Nothing Says Summer in the South Better Than Fresh Cut Watermelon
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Can’t you always envision a fresh bright pink slice of watermelon whenever you think of summer?? A fresh watermelon is not only refreshing, but packs a punch when it comes to nutritional benefits! One wedge of watermelon has only about 86 calories, less than 1 gram of fat, no cholesterol and less than 1% of your daily value of sodium.
While watermelon might have a little extra natural sugars it does have 2 grams of protein and 5% of your daily value of fiber, with 18 grams of natural sugar, watermelon can curb your sugar cravings.
The high water content of watermelon is part of what gives it fat burning benefits, helping to make your metabolism work more efficiently. With a healthy amount of fiber and protein, your body will still work harder simply processing watermelon.
To be sure, watermelon works best for fat burning as part of a well-balanced diet, but you can rest easily that most of the calories in watermelon will be burned quickly after consumption.
Finding a Fresh Watermelon
Most of us have thumped a watermelon at some time to check for freshness, however that is not really the way to test the greatness of a fresh watermelon.
The best method for testing are the scent and pressure methods. If a melon is ripe, they will not smell sour and will give in slightly to applied pressure. Once purchased melons should be stored at 55 degrees for 7-10 days. If the melon is cut, refrigerated and wrapped in plastic it can be refrigerated for about a week. Apples, tomatoes, and bananas release the gas ethanol which will over ripen the melon, so keep the fruit away from them. Be sure to pick a good one because the sweetness does not increase any after picking
Wash watermelons in soapy water to make sure all the dirt and any edible wax is washed away.
Spicy Watermelon Salsa
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
- ½ teaspoon sea or kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- 1 small red onion, diced
- ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint
- 1 small seedless watermelon
- 1 small cantaloupe
- 2 cucumbers, diced
- 1 cantaloupe, diced
- Combine lime juice and next 5 ingredients.
- Place red onion, cilantro, and mint in a large bowl. Dice watermelon and cantaloupe into 1-inch pieces; add to bowl. Peel and dice cucumbers, and cantaloupe; add to bowl. Stir in lime juice mixture. Cover and chill 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Don’t Be Afraid to “Grill” Your Watermelon
- 1 small seedless watermelon
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Optional Toppings; 1 teaspoon Chile powder, and 1 teaspoon grated lime zest, ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese and 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze, or ¼ cup chopped unsalted dry-roasted pistachios and 2 ounces melted white chocolate
- Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to high (450°F to 500°F).
- Trim and discard ½ inch from each end of watermelon. Stand the watermelon up on 1 cut end; cut lengthwise into quarters. Cut each quarter into 1-inch slices. Sprinkle the slices evenly on both sides with sugar and salt.
- Oil the grill grates (oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack; do not use cooking spray on a hot grill). Place the watermelon slices on the oiled grates; grill, uncovered, until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes per side. Top the grilled watermelon evenly with one of the suggested topping combos, if desired.
Easy Watermelon Ice Cream
- 7 cups cubed seedless watermelon (from one small watermelon, my seasonal favorite this year is the Black Jack variety)
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- ⅓ cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about three limes)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Arrange watermelon cubes evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze until frozen, at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Working in batches, if needed, process frozen watermelon, condensed milk, lime juice, and salt in a food processor until completely smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large sealable container. Cover and freeze until firm, about 4 hours.
Watermelon Ginger Juice Recipe
- 4 cups Watermelon (seeded and cubed)
- 2 teaspoons Fresh Ginger, chopped
- ¼ cup lemon Juice
- 2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute
- 1 cup ice cubes
- Add all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pass the juice mix through a sieve.
- Pour in serving glasses, top with additional ice. Garnish with mint. Serve cold.
Watermelon Balsamic Chicken Salad
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- 6 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 6 cups watermelon, seeded and cubed
- ½ cup fresh mint, finely chopped
- ¼ cup toasted pecans, or walnuts, finely chopped
- Into a skillet, add avocado oil, and heat over medium high heat. Brown the chicken, and generously season with salt and pepper.
- Flip the chicken to brown the second side, and add balsamic vinegar. Reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer the chicken for about 15 minutes, flipping it to ensure even cooking, until the chicken is cooked throughout and the balsamic vinegar is thick and sticky. If necessary, add 1-2 tablespoons of water to prevent the vinegar from burning if it reduces too much.
- Onto 4 plates, add chopped romaine lettuce. Add cubed (seeded) watermelon to each salad. Top the salads with sliced balsamic chicken.
- Garnish the salads with chopped walnuts or pecans and mint, and a generous helping of marinated red onions (see recipe below).
- Drizzle salads with additional oil from the onion marinade, if desired. A sprinkle of balsamic vinegar is also a great addition!
- 1 large red onion, sliced thinly
- 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- Add thinly sliced red onions, olive oil, vinegar, salt and oregano to a large bowl. Toss to evenly coat onions.
- Allow onions to sit at least a couple hours, but overnight for best results. There is no need to refrigerate the onions. As long as the onions are fully submersed, they will stay good on the counter for up to 5 days