There are few things as great as a cold watermelon slice on a hot August day. In fact, I can’t think of a picnic or bar-b-que in the last years where there has not been a watermelon. Juicy and sweet, they are light enough to eat when the temperatures are hot and the air is humid – typical Baltimore weather! On August 3rd there is a quirky celebration known as National Watermelon Day.
The watermelon news just keeps getting better! Watermelon is good for you and your family. Watermelon is low in calories and helps to keep you hydrated. If you have a battle to get the kids to stop playing outside to take a drink, offer them some watermelon! One cup of watermelon (who can eat just one cup) contains only 46 calories and has 20% of the reccomended daily allotment of vitamins A and C.
If you need help picking a good melon its really easy! Look at the rind – if it is super green its good! The brighter the color on the outside the deeper the color on the inside! Try to knock the rind with your knuckles, and if it sounds hollow its a keeper! If a melon is yellowish-green, or soft keep walking and look for another!
If you want to experiment with your kids while celebrating this great gift of summer, try out some of these ideas!
Watermelon is good for you!
It is very low in calories and extremely hydrating. One cup of watermelon contains only 46 calories and about 20% RDA of vitamins A and C.
- Watermelon Slushies – 2 cups seedless watermelon, 5-6 ice cubes, sugar, honey or agave to sweeten if you desire, place in blender and blend until smooth (if you are adventurous try some mint leaves before you blend)
- Watermelon Ice – This Native American favorite can be made with or without an ice cream machine. Depending on the watermelon, you may not even need the additional sugar. 3 cups fresh watermelon juice, 3 Tablespoons sugar & 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice. Pour the watermelon juice into a shallow glass baking dish. Add the sugar and lemon juice and stir well. Place the dish in the freezer and chill. Remove the pan every 1/2 hour and stir. The juice will form light, grainy ice crystals as it freezes. Repeat this process until the juice is fully frozen, about 4 hours, depending on the temperature of your freezer. You can also use an ice cream machine, following the manufacturer’s directions.
- Watermelon Salad – 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 2 tbsp chopped mint, cherry tomatoes in different sizes and colors, watermelon, cut into chunks or balls, feta, crumbled. Make the dressing by mixing the vinegar, olive oil and mint and season to taste if needed. Put the tomatoes (keep smaller ones whole and cut larger ones in two) and watermelons in a bowl. Pour over the dressing and leave to stand for at least 10 minutes so the fruit can get really juicy. Crumble the feta over the top and serve.