Temperatures are heating up and the days are getting longer. Hours spent at the beach or backyard barbeques all point to summer, but for me, watermelons are a sure sign summer has arrived. This large gourd of a fruit, which 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 sweet side dish or source for seed spitting contests at summer picnics. It’s a great hydrator and full of heart-healthy vitamins, and there are so many watermelon recipes to try!
Culinary Nutrition Benefits of Watermelon
The nutrient profile of watermelon shows you’ll get vitamins A and C, potassium and magnesium, but the biggest boost comes from lycopene. Lycopene is part of the beta-carotene family, which not only gives watermelon its beautiful red colour; it also works as an anti-inflammatory in our bodies, helping to keep our immune system strong. Did you know that watermelons actually have more lycopene than a tomato? Amazing!
Need a little help choosing your melon? The best tasting watermelons are those that are in season. 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 place and once cut, keep in the refrigerator for up to four days.
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 watermelon recipes:
10 ways to use watermelon + Watermelon Recipes
Place cut wedges of watermelon on popsicle sticks and top with fresh squeezed lime, a drizzle of honey and a pinch of sea salt – eat right away.
You can find more popsicle recipes here.
Salad isn’t just for lettuce. Try this delicious mix of watermelon cubes and tomatoes drizzled with a sweet balsamic dressing.
Recipe to Try: Watermelon Salad by Tammie Duggar
Recipe To Try: Watermelon-Infused Water by Tammie Duggar
Want to eat cake, but it’s too hot to turn on the oven? Try this epic watermelon cake, topped with dairy-free coconut whipped cream. Yum.
Gazpacho isn’t just for tomatoes. This sweet and spicy blend is a pleasant alternative to the traditional gazpacho.
And if you’re looking for watermelon rind recipes, try this version that includes them!
Cocktails are a lot more fun when watermelons are on the scene. If you want to make this mojito of the virgin variety, try using kombucha instead of rum!
You’ll find more mocktail recipes right here.
Salsa and summer go hand in hand! Try a delicious twist on salsa by using watermelon – you won’t regret it.
Watermelon Mint Lemonade
A refreshing summer beverage for when you’re hanging out on a lazy Saturday afternoon.
Grilled Watermelon + Avocado Salad
I’m all about grilling this summer and I’m thrilled to have another thing to throw on the BBQ: watermelon. Grilling avocados takes them to a whole new level – like in this grilled guacamole – but if you’re not a fan, just grill the watermelon on its own in this salad recipe.
Don’t let summer pass you by without making watermelon recipes a constant companion. Watermelon and summer — a great combo!