watermelon

Aug 012016
 

Seasonal Snacks: August - Watermelon

 

Watermelon is the quintessential summertime fruit snack. True to its name, watermelons are more than 90% water so are extremely refreshing and hydrating. However, despite their high water content, watermelons are powerhouses of nutrition as well.

 

  • Lycopene – Lycopene is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory antioxidants, usually found in pink and red fruits and vegetables. It helps keep a variety of diseases at bay by clearing your body of harmful free radicals and has been shown to protect your skin against harmful UV rays. While tomatoes are especially well-known for their lycopene content, watermelons have an even higher concentration of lycopene than tomatoes.
  • Vitamin A – Vitamin A is good for maintaining the health of your eyes, skin and bones.
  • Vitamin C – Vitamin C is an antioxidant which helps support your immune system, maintains skin elasticity, and helps your body heal and repair itself. It is also believed to increase your blood flow by helping your blood vessels to relax.
  • Vitamin B6 – Vitamin B6 is important for converting food into energy and maintain good metabolism.

 

There are more than 1200 varieties of watermelon, ranging from dark red to pale yellow. When choosing a watermelon, try to find one which feels heavy for its size, with a smooth rind (skin), and a hollow bass sound when you knock on it. You may be surprised to know that every part of the watermelon is edible, including its seeds and rind (nb: if you eat the rind, try and make sure it is organic).

 

 

* The produce above is in season in August in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, August seasonal produce includes pineapples, blood oranges, and artichokes.

 

 

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May 282015
 

Watermelon with Crushed Pistachios and Dark Chocolate

 

It’s May and the temperature in Dubai is regularly going over 40°C (that’s 104°F for US readers)! At times like this, watermelon makes a delicious hydrating snack or dessert.

 

Slicing your watermelon into wedges is probably the easiest way to eat it, but if you want to make something a bit more special, why not try cutting it into cute little bite-sized shapes. Cookie cutters tend to be too large, but I have found that fondant cutters are exactly the right size.

 

You can dress your watermelon cut-outs by scattering anything on top, but I like pistachios because their green colour is a nice contrast to the dark pink watermelon. And dark chocolate in moderation has many health benefits, including having antioxidant properties.

 

Share your thoughts in the comment section below: What do you like to eat or drink to cool yourself down when the temperature soars?

 

Watermelon with Crushed Pistachios and Dark Chocolate

 

WATERMELON with CRUSHED PISTACHIOS and DARK CHOCOLATE

 

Ingredients: (the quantities in this recipe are only guidelines and you should adjust the amounts according to what seems right to you)

Watermelon (whole or half; seedless watermelon makes for easier cutting) – try to use only as much as will be eaten in one day

4-6 Tbsp pistachios (out of their shells)

20-40g / 0.7-1/4 oz chilled dark chocolate bar (eating chocolate) – refrigerate it for 30 minutes so that it is chilled and easier to chop

 

Directions:

  1. Place your pistachios on a cutting board and roughly chop through them with a sharp knife. The amount of pistachios you use depends on how much watermelon you plan to serve, and should be adjusted according to your taste. Set aside.
  2. Place your chilled dark chocolate on your cutting board and roughly chop it with a sharp knife. The amount of chocolate you use depends on how much watermelon you plan to serve, and should be adjusted according to your taste. Set aside.
  3. Wash and dry the skin of your watermelon.
  4. Cut your watermelon into 2.5cm / 1-inch thick pieces.
  5. Choose a few small fondant/cookie cutters and cut shapes out of the watermelon.
  6. To avoid wastage, any watermelon left over after the cut-outs should be saved and used in a smoothie, juice or salad. Discard the green watermelon rind.
  7. Refrigerate the watermelon and chocolate (separately) until ready to serve. The cut watermelon will start to release liquid after a while, so refrigerate it for a maximum of 24 hours.
  8. To serve, arrange the watermelon cut-outs on a platter and scatter your chopped pistachios and dark chocolate on top.
  9. Eat within 24 hours.

 

Share your thoughts in the comment section below: What do you like to eat or drink to cool yourself down when the temperature soars?

 

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