Dining

Watermelon: The Perfect Guilt-Free Snack for Summer

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Summer is officially here, and you’ve worked all Spring to tone your beach bod.  Do you really want to compromise those hardened abs with fried, fatty foods?  Well you don’t have to.  The answer is, as you may have guessed, watermelon.  An excellent source of vitamins A and C, potassium and magnesium, feel free to munch away without gaining a pound.  It has the most nutrition per calorie of common foods, keeps you hydrated, and most importantly, it tastes great!

So whether you are having a dinner party or a backyard BBQ or a picnic at the beach, why not serve watermelon, a sweet, delicious, and nutritious way to snack without losing that physique you’ve been working so hard for.  Here are some tips on how to pick, store, and enjoy summer’s favorite fruit.

TIPS on Picking Watermelon:

  • Look for a watermelon that has bright skin, is firm, symmetrical, and free of cuts
  • A ripe watermelon should feel heavy for its size, as the ripest ones contain more than 90% water
  • The watermelon should not be narrower on one end or misshapen, as this could mean it grew in fits and starts
  • The underside should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun – rather than being picked early
  • Position the melon two inches from your ear, thump or tap it with your free hand.  If not ripe enough, it will sound solid; if too ripe, it will sound thick; if perfect, it will resonate as hollow

TIPS on Storing Watermelon:

  • Keep them a bit cooler than room temperature and refrigerate only for a few hours.  While refrigeration keeps them from rotting, it alsodegrades both flavor and texture, characteristics that start to deteriorate as soon as watermelons are picked.
  • Cut watermelons should be wrapped in plastic before refrigeration to preserve their taste without absorbing odors from other food

IDEAS on Enjoying Watermelon:

  • Ice Cubes:  Freeze watermelon juice in ice cube trays to add to lemonades or fruit punches or even water
  • Popsicles:  Stick a popsticle stick into a watermelon wedge, dip into sugar and freeze
  • Soup: Take a spin on your preconceived notions of hot, salty soup with a chilled, sweet watermelon soup(Find Recipe HERE)
  • Bowl: A great idea for impressing guests at a dinner party.  Scoop out the red fleshy bits with a spoon and save the shell to use as a bowl for fruit salad.
  • Cocktails:  Blend with your favorite cocktails or garnish on the side to add a new and summer-y hint of flavor
  • Grilled: Spread honey or lime on top and throw slices of watermelon on the grill to really bring out some unique flavors! Or for a simple salt and pepper recipe, see HERE
  • Kegs: Indeed, the ultimate party pleaser.  For a How-To Video, go: HERE

Images by Kirti Poddar and babasteve via Flickr

1 Comment

  1. jamiebowie04

    July 3, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    It has the most nutrition per calorie of common foods, keeps you hydrated, and most importantly, it tastes great! Get free samples of Emergen-C vitamin drink mix from “123 Samples” Request it and enjoy free samples of these vitamin drink mixes.

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