Watermelon Juice and Recipes
I love lightly sweet, cooling drinks in the summer, but I'm not a fan of boring, store-bought juices or cloyingly over-sweetened juice drinks. So I decided to make my own!
Reader, meet Watermelon Juice. A cup of this juice is surprisingly satisfying without added sugar, and guess what... it's healthful in the bargain!
- Fresh watermelon, scooped out or cut up (1 to 1.5 cup per person)
- Cocktail ice or crushed ice, 1 to 1.5 cup per person
How to Make Watermelon Juice (Two Ways: Frothy or Strained)
- For frothy watermelon juice, follow these blender directions: Add cut up watermelon to a blender, and make sure you have enough juice in the bottom so the blender starts up without trouble. Press the appropriate button on your blender to whip it... I used "liquefy", but your blender may have "puree", "blend", or simply "on". The fruit is so soft that it will not take a long time to extract all the yummy watermelon goodness.
- Alternatively, strain the fruit for a clearer-looking drink. Place the scooped watermelon into a strainer (choose a mesh strainer or a pasta strainer -- I used a pasta strainer) and press through with the back of a spoon or a clean bowl (I used an empty plastic container). Yes, this method may be more labor-intensive, but it's ideal for working out stress. Parents, why not make your kids a nice glass of pressed watermelon juice, alone? If you want, use gloves and squeeze it in your hands directly. But don't throw the remains away! Personally, I like eating the squeezed watermelon with yogurt for breakfast the next day.
- After your have made your juice, it's time to taste the fruit of your labors! Fill a tall glass with ice, add the juice, and serve with a straw. Enjoy!
Other Uses for Watermelon Juice
If you like the taste of watermelon but want to mix it up, here are other equally delicious options:
Some more juice ideas (and great for kids!) are to:
- Add several frozen strawberries or blackberries and blend
- Add a handful of shredded carrot and blend
- Add 1/4 cup apple juice to the pressed juice for a surprise twist
- A little lime juice adds tartness
For adults, try these:
- Blend with sweet herbs like mint or savory herbs like tarragon
- Rim the glass with salt for salty watermelon juice (It tastes better than it sounds!)
- Freeze in ice cube trays and add to your favorite iced tea
- Add some apple juice, freeze, and scrape for a refreshing watermelon apple granita
- Blend with chilled vodka or light rum for a cooling alcoholic version.
|Serving size: About a cup of juice|
|Calories from Fat||0|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 0 g|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 18 g||6%|
|Fiber 1 g||4%|
|Protein 1 g||2%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Watermelon's Nutritional Benefits
Searching for the perfect vitamin A and vitamin C feel-good treat? Look no further than your friendly neighborhood watermelon! 2 cups of this cooling fruit provides 20% and 25% of an adult's recommended daily values, respectively.
Watermelon also contains B-6, which humans use to produce the brain chemicals dopamine and serotonin. You may have heard of these neurotransmitters -- they help alleviate mild symptoms of depression.
Other minerals and compounds found in watermelon are lycopene and potassium. Lycopene (suggested by the reddish color) has anti-cancer properties and 1.5 cups of this fruit contains 13.63 mg of lycopene. Potassium regulates fluids and minerals in the body, and can help keep one's blood pressure from becoming too high. Two cups of watermelon contains approximately 120 mg of potassium (about 9% of an adults' daily requirement).
Watermelon is also loaded with fiber, which helps move things along on their way out of your body. It helps to make you feel full. All in all, watermelon is rated highly for its numerous health benefits... and the way it tastes is nothing to sneeze at, either.
You'll Need These for Serving!
Cost of Fresh Juice Vs. Bottled
Another benefit of fresh watermelon juice is its cost. Consider ordinary bottled juice or "juice drink" at 64 ounces for about $3.00. Specialty juices can cost upwards of $5.00 for half the amount or less.
One large watermelon costs about $6.00 and half the fruit can yield approximately the same 64 ounces of juice, with no added sweetener or preservatives!