The Basics and Benefits
The watermelon is a fruit with a smooth exterior and a refreshingly tasty interior. The first recorded watermelon harvest dates to 2000 B.C., near Egypt.
Whether you purchase watermelon whole or choose a pre-cut option, this healthy food contains numerous vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Watermelon is made up of 92% water, so if you’re working up a sweat, it’s a sweet way to boost your water intake.
Choosing a Watermelon
Here are the steps to identifying a ripe watermelon:
- Look the melon over and ensure that it’s firm and free from bruises or dents.
- Lift it to see how much it weighs. It should be heavy – if one seems lighter than others, it may have lost its water and spoiled.
- Turn it over. A healthy watermelon will have a rich yellow spot on its underside, which was formed during the ripening process as it sat in the sun. A common misconception is that stripes indicate ripeness; having stripes is just a characteristic of some watermelons.
A whole, uncut watermelon should stay at room temperature until ready to be used. Once cut open, it should be refrigerated in an airtight container and eaten within 3-5 days.
Preparing the Watermelon
Using a serrated bread knife, carefully slice off the top and bottom of the watermelon. Then cut the melon into wedges or chunks. If your melon has seeds, scrape them out with a spoon. The rind is edible (once cooked), but if you want to remove it, hold your wedge steady and slice the melon away where the pink flesh begins to turn white.
Now it’s time to incorporate watermelon into some delicious dishes:
- Our Watermelon and Jicama Salad is a sweet and zesty side dish. Serve with grilled shrimp to turn this into a meal.
- A plant-based Quinoa and Watermelon Salad offers satisfying flavor and can cool you off in high temperatures.
- Watermelon/Mint Ice Pops are a tasty dessert that adults and kids will enjoy.
- A Spiked Watermelon Lemonade for adults – or a mocktail version for younger guests – can be a signature drink at your next gettogether.
Choosing this water-rich, nutrient-dense fruit can be part of any healthy eating plan. For information about how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your routine, schedule a telenutrition appointment with a Kroger Health dietitian.
Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing health care recommendations. Please see a health care provider.