One of the most anticipated seasonal produce items every summer is watermelon. As the days are long and warm, watermelon is the perfect food to refresh and refuel for whatever the day may bring.
Watermelon can be enjoyed as a snack in addition to meals, or even as dessert! For breakfast, try enjoying watermelon as a side to scrambled or hardboiled eggs or in a smoothie with yogurt and veggies or other fruits of your choice. Fruit salad or salsas containing watermelon are great for snacks and dishes to share at gatherings and parties. For example, watermelon pairs surprisingly well with cucumbers and feta cheese! Cut into larger chunks for a salad and smaller pieces for a dip which can be served with while grain pita chips. When frozen, watermelon is a refreshing ice treat everyone is sure to enjoy. Frozen watermelon can be served as a slushy, firm scoop, or even on popsicle sticks. The longer the watermelon freezes, the firmer the texture. Since watermelons are often times large, there is plenty of fruit that can be incorporated into our meals, snacks, and desserts!
Whether large or smaller, seeded or seedless, to choose the best watermelon, follow these tips:
- First choose a watermelon that feels heavy; if you can easily pick up the watermelon, look for another.
- Next, there should be a light yellow spot/area on the bottom where it touched the ground when growing. If the spot is not light yellow; choose another.
- Lastly, give it a thump with your hand and you should hear a hollow sound; if the sound is not deep and hollow, keep searching!
- Once you have a heavy watermelon with a light yellow spot and hollow sound, add it to your cart!
Just as the name indicates, watermelons are around 90% water which allows it to quench thirst with delicious flavor. The hydration watermelons provide is important especially as we need fluid when outside in the summer heat. While watermelon does not provide all of the hydration we need, it definitely helps!
Many believe watermelons are just water and natural sugar; however, you may be surprised to learn about the many nutrients watermelon contains. In addition to hydration, watermelon also is a source of lycopene, an important nutrient for disease prevention. The vitamin A watermelon contains promotes healthy skin, the vitamin C and vitamin B6 is great for immune health, and the potassium helps maintain healthy blood pressure. While the specific nutrients that watermelon contains is impressive, watermelon also promotes overall heart heath. One serving of watermelon is 1 cup diced or a 1-inch slice of a smaller melon. Both adults and children should eat fruit each day and watermelon is a great option that most everyone enjoys.
So this summer, be sure to shop BANNER for a great selection of watermelon at great prices. Take a bite out of your watermelon slice and enjoy the taste of summer as well as the health benefits important to your body all year-round.
"This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition."
Stephanie Edson Regional Wellness Specialist
Stephanie is an award-winning registered dietitian who believes in empowering every individual to make nutritious food choices to support a healthy lifestyle. She believes in the power of food as medicine and loves sharing about nutrition with others.