Produce item of the month: Watermelon

Watermelon hits all the right notes to be a hot weather snack. It’s 92% water and a natural, sweet and tasty way to hydrate this summer. You can slice it, dice it, or chop it into cubes and serve them at your next outdoor cookout or visit to the beach. 

Tomato Watermelon Granita

Not only is this fruit tasty but it is also packed with health benefits. Watermelons are a rich source of phenolic compounds, which give the body anti-inflammatory and antioxidant support as well as being rich in lycopene, which may help protect against heart disease and prostate cancer. Other health benefits of watermelons include: Improved digestion and regularity because of its water and fiber content; hydration because of its water and electrolytes; reduced muscle soreness thanks to the amino acid L-citrulline; and healthier skin because of its Vitamin A and C. 

Sliced Watermelon

If you’re buying a watermelon that has already been cut or diced into cubes and sold in a plastic container, what you want to look for is its color — the redder the color the better. In fact, studies have shown that lycopene content in watermelon is higher the more it ripens.

How to Pick the Best Watermelon

If you want to know how to pick the best watermelon from your grocery store produce department you need to keep the following three things in mind:

  1. Look for watermelons that are symmetrical and are free of gashes, bruises or soft spots.
  2. Pick the watermelon up and make sure it feels heavy for its size. Remember, watermelon is 92% water so it should feel pretty hefty in your hands.
  3. And finally, turn the watermelon over and look for the ground spot. That’s the spot at the bottom of the watermelon where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun. The spot color should be off-white or yellow.

Tomato and Feta Salad Recipe with Watermelon

So how do you incorporate more watermelon in your diet? Recipes with watermelon make it easy! Try it in delicious smoothies, fun cocktails and tasty desserts like this Tomato Watermelon Granita. You can also change up a salad by mixing in chunks of watermelon. Or if you want to step it up a notch you can grill watermelon and add it to a Tomato and Feta Salad. A taste of watermelon will also liven up a classic fruit salad. Kabobs anyone? Alternate your shrimp, chicken, and beef kabobs with watermelon for an extra pop of freshness.