Watermelon: The Fun To Eat Healthy Treat
Granddad always had a garden and always had a patch of melons. He would pick the best ones the day before we arrived and would put them in a big tub filled with ice. One of the first things on the to-do list when we arrived was to put on the uniform of the day...our swim trunks!!
Granddad would slice the melons into what he called watermelon wheels then slice them into two halves and everyone there got as many as they wanted. Sitting on the split rail fence we would have a seed-spitting contest.
The juice would run down our arms and drip down onto our bare chests. Our tummies would get so full we thought they would burst. It was then that came the best part of the day!! Granddad would get the garden hose and spray us down.
Thanks Granddad for the memories and thanks for feeding us such a healthy treat!
Why is this one of the best fruits to eat? It is filled with vitamins, minerals, lycopene, antioxidants, and much more.
What Are The Benefits Of These Vitamins and Minerals?
The vitamin A and vitamin C are excellent sources of beta-carotene, carotenoid antioxidant and lycopene. These antioxidants are responsible for combating free radicals in our system. Free radicals can damage the cells in the lining of the colon and create cancer cells; add to inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoatrhritis; and can cause cholesterol to become oxidized allowing them to stick to arteries, which can lead to heart disease and strokes.
The vitamin B is an excellent source of energy. The vitamins and nutrients combine to create healthy amino acids such as arginine and citrulline. They in turn create healthy acids that help lower blood pressure and help prevent erectile dysfunction. In studies, arginine has improved insulin sensitivity for people that have insulin resistance like people with type II diabetes. They are an excellent diuretic, and the seeds can be used for urinary tract infection.
Watermelon is mostly water, almost 92%, and the calorie count is low...two cups will be less than 100 calories, so if you are on a diet this is a real plus.
Which Vitamins And Minerals Are Found In Watermelon?
How to Buy and Store Your Watermelon
Everyone has seen people pick up watermelons and pat or thump them, put them up to their ear and listen to them, or even set them on the floor to see if they will stand on their ends...all suggesting a better melon. While there are a lot of theories on how to choose the perfect melon, here are some suggestions granddad taught me.
Look for ones that are uniform in color, very heavy for their size, and have what he called "the sunspot". The sunspot is a light yellow area where the melon sat on the ground. If you don t see a sunspot the melon was picked to early and won t be as sweet. Also the bottom half of the melon will taste sweeter.
Storing is easy as you can put them any place...countertop, pantry or in the refrigerator.
Tips For Preparing:
Chill the melon in a tub of ice, a travel cooler or in the refrigerator. The nice thing is there is not a wrong way to cut them open. You can serve then as wheels or cut them into manageable bite sized chunks. While most people only eat the red meaty part, the whole melon is edible. My grandparents would save the rinds and pickle them and enjoy them in the wintertime.
A Few More Quick Serving Ideas:
Watermelon makes a wonderful addition to fruit dishes, salads, and as decoration for main dishes. They can be pickled, candied, made into jams, and even used in pies. One of my favorites was melon pie. Grandmother would first make a pie crust (never store bought by the way). She would then combine watermelon jello with melon chunks and put into the refrigerator to set. Once it was set, she would put the filling in the crust and top it with whipped cream...YUM! Just one more reason going to my grandparents in the summer was so enjoyable.
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