Watermelons are the quintessential fruit of a summer barbecue, with their fresh tasty interior, and their beautiful color. While they come in a variety of sizes (and sometimes color), most of us think of a large round or oval fruit, with a tough green exterior, and a juicy pink interior. But how exactly do you cut a watermelon? While there is really no right or wrong way to prepare a watermelon, there are a few hints and tricks that will have you enjoying this treat sooner.
Choosing the Perfect Watermelon
Before you head to the market and randomly pick the first watermelon you see, consider what makes one better over another.
- Watermelons should feel heavy for their size. If it seems too light, it may be dry inside
- Knock on the melon. You will want to hear a hollow and deep sound
- Look for the field spot. This is the spot where the melon sat on the field. A yellow or creamy color indicates that it is ripe
Wash the Watermelon
Before you start cutting the watermelon open, wash it. Whether you use a fruit rinse or a liquid soap, or just water, a quick rinse will ensure that any remaining dirt is removed. Some watermelons are so large that you might find it difficult to wash in a sink. Try wiping it with a damp cloth, or spraying with a hose outdoors.
Cutting Open a Watermelon
Before you start cutting, find a large sharp knife, long enough to cut through the melon. Slice through the middle of the fruit, so that you’re left with two equal halves, each with the stem end at their tip. From here you can cut each side in half again for more manageable pieces. There is certainly no wrong way to divide the melon to eat, just make sure that the green rind does not get eaten.
Eating a Watermelon
Once you’ve cut open the melon, there are lots of different options for eating the fruit right away:
- cut into slices and enjoy immediately
- using a melon baller, scoop out small balls of melon
- slice into long thin rectangles
- remove the green skin and cut into shapes with a knife or cookie cutter
- keep your half entirely to yourself and just eat it without utensils
Do to the sweet juiciness of a watermelon, they can be the perfect addition to your favourite salads. For a little inspiration, try this combination:Mix small balls or chunks of watermelon with sliced cucumber, crumbled feta cheese, and mint leaves. Combine three parts olive oil with one part lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle over the salad.
Cut the watermelon into 1-inch slices, leaving the rind on. Brush the pieces entirely with olive oil and lightly season with salt. Place on a medium to high heat grill for about three minutes per side. Monitor the cooking time closely to avoid burning the melon pieces.The cooked melon slices can be eaten in a salad, with ice cream, or on their own.
Did you know that watermelons can be made into refreshing drinks? It’s as simple as pureeing watermelon chunks (remove the seeds where possible) in a blender, adding some cold water and crushed ice, and a touch of honey or lime.If you prefer a smooth texture, use a sieve to separate the fruit pulp from the juice before adding any ice.Adults might enjoy adding vodka or champagne for a special treat.
Watermelon can be enjoyed as a fun frozen treat too.
- Cut into small chunks; it makes a delicious little snack. Stick a popsicle stick in one end for a fruity popsicle.
- Pureeing the chunks in a blender is a healthy way to make a healthy and quick smoothie or sorbet.
- Use as ice cubes in a glass of water.
Health Facts about Watermelons
While watermelons are a refreshing and delicious fruit to eat, they also pack a healthy punch. Each juicy watermelon boasts the following:
- Significant levels of vitamin A, B6, and C
- Completely fat-free
- Low in sodium and high in water content
- High levels of lycopene, an antioxidant
- Citrulline, an amino acid
Watermelon Rinds and Seeds
While most people enjoy only the fruity flesh of a watermelon, the seeds and rind are also both edible.The rind can be juiced, pickled or stir-fried, much like other popular vegetables. This less popular part of the watermelon is both juicy and highly nutritious.While many of us were taught to spit out the seeds as children, they are actually edible. They contain much of the same nutrient density as other beloved seeds, like pumpkin or sunflower. They can be roasted and lightly salted for a fun snack.