Summer Tastes Like Watermelon

My summer memories are of sunny days on Kentucky Lake.  Ski boats, sunscreen, jumping off the dock a million times.  Playing Spoons at my Grandparent's lake house. Homemade ice cream and cold crisp watermelon. 

That pale yellow spot is a good thing! Ripened on the vine. 

That pale yellow spot is a good thing! Ripened on the vine. 

Does any food scream summer more than watermelon?I decided to get creative instead of just chopping it up into chunks like I usually do. I recently tried out some watermelon recipes and LOVED them, so I wanted to share them with you. 

A big plus for watermelon is that it's sweet, feels like a treat, and as the name suggests, is mostly water. A cup of watermelon has just 46 calories.  It also has 20% of your daily Vitamin C, lots of fiber for good gut health, and contains lycopene, an antioxidant.  

To get top notch color and flavor, you have to start with the right watermelon. I never know how to pick the perfect one, so I again turned to my produce guru at Whole Foods, Sean. He never lets me down.  He gave me some tips on picking the right melon. 

1- Look for a yellow spot. I used to think those yellow spots meant it was not good. But it actually is a bonus, because it means the melon ripened on the vine. If there is no spot, it means it was picked early and ripened off the vine and won't be as flavorful.

2- The thump! What the heck does the thump mean? Sean said the thump should be deep.  If it's high pitched, the melon is not good. Listen for a deep thump. 

My new fav. Balsamic, Feta and Watermelon Salad. 

My new fav. Balsamic, Feta and Watermelon Salad. 

I blogged recently about my deep love (bordering on obsession with salad) so I just had to find a salad that included watermelon.  And I was not disappointed. This watermelon, feta and balsamic salad has jumped up the ranks to become on of my all time favs. It hits all the right notes.  Crisp, cold, sweet, with a kick from the balsamic glaze. Find the recipe Here. I added chicken for protein. One other tip, I bought balsamic glaze at Whole Foods and skipped the steps for making it myself.  Much quicker and easier! 

 

Next up, two super easy, refreshing treats. If you're looking for a quick fun little snack for your kids (or you!), grab a melon baller and make melon pops.  I used watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew. Freeze until firm and enjoy! I sprinkled a little kosher salt on mine. I come from the school of thought that watermelon is better with a little salt. You cannot convince me otherwise. If someone says salt doesn't belong on watermelon, walk away.  We don't need that negativity in our lives. :)

Frozen Melon Pops. Yummy!

Frozen Melon Pops. Yummy!

The other sweet treat is a watermelon slushy. This hit the spot on this warm Oklahoma afternoon. I froze about 2 cups of watermelon chunks. I added the frozen watermelon, the juice from 2 fresh limes, a little squeeze of honey, and just enough water to help it all blend to my Vitamix. Whipped it up and voila! Once I poured the mix into each glass, I topped it with just a splash of sparkling water.  So refreshing!

A light refreshing Watermelon Slushy

A light refreshing Watermelon Slushy

If you're up for trying some of these, you can grab 2 for 1 Organic mini watermelons at Whole Foods starting today (8/3) through Saturday. Look for those yellow spots, give it a good thump, and grab your melons! Whip up some summery creations for your family and let me know your favs!  I'd love to hear what you think!