Chatelaine Kitchen

Six thirst-quenching watermelon recipes

Cool down this summer with some refreshing watermelon - it's great for hydration and packed with vitamins, plus it's great in salads, cold soups and slushy drinks



It’s no coincidence that the word ‘water’ appears in watermelon seeing as this fruit has the highest percentage (92%) of water for any fruit. Besides being great for hydration, it’s also a nutrient-dense fruit that’s high in vitamin A (important for eye health), vitamin C (helps to boost immune system) a good source of vitamin B6, and a potent antioxidant. Plus, bright, red watermelons contain the highest level of lycopene – more than any other fruit or vegetable.

Last month I had the opportunity to visit southern Florida to check out the annual watermelon harvest. In the southeastern United States, watermelons are a big deal. There’s even a royal court that crowns 10 ‘watermelon queens’ – look for national watermelon queen Katelyn Kelley, who will be visiting the Toronto area over the Canada Day long weekend to host a series of watermelon eating contests.



Harvesting watermelons in Immokalee, Florida

I love eating watermelons throughout the year, but especially in the summer when they’re in season. My favourite way to enjoy watermelon is to simply sprinkle on a bit of kosher salt (it really does make it taste sweeter) or pureeing some cold melon in a blender to make a sweet, healthy drink.

Here are six more delicious ways to enjoy watermelon:

Watermelon & cucumber salad

Watermelon granita

Watermelon gazpacho

Rose sangria

Watermelon vodka slushy

Island chicken with minty melon salsa

For more watermelon recipes, visit the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

Here’s more information on Longo’s annual watermelon eating contest:

Miss Laurel Noelle Higginbotham, 2012 Georgia Watermelon Queen
Store #1: Richmond Hill Longos, 10870 Yonge St., Richmond Hill, ON (10-11 am)
Store #2: Markham Longos, 3085 Highway #7, Markham, On (12-1 pm)
Store #3: Bathurst Longos, 9306 Bathurst St., Vaughan, ON (2-3 pm)

Miss Katelyn Kelley, 2012 National Watermelon Queen
Store #1: Glen Erin Longos, 5636 Glen Erin Dr, Mississauga, On (10-11 am)
Store #2: Winston Churchill Longos, 3163 Winston Churchill Blvd, Mississauga, On (12-1 pm)
Store #3: Milton Longos, 1079 Maple Avenue, Milton, ON (2-3 pm)

Miss Christine Chaloupka, 2012 Florida Watermelon Queen
Store #1: Burloak Longos, 3455 Wyecroft RD (Building C), Oakville, ON (10-11 am)
Store #2: Oakville Longos, 338 Dundas St, Oakville, ON (12-1 pm)
Store #3: Walkers Longos, 2900 Walkers Line, Burlington, On (2-3 pm)