Getting Creative With Watermelon
Watermelon is a great food that is healthy, inexpensive in season, easily available in season, and if you get creative you can come up with tons of delicious options.
Packed full of water and nutrients watermelon is made particularly healthy with less then 50 calories for each cup of watermelon. Finding fun, creative, and exciting ways to eat watermelon can make it one of your favorite foods!
Creative ways to serve watermelon
Sometimes dressing the food in a pretty package is enough for a change of pace. Watermelon can be mixed with several other fruits and served in a number of ways.
- Cube it up. If you normally make big juicy slices served with the watermelon rine then this time cut the watermelon into small cubes. You can also place them into a baking pan, add ice cubes and sprinkle with a little sugar.
- Make watermelon shapes. Cut watermelon into slices about one to one and a half inches thick. Cut the watermelon into interesting shapes using cookie cutters.
- Skewer it. Cut up watermelon and any other fruits you are interested in adding and make fruit skewers. Some great options for good flavor and a colorful mix are watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew melon, pineapple, grapes, and kiwi.
- Watermelon basket. You can make a carved watermelon. To do this simply cut the watermelon using a zig zag pattern. You can leave a handle on a large watermelon or simply open it up. Scoop out the watermelon and fill the basket with watermelon balls (if you used a melon baller for scooping out your fruit) or a mixed fruit salad.
- Serve it with toppings to taste. You can add a dash of sugar, salt, or even pepper to your watermelon to change up the taste of it. Add shakers that are clearly marked near the watermelon for a little fun and some variation.
Drinks are a great way to use leftover watermelon or to get a cool refreshing, healthy drink. You have lots of different options to meet your needs and desires!
- Ice cubes. You can place a chunk of watermelon into each cube of an ice cube tray and then add water. Freeze them to create watermelon ice cubes. At this point in time you can use these ice cubes in fruity drinks including punches, juices, and lemonade. They can also add a great addition to tea or fruit teas.
- Watermelon slushies. Watermelon slushies can be a great cold drink on any hot day. There are tons of recipes available, but this is a drink that you can work with on your own to come up with ideas that meet your families likes and dislikes. The basic recipe is to take 1/2 cup of ice and blend it up till it is crushed ice. Add 2 cups of watermelon and blend till slushie. Then add 1 Tablespoon of honey for sweetening. Other options include adding lime juice, frozen fruit (including watermelon ice cubes or berries) instead of ice cubes, and or soda. Have fun experimenting for great flavors.
- Watermelon smoothies. Smoothies are another watermelon treat that can make for a great start to a day or a great addition to the day. There are thousands of recipes, but this is another thing that you can play with to make smoothies that you will love. There are three basic types of smoothies and they can be made in any combination with a variety of options. There are juice, milk, or yogurt based smoothies. You can add any one (or more base) to the blender. Top that with cubed watermelon, other fruit (if you want), and blend it. Some great options for changing this smoothie up is to add sweetener (if you like it sweeter), frozen fruit (for a colder version), ice (for a colder version), spices (great options include ginger, cinnamon, or something similar), extracts (vanilla or almond are some great options), and a variety of juices.
- Watermelon shakes. You can make watermelon milk shakes. There are a couple of options for tasty dessert drinks. Add 1 cup of sherbet (lemon is a great choice) and 6 cups of coarsely chopped watermelon. Blend together and enjoy. You can also do a similar thing with vanilla ice cream. If it is a little too thick add a bit of milk to thin it out.
There are a huge variety of things that you can do with watermelon and adult drinks. You can make watermelon juice and add it to a variety of your favorite cocktails. To make watermelon juice blend watermelon as much as possible and strain out the large pieces with cheesecloth. Add this in small amounts or large amounts with your favorite liqueurs or cocktails. Other options include some of the following recipes.
- Watermelon champaign. Chop watermelon into cubes. Blend until smooth. Pour to fill 1/2 of a campaign flute. Fill with campaign for a fruity drink!
- The Ladybug. Cut watermelon into cubes and freeze (include the seeds). Blend 4 cups frozen watermelon, 1/4 cup of vodka, 1/4 cup lime sugar, and the juice from one lime. Blend well.
- Watermelon fruit salad. Cut a watermelon in half and carve out the fruit. Cut it into bite sized pieces. Add other juicey fruit such as pineapple, grapes, other melons, and berries. Make sure everything is bite sized. Place all fruit in the bottom half of the watermelon. Pour 1/5 southern comfort over the fruit. Set in the fridge for about two hours and serve.
- Watermelon punch. Blend watermelon in the blender and add vodka to your taste. You can also add frozen berries for a slushier, fruitier option.
- Watermelon margaritas. Blend 3 1/2 cups of watermelon (freeze it for a cold frozen margarita), 1/2 cup tequila, 1 Tablespoon triple sec, and the juice from one lime. Blend well. If not frozen then shake with ice till chilled and serve. If watermelon is frozen just serve! You can sugar or salt the rims of the glasses to meet peoples tastes.
