It’s that time of year again – time to enjoy some of nature’s most delicious foods. Summertime fruits yields some of the juiciest and sweetest fruits there are and watermelon is on the top of my list. Why do I love watermelon so much? It’s sweet, juicy and refreshing.
Just the thought of a juicy slice makes my mouth water, especially on a hot summer’s day. Not only that, but some of that pretty red and green fruit brightens up any plate or table; not to mention how good it is for you. All the water in watermelon will fill you up and naturally cleanses your body. Yes, I know the seeds can be a little annoying, but to me, they are worth the work of picking them out (or spitting them out…politely of course) for all the other benefits you get from watermelon.
There are many ways you can incorporate watermelon into your meals or eat it as a healthy snack. Here are just a few of my favorites.
- The obvious is to slice it up into triangular pieces, small enough for little hands. Divide them up into storage containers and place them in the fridge for easy access. I know if something is in sight and easily accessible my family will eat it up. On the other hand, if it takes a lot of work or is out of sight they won’t touch it. Obviously you will want to take out the seeds first, before storing it for the smaller kids.
- For a beautiful side dish on any table, lay the watermelon on its side and cut about 1/4 of the top off using a zig-zag motion, which will make a nice oblong “bowl”. Slice about a 1/4 of the bottom off to make a stable base. You can use a round watermelon as well.
Create little melon balls by scooping out the fruit with the help of a melon-baller. Remove the seeds as much as possible while scooping. You will want to place the melon balls in a bowl while scooping, then once the inside of the melon is fairly clean and smooth, place the melon balls inside the watermelon bowl.
You can add other melon like cantaloupe and honey dew as well, if desired. The top part of the watermelon can be used as a lid if transporting. Be sure to use the flesh from the lid as melon balls as well so not to waste any of the delicious goodness.
For the more creative readers, create shapes out of the watermelon like fish and cars. A great site to learn how to make shapes out of watermelon is the National Watermelon Promotion Board. (http://www.watermelon.org)
- For breakfast, dice up some seeded watermelon; layer with banana slices, apples, oranges or other fruit of your liking. Add some yogurt and granola for a tasty and healthy morning starter.
- A fun appetizer is to make watermelon checkers. Cut equal sizes of 1/2 inch thick squares of watermelon and your favorite cheese. Layout like a checkerboard, alternating watermelon and cheese. Cut small circles of the watermelon and cheese to use as checkers. What a fun creative appetizer to serve at any summer outing.
- For a fun and healthy summertime treat kids will love, make watermelon “ice cream” cones. Using regular cake cones fill the bottom of each cone with a tablespoon of pineapple cream cheese frosting. Then place a spoonful of dried Craisins over the frosting. Using an ice cream scoop, place a scoop of seedless watermelon over the Craisins, then top with sprinkles. You’ll have a healthy, delicious and adorable treat kids ask for again and again. Great for birthday parties, 4th of July or anytime.
- Another fun treat kids and adults both enjoy is Frosted Watermelon. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out cookie-like shapes from the watermelon. Frost with flavored yogurt and sprinkle with granola. You can also use classic watermelon wedges instead of cookie shapes.
These ideas will brighten up any table, plus give the added benefits of eating something delicious and healthy. Watermelon really is nature’s healthy, sweet treat.