by Stef Jantz, Food Columnist
”Watermelon is the chief of this world’s luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat.” – Mark Twain.
It’s a hot summer day, you’re at a picnic with family and friends, the sun is beating down, and you need something refreshing.
Water isn’t enough to quench your tastebuds, so you look around and see a plate full of red and green. You pick it up and bite into the red, crispy, sweet nectar of fruit while juice runs down your chin and hands.
Your taste buds dance and your soul is happy. With the heat we endure here in the south, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Watermelon has been one of the main fruits of summer and deserves to be highlighted. This amazing fruit has gone back thousands of years; 5,000 years that we know of.
Starting in Africa, watermelon was known to be a prized product because it was known for its ability to hold so much water and thrived in the desert heat. It later found its way to Egypt where drawings were found in tombs of over 4,000 years old.
The paintings showed them to be oval shaped and believed that they modernized the melon from being bitter to sweet, thus becoming more enjoyable to eat than counted on for its water source.
The amazing fruit was referenced in the Bible as well as the Jewish Law. Greeks and Romans believed it had medicinal properties and used it on children who were suffering heat stroke, so there is much history behind this delicious treat.
Watermelon is a great treat if you’re looking for low calorie foods and want to stay hydrated. It’s mainly 90-91% water and 7.5% carbs.
It helps lower blood pressure, im- prove insulin sensitivity, and reduce muscle soreness as it helps rehydrate your body.
Watermelon contains the most lycopene (the most powerful antioxidant) than any other fruit or veggie. It’s what gives it its red color for the fruit.
Lycopene is also known to reduce cancer, balance blood pressure, improve skin health, improve fertility in men, and has shown it can give you the same pain relief as ibuprofen.
Watermelon also has more health benefits such as reducing joint inflammation, vitamin A to help your eye health, high in potassium, and easy to digest.
I don’t know about you, but water- melon will be at the top of my grocery list through these hot months. I’m kind of blown away by the benefits of such a simple fruit.
There’s also a ton of ways to enjoy watermelon.
By itself, salsa, salad, grilled, cocktails, smoothies, ice cream, cakes/cupcakes, soup, popsicles, slushies, marinade, and also use it as a container to hold balled melons for get-togethers.
You can even tap it as a keg. Just saying.
I’d love to leave some type of recipe for you but with as many things as you can do with watermelon, I recommend searching for a good one that will fit your needs and desires.
Don’t forget to search ideas on how to use the rind.
Have fun and stay hydrated!