Summer and watermelon go hand in hand. I am always so glad when watermelon is in season and readily available since I absolutely love this sweet treat! Did you know that watermelons are 100% edible? Of course, you know the sweet flesh is a treat, but you may not realize that the rind can be made into watermelon rind preserves, and the seeds can be roasted!
Watermelon is 92% water, so it is a perfect food for rehydrating on a hot, summer day. Watermelon is a nutritious choice that provides vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants for good health. A two-cup serving contains only 80 calories and no fat. Watermelon has higher levels of lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable!
Picking a sweet, ripe watermelon can be a challenge. If you choose to thump the melons, you should be listening for a dull, muffled, hollow sound to tell if it is ripe. An unripe melon will have more of a metallic, clear ring. The stem should be dry and brown, and the color should be dull, not shiny. The Watermelon Board recommends the “Look, Lift, and Turn” method following these tips for picking a tasty melon:
The white “seeds” in a seedless melon are empty seed coats where a seed did not mature fully. They are safe to eat.
Like any fruit or vegetable, watermelon should be washed in clean, running water before cutting. You should use clean knives and cutting surfaces and wash your hands prior to cutting watermelon for eating. This will help prevent any bacteria from the surface of the melon from being transferred inside to the cut melon. Once the melon has been cut, it should be refrigerated or kept cold on ice.
You can enhance the flavor of watermelon by squeezing on some lemon or lime juice. Try adding it to a skewer with feta cheese or including it in a fruit salad. Watermelon and kiwi make a great smoothie combination.
Reference: Watermelon Board – www.watermelon.org
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture