From the Kitchen: Watermelon

Posted: November 22, 2011 in From The Kitchen

Old Friends

Last Friday night, I got to hang out at a party with my friend, Scott. A lot of old friends came by and I had a great time catching up. I was able to reconnect with another high school friend, Julie. She works in marketing and communications for the National Watermelon Promotion Board. I figured it would be great to get her to write a guest post to bring you some educational tidbits on watermelon. She even shared two recipes. The following was written by Julie:


Thinking Summer? Think Again!

Growing up with parents in the pharmaceutical industry, science has always been a part of my life. The human body was and still is amazing. One would assume that because both my parents were pharmacists, I too would head in that general direction. I started to actually. Though my major was communication, I began working in clinics, pharmacies, and hospitals to name a few…then I turned 30. I realized that I was miserable in my current occupation and not at all passionate about it. What happened to not living to work? I started thinking to myself, I know that I need to pay my bills, but is this it for me?

And then I found watermelon. Or rather, watermelon found me.

A year and half later, I live, breathe, and eat watermelon every moment of every single day. That’s what happens when you work for a something you’re passionate about I guess. In the short amount of time that I’ve been with the National Watermelon Promotion Board (Watermelon.Org for short), I’ve learned so much about not only this amazing super fruit (and vegetable), but also about the importance of keeping a healthy and active lifestyle. I am happy to say that watermelon definitely fills you up without filling you out. Here are some facts and tips on my favorite piece of produce:

  • Watermelon is 92% water (hence the name). If you’re tired of drinking your intake of daily fluid, grab a slice
  • Watermelon has an excellent sources of Vitamins A, C, some B-6, lycopene, and citrulline to name a few. Studies also show that these nutrients also aid and in keeping the skin healthy and young. Nope, not just water in there!
  • The American Heart Association has certified watermelon as a “heart healthy” fruit. An FSU study released last year showed that it can reduce blood pressure due to its contents of citrulline. (http://www.fsu.edu/news/2010/10/13/watermelon.study/)

Picking A Watermelon

So, how do you pick a good one? Well, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! First, you look at it. The watermelon should be rid of any major dents, gashes, or bruises. Minor scrapes and scratches are normal. Next, lift it up. Watermelon is 92% water so it should be fairly heavy for its size. Finally, turn it over and look for the yellow spot (called the “ground” spot). It should be a buttery yellow color. This indicates that the watermelon sat and ripened in the sun. In case you’re wondering, watermelon does not continue to ripen after it’s been picked.

Watermelon Recipes

I think one of the most interesting things that I’ve learned since working for the board is how versatile watermelon really is. I’ve eaten it in recipe after recipe, surprised every time at how well it lends itself to different flavors.

So, the next time you have a football party, bring watermelon fire and ice salsa. It is definitely a crowd pleaser! It also tastes really good over some grilled chicken.

Fire & Ice Salsa Recipe (Click to view)

One of my favorite recipes is “My Favorite Vegetable Casserole.” It’s not only delicious but full of nutrients: Carrots, spinach leaves, watermelon, almonds, and ginger dressing. I know, I know. It’s different but give it a shot!

My Favorite Vegetable Casserole (Click to view)

I’m so excited to continue to learn more about staying active and keeping healthy. Being in this industry has really opened my eyes to being more adventurous about food and I encourage you to do the same!

Juliemar Rosado
Marketing/Communications Associate
National Watermelon Promotion Board
Facebook: Watermelon.org
Twitter: All4Watermelon
YouTube: WhatAboutWatermelon
Web: www.watermelon.org
Blog: www.whataboutwatermelon.com

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