Wild for Melon: Picking the Perfect One & Fresh Watermelon Recipes

July 09, 2020 | Food Lion
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Tagged:  Summer Fruit Fruit

Watermelon is an iconic summer fruit and something many of us look forward to biting into every year. It's delicious and 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 antioxidants. That means not only is watermelon tasty and refreshing but it’s also packed with wholesome goodness. Slice it into slivers, chop it into chunks or give one of the watermelon recipes we’ve listed in this blog a try.

But, before you dive into the recipes, let’s talk about one of the biggest questions when it comes to watermelon. How do you choose the right one that’s sweet, juicy and perfectly ripe? We have the answer!

How to Choose a Ripe Watermelon

Closeup of stack of bright green, fresh 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 light green — where the rind rested on the ground as it grew. Ripe watermelons are also heavier than less mature gourds. That’s also an indication of a juicy melon.

And last, but not least, you may have heard of the knock method. Give a watermelon a light knock or thud. A hollow sound is another good sign that it’s ripe.

Watermelon Recipes for Snacks, Treats and Drinks

There are plenty of ways to enjoy watermelon in the summer months. 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 snack paired with other melons like cantaloupe and honeydew or berries in a watermelon fruit salad.

But let’s take our melon preparation a step further with some recipe inspiration.

Bowl of watermelon salsa in white bowl, fresh watermelon slices and tortilla chips, blue cloth napkin, wood table

Watermelon Recipes for Snack Time

Watermelon Salsa

Pick up a bag of your favorite tortilla chips, like Food Lion brand, and chop up some watermelon for a sweet and spicy salsa that tastes like summer. This watermelon recipe is filled with cucumbers, jalapenos, red onion, cilantro and mint, plus a little salt and sugar. Sounds fresh and delicious, right?

So, when you plan to grill some chicken, steak or shrimp for fajitas or tacos on a summer evening, make the swap from classic tomato salsa to this fruity spin. Scoop up the full recipe here!

Tray of ice with margarita watermelon slices and fresh halved limes on top, glass of lemonade

Make-Ahead Margarita Watermelon Slices

Juicy slices of fresh melon are a great snack for both kids and adults alike. However, this watermelon recipe is just for grown-ups. This season, bring together the flavors of the sweet melon with a popular cocktail - margaritas! That makes this recipe for Make-Ahead Margarita Watermelon Slices perfect for vacations, staycations and summer holidays.

To make this happy hour snack, pick up a ripe watermelon from your neighborhood Food Lion, as well as fresh lime juice (or limes to squeeze your own) and Kosher salt. You’ll also need tequila and triple sec.

Watermelon lime shaved ice in cups in tray of ice and fresh watermelon slices and halved limes, white table background

Sweet Watermelon Treats

Three-Ingredient Watermelon Lime Shaved Ice

Watermelon is naturally refreshing after playing in the summer sun. What could make it even more refreshing? Enjoying it as a frozen treat, of course!

This recipe for Watermelon Lime Shaved Ice is simple yet loaded with a sweet, tangy flavor. And that burst of flavor comes from three ingredients. That’s it! First off, you’ll need fresh limes and sugar. And then you can probably guess the third ingredient, the item that this blog is all about - watermelon!

Ready to give this watermelon recipe a try? Make sure to plan ahead because this frosty sweet needs three hours in the freezer before it’s ready to enjoy.

Watermelon dessert pizza with fresh berries on top with mint leaf garnish, white stone countertop

Watermelon Dessert Pizza

Dessert pizza is typically a treat with a sugar cookie or graham cracker crust, sweet cheesy spread and an array of colorful fruits layered on top. And this recipe is pretty similar, but with a couple of big differences. For starters, the “crust” is actually a large slice of watermelon cut into triangular pieces. Secondly, the cheese layer is a combination of ricotta, cream cheese, honey and vanilla.

Then, for the topping, this watermelon recipe calls for fresh berries, mint and toasted coconut, but feel free to make this dessert pizza your own with all of your favorite fruity additions. Now, head to our recipe portal to see the full Watermelon Dessert Pizza recipe.

Watermelon infused lemonade with fresh blueberries, blue and white striped straws, white stone countertop

Refreshing Watermelon Drinks

Watermelon Infused Lemonade with Blueberries

Since watermelon is super juicy and relatively sweet, it is the perfect fruit to include in drinks, including this Watermelon Infused Lemonade. Sound like something you want to make for your family? Here’s how you mix together this refreshing watermelon recipe:

  • Start by pouring six cups of water into a saucepan and mix in some sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. 
  • Next, blend four cups of chopped watermelon with a cup of the water mixture. Blend until smooth. 
  • Strain your blended drink, pour into a pitcher and add some lemon juice. Refrigerate until you’re ready to enjoy a glass.

To serve, you’ll pour the lemonade over ice and add in some additional watermelon pieces (and blueberries if you choose to). And to avoid watering down your drink with ice, freeze your watermelon pieces and use them as ice cubes instead.

Watermelon Frosé in two glass with lime slice garnish and metal straws, bowl of fresh diced watermelon in background, brown cloth napkin

Watermelon Frosé

Our last watermelon recipe is a frosty drink that is the perfect thing to cool off and enjoy your favorite rosé wine - Watermelon Frosé. So, that means that this beverage is for adults only. Besides wine, you’ll also need fresh lime and - of course - watermelon to make this recipe. However, similar to the shaved ice dessert, be sure to plan ahead because you have to let the wine freeze in an ice cube tray for at least eight hours before concocting this drink.

Make a batch for yourself or share it with some close friends on a hot day. And if you really want to impress them with your at-home bartending skills, coat the rims of your glasses in sugar by wetting them with lime juice or water and dipping the rims in a thin layer of sugar on a plate. Talk about a sweet touch!

All right, watermelon lovers! You now know how to find a ripe watermelon on your next trip to your local Food Lion. You also have some snack time inspiration thanks to the six watermelon recipes we’ve just covered. But, if your melon craving isn’t quite satisfied, we have even more recipe ideas where these came from. Visit our recipe portal to see all of our watermelon dishes and drinks so you can learn more ways to enjoy this summertime fruit.