Watermelon is the quintessential summer fruit. It's low in calories (just 46 calories per cup) yet packed with natural electrolytes to keep you hydrated on hot summer afternoons. The watermelon nutrition profile doesn't stop there. The fruit is also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Slice it into slivers or chop it into chunks, and get ready to celebrate National Watermelon Day on August 3.
How to Choose a Ripe Watermelon
A ripe watermelon has a distinctive, slightly sweet flavor that's similar to cucumbers. Knowing how to pick a ripe watermelon is not an exact science, but it's easy to look for signs that indicate the melon spent enough time on the vine to develop its flavors. The watermelon should have a patch of yellow — not white or green — where the rind rested on the ground as it grew. Ripe watermelons are also heavier than less mature gourds. If you're wondering how long does watermelon last, take heart. An uncut watermelon stays fresh for one week, while slices and chunks stay good for one to two days in the refrigerator.
Sweet and Savory Ways to Enjoy Watermelon
There are plenty of ways to enjoy watermelon as the summer comes to a close. For a simple, refreshing treat, cut the melon into wedges and place them in the refrigerator until they're cold. For a tangier bite, sprinkle them with salt or lemon juice just before eating. Watermelon is also a delightful treat when paired with other melons like cantaloupe and honeydew or berries in a watermelon fruit salad.
If you're looking for something different, try a savory watermelon salad. Toss chunks of watermelon with feta cheese, sweet onions, and Kalamata olives, and dress it with lemon juice and olive oil. Give your watermelon a kick by soaking small slices of it in ginger syrup for a few hours. Top each slice with a dollop of cream cheese and then enjoy the blend of flavors. You can also cool off with watermelon drinks like watermelon lemonade, which is a blend of classic lemonade and watermelon puree, or watermelon flavored agua fresca with mint and lime slices.