Kitchen Diva: Think outside the rind

Despite the popular belief that watermelon is just water and sugar, it actually is a nutrient dense food. Watermelon provides high levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and just a small number of calories.

One of my dearest friends loves all things watermelon. It’s always a challenge to think of new ways to serve her favorite melon.

Watermelon is a delicious, fresh ingredient that shouldn’t be restricted to just fruit platters and buffet tables. Its versatility is astounding.

Botanically, a watermelon is a fruit — a ripened ovary of a seed plant and its contents, much like a pepper, pumpkin or tomato.

However, watermelon also is related to the cucurbitaceous plant family of gourds, like cucumber and squash. For this reason, it’s also classified as a vegetable, or as it’s sometimes called, a “fregetable.”

Watermelon is a good source of vitamin C, thiamin and vitamin B6, vitamin A, magnesium and potassium. It contains no cholesterol and is very low in sodium.

This rich red fruit is fat-free and has lots of lycopene, an antioxidant believed to reduce cancer and lower the risk of heart attack. Though there is sugar in watermelons, it is naturally diluted by the high levels of water in the fruit.

Today’s watermelon varieties are larger, fleshier and sweeter, the seeds smaller and the rind thinner. Watermelon is perhaps the most refreshing, thirst-quenching fruit of all. It’s a perfect snack to serve on hot and humid summer days when we require restoring our body with a lot of fluids.

When using watermelon in your recipes, think outside the rind. Try this retro dessert for Watermelon Pudding Pie. It’s sweetened with watermelon juice and decorated with watermelon balls. It’s as easy as pie!

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her website is www. © 2019 King Features Synd., Inc.


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