Watermelon 101: The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.

Summertime cravings include ice cream (or soy cream), smoothies, iced sun tea, lemonade, barbecue meals, cold crunchy salads and crisp, cold sweet watermelon. However, as good as watermelon can taste at its best, there are a few tips and thoughts to remember if it is a watermelon craving you are trying to satisfy. I'll even include one recipe for Minted Lime Watermelon juice, that may sound appealing, but turned out to be not so pretty in watermelon pink...

Watermelon: The Good.

There are many reasons to love this striped green rinded melon. It is very low in calories and incredibly hydrating. One cup of watermelon contains only 46 calories and about 20% RDA of vitamins A and C. One cup also contains 5% RDA of potassium. Watermelon is sweet yet mild. Hydrating, yet big on chew appeal. Seedless watermelon is available and you can even find mini watermelons in an easy-to-carry round shape and smaller size.

Recipe Ideas. Watermelon tastes great plain, or chopped up in a summertime fruit salad. It also tastes great as a dessert dish. Simply add some sugar, salt and citrus juice and you have a complex flavored dish to end a healthy meal. However, I like to eat all melon first and separate from my other foods simply because it is so easily digestible.

Tips: When choosing a melon, get one with an intense green rind. Better color on the outside me and better color on the inside. Another melon trick: knock on the rind with your fist. A hollow sounding knock means the inside is nice and firm-good sign. Never buy a watermelon with a soft rind or yellow green color.

Watermelon: The Bad.

There are a few not-so great things about watermelon. First, seeds can be a pain. While seedless is available, I often find that the seedless varieties have less color and flavor. Secondly, watermelons can be huge! And heavy. And transporting the melon can be another pain. And last, flavor can be an issue. It is hard to tell if your melon will be perfectly crisp, bright red and sweet or bland, white and grainy. And compared to other melons like cantaloupe, watermelon is not as nutrient dense.

Now for the Ugly...

Watermelon: The Ugly.

Watermelon in itself is beautiful. So, I decided to try juicing a watermelon with some lime juice and fresh mint. Sounds refreshing and delicious right??? Well my good intentioned recipe didn't turn out to be as pretty in pink as I had expected. In fact, the juice came out brown! I guess mixing pink and green isn't the best idea, but even the juiced water melon wasn't as bright pink as I expected. Here's the recipe...although I don't really recommend it for its looks...

Minted Lime Watermelon Juice

half a mini watermelon, chopped
1 lime
handful fresh mint

Juice ingredients and pour. It's OK, in my opinion. But the ugly color really kills it. I'm sticking to fresh melon...not juiced.

Good luck!

Here is the not-so-pretty in pink juice...

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