Watermelon has been pouring out of local gardens, farms and markets..and lining the outdoors (and indoors) of my markets for the past 2 months now, along with their hefty price tag. Up until about 3 weeks ago I couldn’t get one for cheaper than $5. Now the lovely price of $3.50 allows me to get my watermelon fix in on a weekly basis without blowing my grocery budget. July was National Watermelon Month, and the promotion allows for a cheaper buy- sweet! But, did you know that today, August 3, 2011 is National Watermelon Day?
It’s fitting to celebrate the watermelon, since no summer gathering is complete without it- I spoke yesterday of my jealousy of those with the special touch for green gardens and the beautiful fruits of their labor (no pun intended..) In addition to being a tasty treat, watermelon is a good source of vitamins A and C and contains lycopene, fiber and potassium. It’s also more than 90 percent water, so it can help you stay hydrated on hot days, too. Seems to fit well with the record 110 degree temp today in DFW. Only the 11th day in history to hit that number.
Did you know that there are around 300 varieties of watermelon in the U.S. and Mexico alone? They come in red, pink, white or yellow. I’ve had the red, and probably the pink, and have been lucky to taste the sweetness of the yellow. Watermelons are usually quite large. In fact, the Guinness Book of World Records confirms that the heaviest watermelon weighed 262 pounds!
Many people enjoy eating watermelon simply sliced. It’s cool, refreshing and sweet. But you can use watermelon in a variety of recipes, too. Try this delicious melon salsa for you next summer gathering- or a sweet treat before dinner.
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups diced watermelon
1 cup diced canteloupe
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
Mix lime juice, honey, black pepper, and salt in a bowl. Add diced seeded melons, chopped fresh cilantro, and jalapeño pepper. Toss gently to combine; cover and chill until ready to serve.
Nutrition Information: Serves 6 (1/2 cup each)
31 calories, 0.1 grams fat, 8.1 grams carbohydrates, 0.4 grams protein
Picture and recipe adapted from Cooking Light
Of course, watermelon is also a crowd pleaser “as is.” Slice it up and you have an instant appetizer, side dish or dessert. Watermelon lovers—celebrate National Watermelon Day and cut yourself an extra large slice of this sweet, juicy fruit. Make sure to check out Watermelon.org for more fun watermelon facts!