A day to laud the watermelon should be spent enjoying its refreshing recipes and delicious dishes.
August 3rd, 2019 is National Watermelon Day. A staple of summer, watermelon has been a favorite of people everywhere for millennia. Scientists surmise that the plant and its fruit were cultivated first in the South African deserts, and tombs of the Egyptian Pharaohs contained watermelon seeds and artwork depicting watermelons. Consisting of 92% water, the watermelon was a lifesaver in those arid climates. The bitter fruits of King Tut’s era are far from the sweet, rosy watermelons we enjoy today. Agricultural and scientific tinkering over the centuries has transformed the once-tasteless melons into the sweet summertime treat we know and love.
As a watery and generally allergy-safe food, watermelon is one of the first whole fruits we eat as toddlers. And who doesn’t remember trying hard as a kid to spit out the seeds so they wouldn’t grow a watermelon patch in our tummies? Low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, watermelon is a great alternative to processed foods. It’s easy to find in the summer and isn’t expensive, making it a darling of internet sites and memes the world over. A popular (but messy) meme was the rubber-band test – putting hundreds of rubber bands around the center of a watermelon until it exploded. We’d rather eat (or drink!) our watermelons, thankyouverymuch. Luckily for us, social sharing sites also teem with different recipes and ideas for serving this tasty fruit. Here are 3 to get your juices flowing.
Watermelon slices as popsicles are fantastic coolers on hot summer days. Quarter watermelon slices when they are room temperature, skewer on the rind end with a popsicle stick, stack between layers of wax paper and freeze. This is a natural treat that’s free of all the additives and preservatives found in typical water ice. The dog may also like to have a go at one of these popsicles; Just make sure to make the pup one without the rind, as it may get stuck in the throat.
All you need is a watermelon, sugar, lemons, and water (with some mint to be fancy) to make a very refreshing and special treat. What two things say “summer” more than lemonade and watermelon? Put them together in a glass and you’ll say “ahhhhh” on a hot August day. This recipe calls for 4 cups of watermelon juice, 4-5 lemons, 1-1.5 cups of sugar and 4-6 cups of water (mint for garnish). With such a simple combo of 4 ingredients, you can experiment and make your own unique recipe.
If pineapples can go on a pizza, watermelon can too, right? Just kidding. “Watermelon pizza” isn’t the newest villain in the fruit-on-pizza saga. It’s a yummy dessert with whip cream and toppings. Using cold (not frozen) watermelon slices as the “pizza” crust, add a layer of whipped cream or custard, then top with strawberries, blueberries, granola or whatever you like. A watermelon pizza toppings bar with non-dairy yogurt could be a great sundae bar replacement for the dairy intolerant kids’ party.
Many other ideas for serving watermelon are online. If eating it isn’t your thing, maybe carving it can be. The rind is a perfect canvas for cut sculpture. Dig out those pumpkin-carving tools and have a go. Buy small watermelons for the kids and give them some markers and stickers to dress them up for a contest. Anything kids can do with pumpkins they can (and probably will) do with watermelons. The bonus is, the watermelons can be cut and eaten by the artists as soon as the contest is won. Enjoy National Watermelon Day!