Is there anything that screams “summer!” more than a wedge of cool, sweet watermelon? We all know this fruit—92 percent water, hence its name—is a perfect snack, dessert, breakfast, and post-workout refresher. But did you know it’s a slice of good health, with antioxidants and vitamins A and C? Or that scientists have studied the melon’s high level of L-citrulline and arginine, which increases blood flow to, ahem, all appendages and relaxes blood vessels, helping to increase libido? These properties make watermelon one of nature’s most delicious versions of Viagra.
Whatever reason you want to feast on the red melon, here are some delicious products that use it in unique and tasty ways:
- Watermelon Jerky: Say what? No, it isn’t meat mixed with melon. Sakara takes strips of the fruit and dehydrates them into a jerky-like consistency. Though it’s as sweet as candy, it has no added sugar–and good luck not eating the whole package in one sitting. (If you prefer to DIY, here’s a recipe for dried watermelon from the Kitchn).
- Watermelon Seed Butter: In this era of using every little bit of our fruits and vegetables (thanks, Dan Barber!), the folks at Windy City Organics figured out how to turn the seeds into something more than a nuisance to spit out. The raw organic butter has a dry mouthfeel and a neutral flavor, so it would work better as a smoothie booster than as a snack to lick off a spoon. And since it’s a good source of magnesium, iron, zinc and lycopene, it’s definitely worth a spot in your pantry.
- Pickled Watermelon: Didn’t we say you could use every bit of the fruit? Pickled rinds are a southern favorite. Serve a little bowlful alongside a cheese plate. (Or make them yourself with this pickled watermelon rind recipe.)
- Sprouted Watermelon Seeds: You eat pumpkin seeds, right? Well, pumpkins and rmelon are part of the same botanical family, so why not try it? Go Raw sprouts the seeds to make their magnesium and zinc more bioavailable, or absorbable, and they add a touch of Celtic sea salt for flavor. Sprinkle them on top of a salad for crunch.
- Wtrmln Wtr: As we mentioned, this fruit is mostly water so it’s no wonder it makes a refreshing beverage. Wtrmln Wtr is made with just the fruit and lemon; drink it on a hot day or after the gym (or it might make a decent cocktail, just sayin’…).
- Prefer to cook with it instead? Try these simple, healthy dishes:
Watermelon Salsa: Cucumber, bell pepper and jalapeno join the red melon in this sweet-spicy dip from Tablespoon. Try it with raw jicama sticks.
Grilled Watermelon and Tomatoes with Mozzarella and Balsamic: A fresh, original take on the classic Caprese salad from What Dress Code blog.
Watermelon and Feta salad: The new classic, with chunks of the fruit, crumbled feta, and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Strawberry-Chia-Watermelon Smoothie: Sip the Minimalist Baker’s blender drink for a quick, tasty breakfast or post workout for a hydrating treat.