Add Watermelon: 7 Recipe Favorites With A Unique Watermelon Twist
This post is sponsored by the National Watermelon Board.
Just Add Watermelon To These Recipes You Already Know And Love
Whether it’s a delicious corn salad paired with your favorite grilled steak, or ooey, gooey s’mores made from roasting marshmallows around the bonfire, there’s plenty of recipes we love to enjoy during summer. But if you’re feeling uninspired, or want to jazz up your recipes with something nutritious, just add watermelon!
You might be looking for new and unique ways to enjoy watermelon this summer and beyond. Or you just may be craving a bite of nature’s juicy fruit after hearing “Watermelon Sugar” play in the background. Watermelon is a nutritious, hydrating, fresh and refreshing treat that’s great to enjoy all year round. Summer is the perfect time to include more watermelon in your dishes. You can enjoy it beyond just slices or cubes on the side. You might not think summer recipes like elote corn salad, pancakes and kebobs go with watermelon, but that’s exactly why watermelon is the perfect addition to the recipes you know and love! It’s unexpected, bursting with flavors and a great way to wow your guests and family with new food pairings.
WHY CHOOSE WATERMELON DURING THE SUMMER?
Even though watermelon can be enjoyed all year long, its peak season is in the July and August summer months. Watermelon is particularly popular in summer because of how hydrating it is. Ever spend a few hours at the pool in the sun, or running errands on an especially hot day and feel extra thirsty? Eating watermelon is the perfect remedy!
Since it’s made up of about 92% water, you’ll receive the hydration your body craves, along with amino acids like citrulline (286-1266 mg per 2 cup serving) and antioxidants like vitamin A (8%) and C (25%).
Related: Hydrating Fruits and Vegetables
HOW TO PICK YOUR WATERMELON
Ready to include watermelon into your summer recipes but not sure how to pick the perfect watermelon? Picking a good watermelon really is simple. You just have to remember to look, lift and turn.
First, look the watermelon over. You want to look for a firm watermelon that is free from bruises, dents and cuts.
Next, lift the watermelon. As we mentioned earlier, the watermelon is made up of 92% water, so it should feel heavy for its size.
Finally, turn the watermelon over. You will be looking for a creamy yellow spot on the underside of the watermelon. It is also called the ground spot because it is where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.
Produce Mom Tip: The best kept secret about picking a watermelon is to tap it! Use the “tapping technique” quite literally by tapping the side of the watermelon and listening for a deep, hollow sound. This indicates a high water content and a juicy flavor. Give it a good knock! These big, sturdy melons can handle it!
HOW TO CUT A WATERMELON
How you cut your watermelon depends on what recipe you are using and what you will need: cubes, sticks, slices, etc. Your recipe will determine how you want to cut your watermelon. But before you get started, you will want to wash and dry your melon before cutting it. Why? You don’t want your knife to contaminate the juicy, sweet insides with any bacteria hanging out on the skin and rind. Speaking of the rind, you can eat that too. Check out the Rind Headquarters at Watermelon.org.
IS WATERMELON GOOD FOR YOU?
Feeling health conscious or on a low-carb diet? You don’t have to worry about adding watermelon to your summer recipes! Even though some people steer clear of fruits high in sugar, watermelon has a low sugar and low calorie content, at only 17g of natural sugars and 80 calories for a 2-cup serving size. It is a safe bet for any diet.
Watermelon is always a naturally-nutritious pick. Each slice, ball or bite delivers vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients. The vitamins and minerals in watermelon support whole-body wellness.
Two cups of watermelon (USDA Food Composition Database) has 80 calories, no fat, vitamin A (8%), B6 (6%) and C (25%), potassium (6%), magnesium (6%), thiamin (8%), phosphorus (2%). And who knew that there are 10 grams of protein in one ounce of sprouted, shelled and dried watermelon seeds?! To learn more about watermelon nutrition visit watermelon.org.
FLAVOR AND TEXTURE OF WATERMELON
Watermelon’s sugar content is low, so it has just the right amount of fresh, natural sweetness to give any summer recipe a fresh, juicy flavor. Follow the instructions above to pick a good watermelon that has a crisp, refreshing texture that oozes watermelon juice when you bite into it. Watermelon should never taste dry, grainy or mushy – this means the watermelon has overripened. Surprisingly, salty dishes go with watermelon really well (as you’ll see below) because the salt takes away any bitterness and helps the sweetness of watermelon’s sugar sweetness lift up.
UNIQUE WAYS TO USE WATERMELON
Did you know you can actually eat the whole watermelon? Yes, really! So many people are used to throwing away the watermelon rind. However, it’s filled with nutrients your body loves, and it is edible! The rind is tasty and offers a unique flavor that can be turned into fun and unique recipes. Check out all the recipes on Watermelon.org to see how you can try the rind for a surprisingly versatile treat.
Related: Air Fryer Watermelon Rind Churros.
It’s small steps like this that make your household more sustainable and help eliminate food waste. We challenge anyone who gets a whole watermelon to try and USE the whole watermelon. There are so many different ways that you can use the flesh, juice, and rind. Learn new ways that you can use the whole watermelon.
Recipes: Just Add Watermelon
Ready for some delicious, fun and unique ways to enjoy watermelon in your summer recipes? From grilled watermelon to pickled watermelon to watermelon puree added to pancakes, these summer recipes are essential for you to try. Don’t be afraid to take some of your favorite recipes and just add watermelon!
Watermelon Pancake Sandwiches
If you’re looking for a fun way to get creative in the kitchen and involve your kids, this watermelon recipe is calling your name. Both the pancakes and whipped cream are crafted with watermelon puree to seamlessly incorporate the sweet freshness of watermelon in every bite. Enjoy seeing your breakfast dish going from average to amazing just by adding some watermelon touches!
