Watermelon just might be one of my favorite summer fruits…Although, I might reconsider once Michigan peaches and cherries are in season. But that’s the beauty of eating seasonally! You get to enjoy the rich flavors of the harvest, and continue to add different flavors and nutrients to your plate year round. Speaking of nutrients, watermelon is loaded with lycopene, a pigment that gives red and pink fruits and veggies their color. It’s also what gives watermelons their rich and juicy flavor, YUM! Lycopene may help to lower cholesterol levels in the body, reducing the risk for heart disease. It’s also a powerful antioxidant which can help prevent inflammation and disease processes from forming in the body. Athletes and exercise lovers: it has electrolytes important to helping fuel performance. Woah! Why wouldn’t you want to add this powerhouse fruit to your plate?! Below are a few of my favorite watermelon dishes to take that slice of sweetness to the next level. Enjoy!
Watermelon Salad – Cut up watermelon into small chunks (3-4 cups), add ¼ cup feta cheese, ½ cup diced red onion, 1tsp red pepper flakes, 1tsp kosher salt, 1 diced avocado, 2 tbsp. of olive oil, and ¼ cup minced cilantro. Gently toss in a large bowl. Serve with chicken, fish, or enjoy on its own.
Watermelon Slushie – Freeze cubes of watermelon on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, add to a blender with a small amount of water. Blend until slushy like. Pour in a glass and serve with a lime or strawberry wedge.
Watermelon Pizza – Slice a watermelon in large circles (the short way), to resemble what looks like a pizza round. Smear ricotta cheese, or cool whip on top. Decorate with fresh blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Slice like a pizza (carefully) and serve at your next picnic!