Recharge With Watermelons

19 July, 2006 (15:51)

RECIPES: Watermelon Summer Salad, Watermelon Sorbet

By Rae Udy

Watermelon was so revered by ancient Egyptians the fruit was placed in the tombs of Kings and hieroglyphics paid testament to the important role they played in the country.
Water was often in short supply in the desert region of Egypt and native people depended on watermelon for its thirst-quenching properties. Brought to the Western Hemisphere shortly after discovery of the New World, watermelons are now being noticed for their health-giving benefits.
Juicy, sweet watermelon is packed with some of the most important antioxidants nature provides. One cup contains almost 25 percent of the daily value of vitamin C and 11 percent for vitamin A and B6. Watermelon is also a very good source of vitamin B1, potassium and magnesium and contains no fat and just 48 calories per cup.
Watermelon is a very concentrated source of lycopene. Lycopene has been extensively studied for its antioxidant and cancer-prevention properties in tomatoes and tomato products. In one cup watermelon there is twice as much hearty-healthy lycopene as in one medium size tomato.
Picking out the perfect watermelon can be a challenge. Gregg County Extension Agent Dennis Smith has a simple rule for testing the ripeness of watermelon. “Give them a thump with your knuckle and if the watermelon is still green it will have a ring in the sound and if fully ripe the melon will have a dull, hollow sound,” Smith said.
According to Agent Smith, if growing your own watermelons, the vines holding the melons will begin to yellow when the fruit is almost ripe. There are watermelon growers in the Longview area, but most are located in Panola and Shelby counties, said Smith.
Five to 10 pound Ice Box Watermelons have become popular today because of the difficulty of keeping a 30 to 40 pound melon fresh after cutting. Check out the Farmers Market for fresh, locally grown watermelons in many varieties and sizes.

SUMMER FRUIT SALAD
4 cups cubed and seeded watermelon
2 cups seedless grapes, halved
1 cup strawberries, sliced
2 bananas, sliced
1 green apple, cored and chopped
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
½ (one-half) cup orange juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
2 Tablespoons almond slivers
In a large serving bowl, combine watermelon, grapes and strawberries. Cover and chill if not served immediately. When ready to serve, slice bananas and apple on top of watermelon mixture. Drizzle bananas and apples pieces with lemon juice to prevent browning. In a small jar with a lid, combine orange juice, honey and poppy seeds. Cover with lid and shake until mixed well. Pour over salad and toss gently. Top with almond slivers and serve over lettuce leaf. Yields four servings.

WATERMELON SORBET
2 quarts watermelon, cubed and seeded
½ (one-half) cup sugar
½ (one-half) cup water
½ (one-half) cup light corn syrup
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Place watermelon cubes in blender container in small batches and process until a smooth puree is formed. Pour liquid into a bowl. Continue until all watermelon is processed. Combine sugar, water and syrup in a saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat while stirring. Cook one minute and remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. Add watermelon puree to syrup and freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Yields about one quart sorbet.

Sources:
Gregg County Extension Agent Dennis Smith
www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?pfriendly=1&tname=foodspic

www.whfoods.com type in watermelon.

Posted in Salad and Salad Dressings, Vegetarian Desserts, Vegetarian Kids Recipes, Vegetarian Lunch Recipes

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