Beat the Heat with a Watermelon Treat

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My watermelon memories go way back… 

Thumping and selecting the perfect melon at the local produce stand, chilling it to perfection, slicing a big wedge and devouring the dark, juicy fruit, and wiping the excess juice from my chin with the sleeve of my t-shirt. And of course, who could resist the seed-spitting contest? Talk about childhood fun! 

Health Benefits 
Most people agree that eating watermelon is one of the best summer activities. However, you may be surprised to learn that such a sweet treat is equally beneficial to your health. The antioxidant lycopene is a plant chemical that gives certain foods (watermelon, tomatoes, red grapefruit, and guava) their red color. Part of the large class of plant compounds called carotenoids, which help protect and preserve body cells from oxidation and damage, lycopene may reduce one’s risk of prostate cancer and protect against heart disease. 

Watermelon Selection & Storage 
Follow these 3 easy steps to choose a perfect melon every time:
  1. Choose a firm, symmetrical fruit that is free of bruises, cuts, and dents.
  2. Pick up the melon, it should feel heavy. (A good watermelon is 92% water.)
  3. The underside should have a creamy yellow spot where the melon sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.
Compared to most fruits, watermelon should be stored at a warmer temperature—about 55 degrees Fahrenheit—since temperatures too low can cause chill damage. After 2 days at 32 degrees, the flavor will be “off,” and the melon will lose color and become pitted. Whole melons will keep for 7-10 days at room temperature. Once a melon is cut, it should be wrapped and stored at 37-39 degrees Fahrenheit.

Watermelon-Strawberry Smoothie
1 – 1 ½ cups seeded watermelon, diced 
1 cup lemon sorbet or sherbet 
8 frozen whole strawberries 
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. 
Makes two 1-cup servings.

Watermelon Parfait 
1/2 cup low fat granola 
1 cup seedless watermelon, cut into small chunks 
1 6-ounce carton of low fat vanilla yogurt 
1 banana, sliced
Almond slivers 
In 2 tall glasses, layer the following: 
Layer 1: granola 
Layer 2: watermelon 
Layer 3: yogurt 
Layer 4: banana slices
Repeat Layers 1-4.
Garnish with slivered almonds.
Makes two servings.
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Member Comments

That parfait sounds fun Report
Wow! Bring on the watermelon folks! I knew I always liked it, but now I know why I should! Thanks. Great article! Report
A summertime favorite! Report
Thank U! Report
I love just plain old watermelon with seeds Report
Good article. Report
Love watrmellon! Report
Thanks for sharing Report
I have had watermelon soup (a cold dish) and that was really tasty. Report
And to think I used to be on "diets" that didn't allow watermelon!!! Report
I like to store the leftover melon in Tupperware Food Savers. They have vents that you control. I've kept watermelon cubes for as much as 10 days using them. Report
Once I've cut one open, I cube the leftover fruit and put it in a container in the fridge. It's gone in a day or two. Report
And the featured recipe for today is Chicken & Asparagus Pasta. Maybe someone is wishing for warmer weather? lol Report
And the featured recipe for today is Chicken & Asparagus Pasta. Maybe someone is wishing for warmer weather? lol Report


About The Author

Becky Hand
Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.