minutes). Remove from heat and cool. Store any unused syrup in the refrigerator.

For the beverage: Blend all ingredients, adjusting sweetness as needed. Serve chilled.

Makes about 4 servings

Watermelon Facts

  • Watermelons originated in Southern Africa but were not as sweet as the fruit which are familiar to us now.
  • Egyptians cultivated watermelon before the year 2000 BC.
  • Some sects of vegetarians in India won't eat watermelon (or other foods) that are similar to color of flesh
  • Japan developed the first square watermelon.
  • Watermelon was brought to the U.S. by African slaves.
  • The growing of watermelons in Massachusetts dates back to 1629
  • U.S. citizens eat about 14.5 lbs of watermelon per year per capita.
  • Watermelon seeds are edible and nutritious.
  • Watermelons contain more lycopene (an antioxidant)  than any other type of fresh produce (15 to 20 mg per 2 cup serving).

Watermelon - The Fun Fruit

watermelon sharkHelp encourage children to eat fruit by creating this edible shark.  Thanks to the folks at Watermelon.org you can find the instructions for this as well as other "edible sculptures".

Nutrition Information For Beat The Heat With Watermelon

Serving Size
1 cup, balls
 
Calories
46
Calories from Fat
0
 
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 2mg
0%
Potassium
172g
0%
Total Carbohydrate 12g
0%
Dietary Fiber 1g
0%
Sugars 10g
Protein 1g
0%
 
Vitamin A  0% Vitamin C  0%
Calcium  0% Iron  0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

How To Select The Perfect Watermelon

The National Watermelon Board Offers these simple tips for selecting the best watermelon:

  • Look for a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents. 
  • Lift up the watermelon.  Given watermelons are 92% water it should be heavy for it's size. 
  • Turn over the watermelon and look for a creamy yellow spot from where the melon sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.

Cathie Campbell - Food Editor

cathie campbell writer
Cat Campbell is a freelance writer living in California, and has been writing food columns for several years. Future plans include gathering her best recipes into a cookbook. She was inspired at an early age by her Italian Nana, who was either in her vegetable garden or her ranch kitchen.
author

Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of GourmetSleuth.com she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.