It’s Monday! Yes, of course, but it’s also National Watermelon Day! An annual celebration in which watermelon lovers—of which I am a card-carrying member—take the time to celebrate the greatness of this special summer fruit. Serve it straight up at a picnic or corn roast and you’re a hero, for sure, but there’s much more you can do with watermelon than simple triangles. More than one way to slice it, you might say.
Watermelon is technically a berry—bet you didn’t know that! It grows on vines and has been cultivated in Egypt and elsewhere for thousands of years. No surprise here, since it’s an amazing fruit that is beautiful to look at, sweetly delicious, and has a convenient built-in handle—the bright green rind. It’s also high in vitamins A and C, and super juicy. Perfect for hot, sweaty days.
It’s also surprisingly flexible fruit for using in a variety of interesting ways. Here are a few favorites.
Summer isn’t exactly soup season for most people, because of the heat. But don’t count out cold soups. The most amazing, refreshing gazpacho I’ve ever tasted had a watermelon base. It’s really worth trying.
Building on the refreshing idea, watermelon adds nice flavor to most drinks and triples their cooling power (that’s an estimated figure). Just combine a few cups of watermelon chunks with a bit of lemonade, or lemon juice, or even water, then stir in a few sprigs of mint, and voila, you’ve got the best summer drink you’ll ever have anywhere.
Spread it out
Another nice and somewhat uncommon way to get the essence of watermelon is to spread it on your toast. Making a jam or jelly is a great way to enjoy the fruit all year round, and it’s also a way to make sure you use all of the watermelon you’ve got, since sometimes they seem to stick around in the fridge for a while.
Treat Yo’ Self
Raw watermelon is itself a great treat: that sweet, juicy flesh dripping with sunny flavor. But watermelon is ideal for a wide array of surprising desserts, from popsicles to tarts, to this fresh mint and watermelon soda float.
But if you’re going to do one special watermelon dish, make it this ice cream.
Watermelon, Coconut, and Strawberry Ice Cream (Vegan)
No-churn version included
Makes 750 ml
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 2 cups watermelon, cubed, seeds removed
- 1 cup strawberries, hulled
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons agave syrup
- Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness if needed.
- Pour mix in your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Scoop and you’re good to go.
- Place all ingredients in a blender, blend in high speed until smooth.
- Pour mix in a square cake pan or loaf pan then place in freezer for an hour
- Break up semi-frozen mix and blend again (you may need to scrape blender sides in between). Pour mix back in the pan and freeze until solid.
- To serve, bring out the pan and leave at room temp for about 5-8 minutes (depending how hot your home is) and scoop. Enjoy!
What’s your favorite way to enjoy watermelon? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter at @luvoinc.