What would warm weather be without big, sloppy slices of watermelon?

Given that this summer essential is more than 90 percent water, it’d be easy to assume that it has little or no nutritional value. But the low-calorie fruit is filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that soothe sore muscles, improve cardiovascular health, and pack about one-third of the daily recommended vitamins A and C, and lycopene that can even combat cancer.

August through October is watermelon harvest in most of the country, so there are usually lots of great, local picks at farmers markets and grocery stores this time of year.

But how can you be sure you’re selecting the perfect melon?

To avoid mushy melons, a good rule of thumb states that you should choose the one heaviest for its size. The melon should also have a deeply colored cream spot on the bottom — the color signifying the watermelon had plenty of time to ripen and sweeten on the vine before being picked.

Also, note the appearance of the rind. Make sure it’s dull in sheen — never shiny — and that it is free from blemishes or cuts.

So what can you do with all of the delicious watermelon you’re about to scoop up for the end of summer? Try these five watermelon recipes, of course.


Strawberry watermelon smoothie

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 5 cups watermelon
  • 6-7 frozen strawberries
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • honey or sweetener (optional — only use if your fruit isn’t ripe)

Directions

  1. Load blender with watermelon first, followed by the strawberries and chia. Blend on high until smooth and lightly frothy.
  2. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

 

Click these other recipes below!

WATERMELON AND FETA SALAD WITH MINT AND JALAPEñO

WATERMELON, COCONUT, KIWI AVOCADO POPSICLES

WATERMELON, MULBERRY, LIME SMOOTHIE

WATERMELON SALSA


Save yourself the time shopping in store. Get great ingredients that match your specific diet from everybodycravespantry.com.

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Author

Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.