CulturallyOurs Easy and uncommon watermelon recipes for summer

Quintessential Summer Recipes – A Love Affair With Watermelon

CulturallyOurs Easy and uncommon watermelon recipes for summer

If there is one fruit in the world that epitomizes summer and rising temperatures, that’s the watermelon. No matter what part of the world you go to, those juicy red slices of sweet watermelon are a welcome relief to hot, humid temperatures. Biting into a piece immediately cools the body down and takes us back to carefree days of running bare foot on the grass, watermelon juice dripping down on our clothes, right? Certainly makes the watermelon a quintessential part of summer.

The return of long summer nights and muggy afternoons typically inspires a change in our eating habits. Calorie rich foods no longer seem to be appetizing. Instead we crave to embrace the season’s bounty when the sunshine pushes fresh fruit from the earth and into our hands. Whether we slice them into triangles, blend them into juice or wear them on our heads, watermelons are a quintessential part of summer. Watermelons allow us to regress into a playful state of mind where spitting seeds off the side of a bridge provides simple entertainment.We are always looking for new and creative ways to enjoy this juicy and refreshing fruit.

So how do you pick the best watermelon?CulturallyOurs Easy and uncommon watermelon recipes for summerThe best watermelons are green, hollow when tapped which means it is ripe and ready to eat. An ideal watermelon should show little contrast between the skin’s stripes on the top, and the underside should be cream or yellow-colored. It’s delicious pink flesh is a great reward after labor intensive summer activities. There are many ways to enjoy this delicious fruit and there is nothing wrong indulging in extra slices. They can be grilled, added to cocktails, transformed into salsa and used in salads or dressings, and the rinds can even be salvaged and turned into pickled snacks.

Other cultures offer a variety of ideas as well. In Mexico City, street vendors coat long chunks with chili powder, soak them in lime and sprinkle them with salt. In France, the melon baller at the back of the drawer is used to make spheres to drop into glasses of rose. In Malaysia, the chunks are mixed with pineapple and put onto skewers for fruit kabobs and in Turkey, the fruit is often preserved as a jelly for year-round enjoyment with tea.

These recipes go beyond the basics to make watermelon a welcome addition to your summer table all season long.

#1 Watermelon Avocado Salad with Cilantro and Ginger

You can add fresh herbs and ginger and chilies to this juice fruit for a balance of spice and sweetness.CulturallyOurs Easy Avocado Watermelon Summer Salad Recipe

1/2 medium seedless watermelon
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ripe avocado
1 small tomato
1 small onion
1 small fresh red chili or jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 small lemon grated for zest
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
Handful of freshly chopped cilantro
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Peel the watermelon, cut into small cubes and put in a large bowl. Add the finely grated lemon zest and juice, olive oil, chili, ginger, a big pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper. Mix gently to coat the watermelon in the marinade. Set aside for at least 20 minutes to marinate before serving. You can also refrigerated a few hours before serving. Cube avocado pieces, onion and tomato into bite size chunks. Strain off some of the marinade and gently mix with the marinated watermelon. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve topped with the cilantro or mint.

#2 Watermelon and Coconut Milk Ice Cream

This pastel-pink colored frozen dessert is made with just four simple ingredients, leaving you more time to relax.Watermelon Coconut Ice Cream

Photo from Nutrition In The Kitchen

4 cups seedless watermelon finely diced
1 can full-fat coconut milk, shaken
1/4 cup light agave syrup or honey
Juice of 1 large lemon

Blend the watermelon, coconut milk, agave syrup and lemon juice in a blender until completely liquefied. Churn the mixture in an ice cream machine, using the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately if you like the soft, slushy texture, or transfer it to a container, cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

#3 Watermelon fruit rollup

An all natural alternative to traditional processed fruit rollups that you can find on the market. Make your own so you know exactly what goes into these easy travel snacks.

8 cups seedless watermelon cubed
1 cup granulated sugar
Juice of 1 large lemon
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 170° and a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly grease with cooking spray. In a blender, blend watermelon until smooth. Over a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth, drain almost all liquid from watermelon purée until you have about 2 cups watermelon solids. In a medium bowl, whisk together watermelon solids, sugar, and lime juice. Divide mixture between prepared baking sheets, spreading with an offset spatula to make smooth even layers. Bake until dried out and no longer sticky, 3 to 4 hours. Using scissors, cut leather into vertical strips and roll up.

Do you have any favorite recipes for devouring watermelon? Let us know in the comments and let the summer fun begin.

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