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17 Ways to Cool Off with Watermelon

WatermelonNothing beats the summer heat like chilled fresh watermelon! Nutritious and hydrating, watermelon is the perfect hot weather treat. When temperatures soar, cool off with our favorite watermelon recipes.

Personally, I love homemade watermelon popsicles. Simply puree seedless watermelon with a bit of honey or natural cane sugar to taste. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice and freeze in ice cube trays or popsicle molds. Yum!

If popsicles aren’t your thing, try a watermelon beverage or cooler. You can add watermelon to smoothies, fruit or vegetable juices. Try Watermelon Lemonade, Strawberry Watermelon Coolers or frosty Watermelon Granitas. Watermelon Agua Fresca is a popular thirst-quencher in Mexico, and for all you green tea lovers, Honeydew Green Tea is just as refreshing and delicious when made with watermelon.

Although mostly enjoyed on its own or as part of a fruit salad, watermelon is so incredibly versatile you can add it to vegetable salads, soups, main dishes, salsas, beverages and desserts. Here are some tips and recipes:

  • Fruit salads, of course. My favorite combo: Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew and sweet cherries. If you like spice, you’ll love this Watermelon and Strawberry Salad with Chile Vinaigrette.
  • Add to vegetable salads. Spoon cubed watermelon over a favorite spinach salad. This Watermelon and Arugula Salad is made with feta cheese and purple onions.
  • Few would pair tomatoes with watermelon, right? Well, wait till you try our Tomato and Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint. It’s really good! And so is this Watermelon Tomato Gazpacho and this Watermelon Salad with Tomatoes, Goat Cheese and Basil.
  • Make cold fruit soup with watermelon. Consider blending strawberries, watermelon and raspberries with fruity red wine. Yogurt, lemon and mint with watermelon is another great combo. You can experiment with any favorite fruit combinations. Apples and watermelon are delicious together! Fresh herbs, spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, a little honey, agave, natural cane sugar, a favorite wine or sparkling wine, or fruit sweetened jam can add just the right amount of flavor and sweetness.
  • Next time you buy or make homemade salsa, consider adding watermelon. It’s great with grilled fish or shrimp, tofu or tempeh. This Halibut with Watermelon Salsa is flavored with raspberry vinegar and a pinch of cayenne.
  • Shrimp, Watermelon and Goat Cheese Salad is amazing. For variety, try it with scallops in place of shrimp.
  • Make watermelon “ice” cubes, or cube watermelon and drop into a glass of sparkling water, natural soda or wine. Try this recipe for Sangria Coolers with watermelon.
  • Spoon cubed watermelon over ice cream, frozen yogurt, or favorite non-dairy frozen treat.
  • Make watermelon sorbet.

This summer, bring a watermelon treat to a picnic, family gathering or an outdoor barbeque and you’re sure to be everybody’s favorite person!

Do you cool off with watermelon? Got a favorite idea or recipe? Let me know.

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Josephine C says …

I recently made an interesting salad/salsa that my coworkers raved about! I used a quarter of a personal size watermelon, cut into chunks; a quarter of a golden honeydew, cut into chunks; half a cucumber, peeled and seeded and cut into small chunks; two habanero peppers, seeded and chopped; a jalapeño, seeded and deveined, and chopped; cilantro, destemmed and coarsely chopped. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, let sit in the fridge for about an hour, and enjoy! I started out with this as a salsa, but then brought some in to work with me as a salad. The coolness of the fruit and cuke counters the heat from the habanero and jalapeño peppers.

samantha wegener says …

I went to a cook out and someone made a watermelon mojito salad with watermelon, cucumbers, lime, and mint...so good!!!!

Leah says …

For a perfect summer recipe of a delicious and easy to make Watermelon Granita with Sweet Lemon Labane Cream see: http://jewishfoodexperience.com/watermelon-watermelon/ Enjoy!

Linda Malnati says …

Your watermelon recipes look great and I'd like to try some but I'm longing for the taste of an old-fashion watermelon - seeds and all. Seems these new varieties just don't have the flavor I remember. Can you still buy them?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@LINDA - You can always look for heirloom watermelon and you can check with your local store to see if the carry these!