While most of us don't realize all of the delicious and tasty options there are for watermelon there are tons of recipes out there! Watermelon can be used in some very tasty summer side dishes.
- Watermelon salad. European nations are known for a lot of tasty vinegar salads and watermelon is one lovely option. This is another item where there are lots of recipes or you can make up your own. Basic ingredients usually include cubed watermelon, onion (sweet onion is often recommended), mint, vinegar (rice or red wine are good option), 1-3 Tablespoons of olive oil, and salty crumbly cheese (such as feta). You can also add lime juice, a pinch of salt, pepper (if you like a hotter flavor), olives, spinach, or greens. Another option for a spicier option is to add chopped cilantro and or cumin.
- Grilled watermelon. If you heat up watermelon just a bit on the grill it will caramelized. You can use this to add to the salad or make it for a yummy side dish of its own. You can also do this on kabobs.
- Watermelon salsa. Chop watermelon into small pieces. Add chopped onion, a couple of tablespoons of vinegar or lime juice, chopped cilantro, chopped peppers (choose your favorite varieties), salt, pepper, and or garlic to taste. You can also add chopped cucumbers, other melons, honey, or your favorite spices. Have fun experimenting with it and making something new. Serve with tortilla chips.
- Watermelon soup. Chilled watermelon soup is made by blending watermelon and other ingredients and then chilling. It is severed chilled and often garnished with mint leaves. You can search for a wide range of recipes or work on making your own. Some suggested additives include white wine, mint, cilantro, cream, buttermilk, plain yogurt, vinegar, other fruits (some suggestions are berries, pineapple, mango), red pepper sauce, lime or lemon juice, salt, pepper, and or ginger.
Cooking with Watermelon
Watermelon has a lot of uses and can be used to make tasty main dishes as well as interesting side dishes. Cooking with watermelon can be fun to experiment with. Here are some great places to go start.
- Watermelon BBQ Sauce. To make watermelon BBQ sauce you will want to start by making watermelon juice. To do this, thoroughly blend watermelon. Use cheese cloth to strain out the chunks. You can then add 1-3 cups of watermelon juice to your favorite bottled sauce or your family BBQ recipe. If you want a tailored recipe here is one at About.com.
- Watermelon marinade. Add 1-3 cups watermelon juice to your favorite lemon, lime, or vinegar based marinade. You can then use it to marinade beef, chicken, pork, fish, shellfish, and shrimp.
- Watermelon coconut shrimp. Add 1 cup chopped watermelon to your coconut shrimp recipe and enjoy an interesting change!
Watermelon desserts are many. Here are just a few and a good search will reveal even more. Choose the ones that sound good to you and meet your needs. Some of these are very healthy, while others are pretty bad for you.
- Watermelon parfait. In a glass, bowl, or sundae cup add a layer of small cubed watermelon. Sprinkle granola on top to cover. Add a layer of vanilla yogurt. Continue to layer till the cup is full. Another option is to use sprinkles instead of granola. Top it with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry for a very healthy watermelon "sundae" that is sure to please all the kids.
- Watermelon cupcakes. Fill a muffin tin with muffin wrappers. Slice pound cake or angel food cake into one inch slices and carefully cut them into circles for the bottom of the cupcake wrapper (this is easily accomplished with a round shaped cookie cutter of the appropriate size). Next cut watermelon into once inch slices and cut into round shapes to top the cupcake bottoms. Top the watermelon with a dollop of cream cheese frosting or a rosette of whipped cream. Add sprinkles or colored sugar for a beautiful cupcake that is healthy, yummy, and oh so fun.
- Watermelon "cake". There are cake recipes for tasty moist watermelon cake, but this isn't one of those. This is an easy and tasty option for a beautiful dessert that works well for most. Cut your watermelon into wedges and remove the rine. Place the wedges into a round cake or pie pan. Top with vanilla yogurt. You can then top your cake with a variety of tasty options such as strawberries, mint, berries, or nuts. Serve chilled.
- Deep fried watermelon. Cut your watermelon into one inch cubes or triangles. It doesn't have to be perfect and odd shaped pieces are just fine. Heat 3 cups of oil in a deep fryer or wok to about 350 degrees. Coat the watermelon with flour and then dip into batter (1/2 cup cornstarch, 2 Tablespoons water, 2 egg whites well beaten). Place several battered watermelon pieces into the hot oil. There should be enough space that they aren't touching, but fill the oil with pieces to get them done quickly. Cook till they are browned. Pull out of the oil and drain on paper towel. Top with powdered sugar and serve with vanilla yogurt. This is a tasty option, but not necessarily a healthy one!
Watermelon is a healthy food that can be used in a wide range of ways. Some may require you to try new things, things that you would never have thought of, but all in all it can be a fun summer!
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