Watermelon: a refreshing favorite

Watermelon is an American summertime favorite. Throughout the summer months, many cannot get enough of this sweet treat. There are more than 1,200 different varieties of watermelons. Watermelon provides a refreshing way to help us reach the MyPlate recommendation of one to two cups from the fruit group each day. One cup of watermelon is equal to 1 small slice (1-inch thick) or l cup diced.

Watermelon is naturally low in fat, sodium and has no cholesterol. It provides a source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A and folic acid. Some interesting facts about watermelon:

• A watermelon is 100 percent usable and compostable (70 percent flesh and 30 percent rind).

• Watermelons live up to their name as they are 92 percent water.

• The rind of a watermelon is edible and can be used in stir-fries or salads.

• Hollow out the watermelon to make a compostable bowl for your delicious treat such as a fruit salad or fruity dessert.

Selecting the perfect watermelon – Choose a firm, symmetrical, fruit that is free of cracks, bruises, soft spots or mold. A ripe watermelon will have a dull sheen, dried stem and a buttery yellow underside where it has touched the ground. Thump your watermelon, as it should sound dull and hollow. Lift them as well, they should be heavy for their size.

Storing your watermelon – An uncut watermelon can be kept for up to two weeks at room temperature. When ready to use, scrub with a clean vegetable brush under running water. Dry with a clean towel or paper towel. Once cut, store watermelon in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days without a decrease in flavor or texture.

 

Cindy Williams44 Posts

Cindy Williams is the Meadowlark Extension District agent in the areas of food and nutrition.

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