Produce Mom Tip: When slicing watermelon, make sure to quarter it twice for the perfect size slice.
Avocado Toast With Watermelon Dill Pickles
Pickled Watermelon might sound like something you’d only find at a hip, fusion restaurant. And not something you could create at home. Wrong! Curing watermelon is just as simple as curing cucumbers or your other favorite pickled treats. Plus, pickled watermelon includes the rind which is jam-packed with powerful nutrients.
This watermelon recipe takes some pre-planning. It takes about two weeks for the pickled watermelon rind to reach full flavor. Once your watermelon dill pickles are ready, it only takes three simple steps to add it to your avocado toast. Avocados go well with watermelon because of their creamy texture, especially when the watermelon is in a crunchy pickled form.
Produce Mom Tip: when pickling watermelon, you’ll want to agitate the mixture every two days. Why? This disperse the flavor evenly throughout the rind so you have full bodied, full flavored, crisp and crunchy “pickles” when two weeks is up.
Lunch And Dinner
Grilled Watermelon And Italian Sausage Kabobs
Almost anything tastes delicious when it’s hot off the grill. And that includes grilled watermelon. Grilled watermelon is all the rage right now because it draws out the juicy sweetness. Grilled watermelon pairs perfectly with tender meats, like spicy Italian sausage. Add cubed watermelon pieces and slices of sausage links to skewers for a sweet and savory meal that you will never forget.
Need a new recipe to bring to parties and potlucks? Try this one! Grilled watermelon is a growing fan favorite. Plus, it’s a great way to get your kids to enjoy some nutritious produce in new and different ways. This is a recipe that the whole family will enjoy!
Produce Mom Tip: when making grilled watermelon, make sure to grill uncovered until you see visible grill marks, which usually takes about three minutes.
Elote Watermelon Salad
This elote watermelon salad is packed with nutrition and sure to be a summer hit! Watermelon salads have grown in popularity in the last couple of years. If you want to wow your guests with a watermelon salad they haven’t seen before, try this one! Swap the feta and mint for a savory, crunchy elote watermelon salad instead.
From the juicy, crunchy grilled watermelon to the unforgettable, elote-style corn on the cob, an elote watermelon salad is fresh and bursting with flavors that aren’t commonly seen paired together. This unique mashup of sweet and savory summertime favorites creates a watermelon salad that will elevate any meal.
Remember, when grilling watermelon the texture changes and it becomes even sweeter then when freshly cut. The marks from the grill will give it a savory flavor while the sweetness is amplified in every bite. This paired with the crunchy elote-style corn will go well with watermelon’s sweetness. This salad will be one that won’t let you put your fork down!
Produce Mom Tip: you can serve elote corn watermelon salad hot off the grill or chilled cold for a more refreshing treat.
Who doesn’t love sitting by a homemade fire at night, telling stories or watching fireflies flicker their light while roasting marshmallows for s’mores? We’ve seen a few new twists on s’mores summer recipes in recent years, like using dark chocolate or strawberry flavored marshmallows, but s’mores with watermelon?! This is an ooey, gooey, sweet, juicy treat that’ll make your summertime memories unforgettable.
Plus, no one has to feel guilty about having one-too-many s’mores when they’re packed with a superfood. If you’re looking for sweet flavors and textures that go well with watermelon, the ingredients in this s’mores summer recipe are perfect.
Produce Mom tip: Try roasting your watermelon cubes just like you roast your s’mores. It’ll intensify the watermelon’s sweetness and give you that savory, grilled watermelon flavor we’ve all come to love.
Watermelon Brownie Bites
Brownie bites are always a crowd pleaser. And topping them with balled watermelon makes them that much more eye appealing and delicious. If you’re looking for a way to jazz up a dessert, or just want to find more ways to help your kids eat healthy produce, these watermelon brownie bites are a must have. Make your own homemade brownie bites or use store-bought ones. Then, top with marshmallows rolled in sprinkles, watermelon balls and voila!
If you’re making your own brownie bites, you can even add watermelon puree just like in the watermelon pancake recipe from above. This’ll intensify the sweet, juicy watermelon flavor and make your brownie bites an even healthier summer recipe treat.
Produce Mom Tip: In order to get a perfect round shape, you will want to use a melon baller. Simply insert the melon baller into the watermelon flesh and rotate the baller around to get a sphere of melon. Work in a pattern, such as from the inside out, to use all the fruit.
Watermelon Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie boards are all the rage, but how do you create one that’s nutritious and unique, not just filled with the typical ingredients? Add watermelon slices and turn this into the perfect, summer recipe for entertaining outdoors! With their beautiful, lush, green rinds and bright red meat, watermelon slices will bring a pop of color, life and flavor to your charcuterie board. The charcuterie board’s salty cheeses, meats, crackers and nuts go well with watermelon’s sweet, juicy flavor.
You can even grill your watermelon slices beforehand to really wow whoever’s nibbling on your delicious display. Or, try using the watermelon dill pickles recipe for added nutrition since pickling foods boosts your immune system and turns them into a probiotic. There are so many ways that you could display your watermelon: slices, balls, sticks, shapes and much more! No matter how you slice it, watermelon is the perfect addition to any grazing or charcuterie board.
Just Add Watermelon
Watermelon is a delicious, satisfying treat we all know and love to enjoy. Revamp some of your favorite dishes by adding watermelon for a unique flavor that’s refreshing and unexpected.
Even though we only listed 7 of our favorite recipes, let this inspire you to enjoy watermelon in other dishes that you love! Watermelon is in season year-round. It has a sweet, juicy, crisp and refreshing flavor that pairs well in sweet and salty dishes. Try adding watermelon to any of the 7 recipes above and tell us in the comments below which was your favorite!