Temperatures are heating up, long summer days are here, weekends at the beach and backyard barbecues are on the calendar. These things all point to summer, but for me, watermelons are a sure sign summer has arrived. This large gourd of a fruit, that some say moonlights as a vegetable, might be mostly water, but that doesn’t mean it lacks nutritional value. This red, juicy fruit is more than a juicy side dish or source for seed spitting contests at summer barbeques. It’s a great hydrator and full of heart healthy vitamins, too.
The nutrient profile of watermelon shows you’ll get vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium and even a bit of calcium in a one cup serving of whole fruit (not juiced), all without a lot of sugar or calories. What a great way to hydrate on a hot summer day or after a tough workout!
A big red, juicy wedge of chilled watermelon is always delicious, but if you want to branch out and see what other personalities this fruit has, try one of these recipes:
· Watermelon Pops - place cut wedges of watermelon on popsicle sticks and top with fresh squeezed lime, a drizzle of honey and a pinch of sea salt
Need a little help choosing your melon?
The best tasting watermelons are those that are in season - summer and early fall - because they need heat to fully ripen. Look for one that has a smooth rind with a creamy yellow spot where it sat on the ground to ripen. A white spot means it hasn’t fully ripened. Store in a cool spot and once cut, keep in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Watermelon and summer, a great combo! Make sure your summer doesn’t pass without these two meeting up.