Watermelon is my all time favourite summer fruit. I love how hydrating and refreshing it is on a hot summer day. Did you know that eating 1 cup of watermelon is equivalent to drinking about ½ cup of water. August 3rd was National Watermelon Day, so in honour, I have provided some unique ways to use watermelons, which even includes eating the fibre-packed rind.
Pickled Watermelon Rind
- 1 lb watermelon rind (rind from 3 lbs watermelon)
- 3 Tbsp plus 1 tsp course salt
- 1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 Tbsp pickling spice
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel the outer skin/green layer from the watermelon rind and then cut the rind into 2-by-½-inch strips.
- In a medium saucepan combine 5 cups of water with 3 Tbsp salt and bring to a boil. Add the rind and cook over medium-high heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a heatproof bowl and reserve the saucepan.
- To the reserved saucepan, add the vinegar, sugar, pickling spice and remaining tsp of salt. Pour the hot liquid into the bowl with the rind, ensuring it is fully submerged.
- Let cool at room temperature and then transfer to a container, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 weeks.
- 4 cups watermelon, diced
- 1 cup red onion, diced
- ⅔ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1-2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
- Toss all ingredients together until combined.
- Serve cold and enjoy!
Homemade Watermelon Sorbet
- 1 large watermelon, cut into cubes
- 1 lemon or lime, juiced
- Freeze the watermelon cubes until ready to use.
- Add the frozen watermelon into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Add the lemon or lime juice.
- Transfer mixture to a container and serve immediately.
- Scoop and enjoy!
Grilled Watermelon Gazpacho
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- ¼ large watermelon, cut into three 1-½-inch slices
- 1 large tomato, halved
- ½ cucumber, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and halved lengthwise
- ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp red onion, diced and divided
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 avocado, diced
- Heat the grill to medium-high.
- Brush 1 Tbsp olive oil over the watermelon, tomato, cucumber and jalapeno. Grill for 5-6 minutes on each side.
- When cool to handle, remove the rind from the watermelon slices. Remove skin and seeds from the tomato and jalapeno. Coarsely chop the tomato, jalapeno and cucumbers.
- In a blender combine the grilled vegetables, ½ cup onion, vinegar, lime juice and seasonings and blend until smooth. Add the remaining olive oil during the last minute of blending.
- Refrigerate covered until chilled.
- Garnish with diced avocado and remaining onion and enjoy!
Homemade Watermelon Fruit Leathers
Credits: Domestically Blissful
- 10 cups watermelon, diced
- Honey to taste (optional)
- Preheat oven to the lowest temperature possible (around 170°) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a blender or food processor blend the watermelon (and optional honey) and then put into lined paper towel or a cheesecloth to drain out the liquid.
- Evenly spread the watermelon puree onto the baking sheet and spread using a spatula until about ¼ inch thick.
- Bake the watermelon fruit leather for 6-8 hours, rotating the pan every hour.
- The fruit leather is done baking when it has a matte appearance, no longer looks shiny and is not very sticky.
- Let cool completely and then carefully remove from the baking sheet and pull off the parchment paper.
- Cut the fruit leather into long strips about 1 inch wide and roll them up.
Eat well, be well
Emma Minden, Registered Dietitian, Wholesome GO