Watermelon: Summer's Fruit

Watermelon: Summer's Fruit

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It’s unofficially officially summertime, and it could not get here fast enough! Now that it has finally arrived, we need some ways to cool off! My favorite summer fruit is watermelon. Not only is it good to cut up and eat just as a snack during the day, its great for incorporating into some of your everyday recipes. But first, and most importantly, you need to know how to pick the watermelon for you taste buds!

1. Look for webbing. The brown webbing on a watermelon means that bees touched the pollinating parts of the plant multiple times. The more pollination, the sweeter the fruit!

2. Look for the field spot: the field spot is where the watermelon touched the ground. A ripe watermelon will have a creamy yellow or orange yellow spot.

3. Pay attention to size. It is best not to choose the smallest nor the biggest. Large or small, the watermelon should feel heavy for its size.

4. Inspect the tail: A dried tail means the watermelon is ripe.

5. Short or Tall: The shorter and rounder the watermelon is, the sweeter it is. Don’t want too sweet? Go with the tall!


Next, try out some of these recipes to see how you like their watermelon twist! Using watermelon in these recipes gives a freshness to them. Perfect for summer picnics, trips to the park, pool days, you name it!

Chicken Salad with Watermelon and Peaches

3 cups chopped cooked chicken

1 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon dried dill leaf or 1 tablespoon fresh snipped juice from a lemon

dash of salt and pepper to taste

2 peaches seeded and chopped

2 cups chopped seeded watermelon

Mix together all ingredients and enjoy. Can be served on a croissant.

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Watermelon Salsa

1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest (from about 1 lime)

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about 3 limes)

1 tablespoon sugar

Freshly ground pepper

3 cups seeded and finely chopped watermelon

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1 mango, peeled and diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1 small red onion, finely chopped

8 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Tortilla or pita chips, for serving

Stir together the lime zest, lime juice, sugar and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Add the watermelon, cucumber, mango, jalapeno, onion and basil and toss gently. Chill the salsa until ready to serve. Add the garlic salt just before serving. Serve with chips.


Watermelon Sorbet

Ingredients:

3 cups water

1 cup sugar

4 cups seeded, chopped watermelon

1/4 cup lime juice

Directions:

Bring 3 cups water and sugar just to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Cool. Process sugar syrup and watermelon, in batches, in a blender until smooth. Stir in lime juice. Cover and chill 2 hours. Pour mixture into the freezer container of a 1-gallon ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

 

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Watermelon Cooler

Ingredients:

3 pounds watermelon, rind and seeds discarded and the flesh cut into pieces, plus thin slices of watermelon for garnish

1/2 cup vodka

1/4 cup Triple Sec

3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

Directions:

In a blender purée the watermelon pieces and strain the purée through a very fine sieve set over a pitcher, discarding the solids. (There should be about 2-1/3 cups juice). Stir in the vodka, the Triple Sec, and the lime juice, pour the cooler into long-stemmed glasses filled with ice cubes, and garnish each drink with a watermelon slice.

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