faToid ~ Early explorers used watermelons as canteens.
Dig it! Watermelon season is here.
From May through-out the summer, the best, sweetest and most delicious fruit ever is readily available. AND at 46 calories per cup, you’re gettin’ a whole lotta bang for your calorie buck! This Beliefnet Blogger is jumpin’ for joy!
What is watermelon?
The watermelon is neither a fruit nor a melon. (I’m shocked. Next thing you know, they’ll be telling us that the world isn’t round.)
Watermelon’s official name is Citrullus lanatu, and it is a member of the botanical family Curcurbitacae; and it is a vegetable. (Go know!!!!) It is related to the cucumbers, pumpkins and squash families. Watermelons are native to the Kalahari desert of southern Africa and were introduced to America by Africans transported as slaves.
Fresh watermelons may be eaten just as they are, used to flavor summer drinks, or in a variety of recipes. (One of my favorite summer recipes is below.)
Is Watermelon a healthy choice? You bet!
Congrats to the Watermelon for receiving the “heart healthy” seal of approval from the American Heart Association and for being the leader in lycopene among fruits and vegetables. Lycopene is known to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Watermelon is also loaded with Vitamins A, B6 and C, is low in sodium, fat-free, low in calories and is 92% water! A 2-cup serving of watermelon is only 80 calories. That’s twice as much bang for your buck as most fruit!
What are the benefits of Vitamins A, B6 and C?
The vitamin A found in watermelon can help to prevent night blindness and it gives a boost to the infection-fighting white blood cells called lymphocytes.
The vitamin B6 that used by the body to produce neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, melatonin and dopamine, which we all know by know make us feel good, help to alleviate anxiety and panic.
And the Vitamin C can boost the immune system’s resistance against infections and viruses. Once again, those free radicals chances of aging us or creating cataracts are diminished.
Tasty Tidbit ~ How to Pick A Watermelon:
* Your watermelon should be firm, symmetrical and free of bruises, cuts and dents.
* Pick it up and make sure it’s heavy. Yeah baby, since watermelon is 92% water, it should be heavy for its size.
* Take a look at its underside. A creamy yellow spot marks where it sat on the ground naturally ripened in the sun!
Serves: 4 to 6
8 cups cubed seeded watermelon (make sure it’s sweet – the sweeter the better tasting the gazpacho)
1 green apple, diced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion, Vidalia (sweet onion)
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
2 teaspoons fresh (if at all possible) basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
In blender, puree watermelon with 1/4 cup of onion, pepper and 1/2 apple; pour into large mixing bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients (the other 1/4 cup of onion, pepper and apple). Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour to blend flavors.
Spread the word (NOT the icing!),
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