Fit & Fresh

Spotlight on Summer Produce: Watermelon

Watermelon

If there were a mascot for summer, I’m certain that watermelon would be it. When this sweet, juicy fruit hits the local grocery stores, you know that hot summer days, barbeques and fireworks are ahead.

For a long time, watermelon has been underrated as a sweet, tasty summertime fruit, made of not much more than sugar and water. However, this summer picnic staple has a lot more value than just being a 4th of July crowd pleaser!

While this refreshing fruit is about ninety percent water (and therefore an excellent and more exciting source of hydration), it is packed with key nutrients, such as:

Vitamin A, B6 and C, which supports vision, promotes healthy, radiant skin and strong bones, helps regulate mood, and improves immune function.

Potassium, which helps to maintain blood pressure, metabolize carbohydrates, decrease risk of bone loss and aids in muscle contraction (meaning it helps regulate our heartbeat!).

Antioxidants, which fight harmful free radicals to slow the aging process and decrease risk of cancer.

Amino Acids, which make up proteins that are crucial for our bodies to function as they should!

And if you’re not yet sold, this delicious summer snack is low in sodium, fat-free, and has only 40 calories per cup. Yes, please!

Five Ways to Use Watermelon 

Grill it up! It might sound weird, but grilling watermelon creates an unexpected, yet delicious smokiness to this sweet fruit. Serve it as a side with some tangy Greek yogurt or as a healthy dessert! Learn how to grill watermelon, here.

Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint – I’m always looking for quick and healthy dishes to throw together for a last minute cookout or dinner when I don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen. This refreshing watermelon feta salad pairs perfectly with just about any meal and delivers a healthy dose of summer on the side (or in the main!)

watermelon-salad-recipe

Watermelon Salsa – Put a summer twist on the classic salsa dip by adding fresh watermelon to the mix! This salsa would be delicious served with grilled fish or the classic way with chips.

Watermelon-Pico-de-Gallo

Watermelon Mint Ice Cream (dairy-free) – Do you have a summer barbeque coming up? I’ve got the perfect treat to go along with your grilled dishes – watermelon mint ice cream! It’s ridiculously easy to make and will be gone in a flash. This dairy-free watermelon mint ice cream is creamy, light, and healthy! Get the recipe, here.

watermelon-and-mint-ice-cream-featured

Make it a pizza (for dessert or a fun snack!). You could make it sweet by adding yogurt “sauce” and berry toppings, or give it a savory kick by drizzling with balsamic and topping with salty feta cheese. Yum!

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