Apart from being a delightful summers’-day treat, watermelon has grown to become ever so versatile. Not only can it be eaten on a hot summers day, but also used in cakes, fresh salads and even art! The watermelon rind which seems inedible can also be made into a sweet syrupy Konfyt (fruit preserve).
Before I get carried away on the creative side of using Watermelon, allow me to briefly (I hope) inform you all about the nutritional aspects of watermelon. Obviously, as the name implies watermelon consists of mainly Water, about 93 percent to be more specific. They also contain quite a bit of sugar, so I would not recommend one who is diabetic to over-indulge.
The pinkish-red colour indicates that watermelons are high in lycopene. Research suggests that lycopene (a powerful antioxidant) is effective in preventing some forms of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Watermelon is also high in Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Minerals such as Potassium is also available, which is believed to help control blood pressure and possibly prevent strokes.
Oh, and here are some interesting nutritional feeds for those seed-spitters. Watermelon seeds do in fact benefit our bodies in many ways.Watermelon seeds contain several amino acids, a prevalent one being arginine. Some of the health benefits of arginine include regulating blood pressure and treating coronary heart disease.
Watermelon seeds are also loaded with several of the B vitamins. The American Cancer Society reports that B vitamins are necessary for converting food into energy and other important bodily functions. The most prevalent B vitamin in watermelon seeds is niacin, which is important for maintaining the nervous system, digestive system and skin health.
Minerals abound in watermelon seeds. According to the National Institutes of Health, magnesium helps regulate blood pressure and the metabolism of carbohydrates, which has a beneficial effect on blood sugar as well.Another fact which I found to be pretty amazing was that the seeds contain substances which actually cool our bodies down. This is especially helpful in those unbearable hot days. I know that chewing on these seeds can get gritting-ly annoying and the urge to simply spit them out is highly overpowering. Watermelon seeds can also be roasted (as you would pumpkin seeds) and I for one would prefer this option as the roasting adds more flavour, making it less of a fuss to eat! So, do keep these benefits in mind next time you’re savouring your sweet slice of watermelon. It is something to get use to, but well worth it!Okay, so that was not as brief as I had expected, But now, onto more serious stuff! As I mentioned before the uses for watermelon are somewhat endless. You can have a go at trying out a fresh salad, making sorbet, incorporating them in your baking, stir-frying, and my ultimate favourite, Watermelon carvings. The ancient art of Watermelon carving originated in Japan. Apart from watermelons, any fruit with a hard/firm outer shell (sweet melon, pumpkins, papayas) can be carved into amazing pieces of art.
I would so much love to add ALL the lovely pictures I found on Watermelon carvings, but that would be a bit Crazy of me, so do watch this space for more wonderful pieces of art, added to The Food Art category.
One last thing I would love to share is this simple watermelon salad recipe. I love it because it combines many of my favourite foods, especially the tuna, feta, and of course the mighty Melon!
450g watermelon, cut into chunks
125g baby spinach, washed
400g tuna in oil, drained (optional)
125g feta cheese, coarsely crumbled
125g red onion, finely chopped
75g black olives, sinned and halved (optional) .
45ml balsamic vinegar
65ml olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
Arrange the watermelon chunks and spinach on a serving platter or six individual plates and arrange the tuna on top. Sprinkle with feta cheese, chopped onion and black olives. Sprinkle with the balsamic vinegar and oil and season generously with black pepper.
This recipe serves 6, so feel free to half or quarter the recipe if necessary. I would also advise you to change-up a few ingredients if desired, since I know some of those ingredients namely (tuna) are not preferred by some. While this is one unique salad, which you may think none of these ingredients compliment each other, you will never know unless you try it!so go ahead, I sure am excited to give it a go myself!
So from me to you, do try to feast up on Watermelon while it is in season, and remember don’t spit those seeds to quickly!
Edible pleasures to all