By Darya Mead
Tastes of summer are returning, this time of year nothing beats a slice of watermelon to quench your thirst, re-hydrate your spirit and make folks young and old smile. If you get a good one, sweet, not mealy, firm but ripe, there is a little slice of heaven in your mouth as it melts into your being. I have always loved watermelon, both in taste and appearance. It is the only melon I can eat because of allergies and I cherish my red-meated fruit and look forward to its arrival every year.
A watermelon contains about 6% sugar and 91% water by weight. As with many other fruits, it is terrific source of vitamin C. Originally from Africa, watermelons are eaten all over the world and there are more than 1200 varieties.
I buy whole melons and slice half into slices. I place the slices in a container in the fridge for easy access and then cut up the other half in another container without the rind so I can make agua frescas. Nature’s Gatorade, these Mexican inspired juices are so easy to make and have a hydrating and diuretic affect.
I often recommend homemade agua fresca for pregnant moms suffering from swelling and water retention. Simply place a bunch of rindless fruit in a blender with some water and ice, no sugar or agave needed and blend. I often use my stick bender and occasionally add cucumber and lemon or lime for a skin-freshing beverage. Place it over ice with a colorful straw and you’ve got a great summer treat!
Another fun use for watermelon is a refreshing salad, perfect for a potluck or summer barbecue. You can add feta cheese and mint, maybe some red onions, lime and a splash of olive oil.
Get creative… kids love it as a snack, in their lunch box or on a picnic and you can even tell tales of how when you were a kid all watermelons had big seeds and kids used to have seed spitting contests!
Watermelon – Mint – Feta Salad or make it as skewers?