Many people consider watermelon their favorite summer fruit but did you know that some people consider it a vegetable? Watermelon is related to cucumbers, squash and pumpkins, planted from seeds, and grown as a vegetable crop. The outer rind of watermelon is often stir-fried, stewed and pickled as a vegetable. Botanically, however, watermelon is considered a fruit and it is delicious in salads, chilled soups and just as is.
Whether you consider it a fruit or a vegetable, watermelon is a healthy food. Though mostly water, the fruit is packed with vitamins and minerals including antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and potassium, magnesium and fiber. It is high in lycopenes, phytonutrients that aid cardiovascular and bone health. Even the seeds are good for you – roasted watermelon seeds contain lots of magnesium, iron and copper. For more on the health benefits, see A True Summer Superfruit: Watermelon and its Health Benefits.
Of course, most of us love watermelon because it is cool, juicy, sweet and refreshing. Need some pointers on what to do with a watermelon. Watch this video on The Easiest, Fastest Way to Cut a Watermelon. Every part of the watermelon can be used including the rind and seeds. Get some ideas and inspiration in 5 Ways to Use Juicy Watermelon This Summer and 12 of the Most Unique Things to Do With Watermelons. As if that wasn’t enough, here are 7 more spectacular recipes with watermelon you will want to make this summer.
1. Watermelon Cherry Cooler
Summer is upon us and staying hydrated is at the top of the list. Plain water is great but this Watermelon Cherry Cooler is healthy and delicious. Made with fresh basil and mint, this drink will keep you cool and refreshed all summer long.
2. Fresh Fruit Lemonade Pops
Fresh fruit and lemonade on a hot summer day is probably the best combination since PB&J in the schoolyard. These Fresh Fruit Lemonade Pops have strawberries, mango and watermelon for a summer treat that is as pretty as it is delicious.
3. Watermelon Gazpacho With Beet Noodles
Amazingly refreshing, this Watermelon Gazpacho is the perfect summer meal. Sweet watermelon and spicy jalapenos make this chilled soup a flavor sensation. Spiralized beet noodles add even more color and texture and makes this dish light but satisfying at the same time.
4. Red, White, and Blue Salad With Watermelon Vinaigrette
This Red, White and Blue Salad offers a double dose of watermelon because the juicy fruit is in the salad as well as in the dressing. Watermelon, jicama and blueberries are tossed with a light watermelon vinaigrette for a dish that’s perfect for your next 4th of July party.
5. End of Summer Smoothie
Summer has barely begun but you don’t have to wait until August to enjoy this End of Summer Smoothie. It’s made with all the fresh tastes of summer – watermelon, berries, kale, peaches and oranges – for a healthy and yummy drink anytime of the year.
6. Summer Watermelon Salad
This Summer Watermelon Salad will be your new favorite summer salad. It has watermelon, mixed greens and lots of healthy nuts and seeds. The watermelon vinaigrette is slightly sweet with no refined sugars for clean eating.
7. Watermelon Rosé Drink
The combination of cold watermelon, melon, and some rosé wine is so tempting and thirst-quenching. This beautiful Watermelon Rosé Drink is perfect to sip while watching a sunset with company or to serve at a mixer or party.
Making melon balls is fun and everyone loves a fruit basket carved out of a whole watermelon. There are so many ways to enjoy this healthy, juicy and happy-looking fruit all summer long.
Lead Image Photo: Summer Watermelon Salad