Come summertime, no week is complete without a few slices of juicy watermelon. Watermelon has long been enjoyed as a sweet summertime fruit, but did you know that it comes packed with health benefits as well?
Watermelon Health Stats
Watermelon has a high water and nutrient content, while being low in calories. It is a good source vitamins C, A, and B6, along with the antioxidants lycopene and citrulline. These nutrients can help lower blood pressure, reduce muscle soreness after exercise, and lower your risk of certain types of cancers.
Types of Watermelon
There are more than 300 varieties of watermelon grown in the United States and South America. The most common watermelon varieties you’ll find in stores are:
- Classic – this melon comes with seeds in the flesh, and is found in a range of sizes from 15 pounds up to 45 pounds.
- Seedless – this hybrid watermelon is one of the most popular, and now makes up most of the watermelons grown today. They are typically ten to 25 pounds and round or oblong.
- Mini – these petite “personal” watermelons are round, with thinner rinds which means more flesh per pound. Weights range from one to seven pounds.
- Yellow and orange – these varieties are sweeter than their red-fleshed counterparts and make a pretty addition to salads and desserts. They are round in size and run from ten to 30 pounds.
Picking the Best Melon
Look for a firm, symmetrical watermelon with no cuts, dents, or bruises. Pick the melon up, it should be heavy for its size. If you turn the watermelon over, you should see a creamy yellow spot from where it sat in the sun and ripened.
While watermelon is delicious sliced and eaten straight from the rind, it also serves as a tasty base for drinks, salads, entrees, salsas, desserts, and more. Try these creative watermelon recipes for a delicious addition to your summer meals.
- Watermelon Cooler with Basil-Lime Simple Syrup from Sara Haas RDN
- Watermelon Mojito from Nutritioulicious
- Five-Minute Watermelon Limeade from Be Truly Nourished
- Sparkling Watermelon Mocktail from Nutrition Starring You
- Watermelon Strawberry Punch from Meal Makeover Moms
- Watermelon Lime Ice Cubes from Nutrition a la Natalie
- Watermelon Feta Skewers from Nutritioulicious
- Watermelon Guacamole from Perspective Portions
- Watermelon Salsa from Nutritioulicious
- Watermelon Jicama Pico de Gallo from Kiss in the Kitchen
- Watermelon Gazpacho from Danielle Omar Food Confidence
Salads and Entrées
- Summer Watermelon Platter Salad from Homemade Nutrition
- Panzanella Salad from Dishing Out Health
- Watermelon Chickpea Salad from The Lean Green Bean
- Watermelon Blueberry Salad from Healthy Ideas Place
- Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad from Lively Table
- Grilled Watermelon and Avocado Salad from Abbey’s Kitchen
- Watermelon with Honey-Lime Ricotta and Pistachios from Sara Haas RDN, LDN
- Dragon Fruit Watermelon Cake from Kelly’s Knack for Cooking
- Raspberry Watermelon Slushies from Healthy Ideas Place
- Watermelon Mint Ice Pops from Triad to Wellness
- Red, White and Blue Vegan Watermelon Cake from Abbey’s Kitchen
- Blueberry Watermelon Shaved Ice from 80 Twenty Nutrition
- Greek Island Watermelon Cake from Olive Tomato
Share your favorite watermelon recipes with us in the comment section.