Calling all watermelon connoisseurs!
This is your happy time to enjoy some of the best watermelon around. Florida grown watermelon is at its peak from April through July. How lucky we are to be one of the top five watermelon producers in the United States, along with Texas, California, Georgia and Arizona.
Watermelon is one of those foods that is so easy to prepare and super delicious to eat, so delicious that no one should miss out on this delightful summer fruit. By weight, it is the most-consumed melon in the United States. There is certainly no shortage; almost every roadside produce stand, farmers’ market, and supermarket has them.
Watermelon is Healthy!
Besides being one of the most popular fruits in the United States, it is also healthy. Watermelon contains lycopene, an antioxidant that helps protect our cells against oxidative stress and damage, which can lead to many diseases. According to the USDA Nutrient Database, a one-cup serving of diced watermelon provides 46 calories, one gram protein, 11 grams carbohydrate, and 170 milligrams of potassium.
Select watermelons that are well proportioned in shape, heavy for their size, and have a yellowish underside. Store uncut, whole watermelon at room temperature. Once cut, watermelon must be refrigerated for safety. Store watermelon tightly covered with plastic wrap or in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Try this melon salsa recipe from the USDA What’s Cooking? Mixing Bowl.
2 cups watermelon, honeydew, and/or cantaloupe (seeded and chopped)
1 cup cucumber (peeled, seeded and chopped)
¼ cup onion, red or white (chopped)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro or mint, optional
1 jalapeño pepper (seeded and finely chopped), optional
¼ cup lime or lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar, white or brown
1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium size bowl.
2. Taste and season with more lemon or lime juice. Add sugar if needed.
3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Serve with grilled or broiled fish, chicken, meat, or vegetables.
When handling hot jalapeño peppers, the oils can cause burning and skin irritation. Protect your skin by wearing clean kitchen gloves while preparing (cutting and seeding). Make sure to keep your hands away from your face, especially your eyes.
Makes 12, 1/4 cup servings:
Per serving: 19 calories, 0 g protein, 0 g fat, 5 g carbohydrate, 95 mg potassium
Click here to visit the Produce for Better Health Foundation for more information about watermelon.