One of the most wonderful fruits of summer is the watermelon. You can find these sweet, seasonal melons at just about every farmers market and roadside stand across North Carolina from June into September. A nutritious and delicious favorite, watermelons will have your mouth watering!
• Follow your eyes to a melon with a full, symmetrical shape that’s firm and free from bruises, cuts or dents.
• A juicy watermelon will be heavy for its size; the fruit is 92 percent water. If you must, thump the melon and listen for a dull hollow sound.
• Look for a pale yellow patch on the underside, which means the melon sat on the ground and naturally ripened in the sun.
• Contains no fat or cholesterol and few calories (80 per serving).
• Serves as an excellent source of fiber, potassium and vitamins A and C.
• Boasts higher amounts of cancer-fighting lycopene – the pigment that gives watermelon its red color – than any other fruit or vegetable.
MAKING THE MOST OF SUMMER’S MELONS
There’s nothing like a fresh-cut slice of watermelon on the rind, with the sweet juices streaming down your face after every bite, but you’d be remiss to think that’s the only way to enjoy watermelon. If you want some variety, try these ideas:
An unconventional way to prepare watermelon is grilling – and it will impress guests during your next cookout or get-together. Simply brush with a combination of lime, honey and your favorite chili sauce. It’s sweet and savory – find the recipe at www.theproducelady.org.
Combine chunks of watermelon with sprite melon, cantaloupe and honeydew to make a delicious melon medley. Try combining a variety of melon slices with other seasonal fruits, like blueberries and peaches, in a fruit salad or a refreshing smoothie. Watch the melon videos on the website for more ideas.
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