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HappyHealthy Newsletter: Watermelon

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Publication Number: P3524
View as PDF: P3524.pdf

Packed with water, watermelon is the perfect fruit to enjoy during hot Mississippi summers. Seeded, seedless, and mini watermelons are seasonally available from June until October in Mississippi. They can be found at farmers markets, corner stands, and grocery stores.

Select

  • Lift watermelons to test for heaviness. The heavier the better!
  • Look for the spot where the watermelon was lying on the ground. White means not ready. Darker yellow means over-ripe. Creamy yellow or a buttery color means ripe and ready!
  • Avoid watermelons that have damaged or bruised skin.
  • A stem that is green means the watermelon was harvested more recently. This is what you want.
  • Pre-cut watermelon pieces may be available. Make sure the flesh looks smooth, juicy, and bright.

Store

  • Keep whole, uncut watermelons at room temperature.
  • A ripe watermelon will lose flavor and texture the longer it sits at room temperature.
  • Cut the watermelon within a week of picking or purchasing.
  • Wrap large watermelon pieces with the rind tightly in plastic wrap. Keep in the refrigerator for 3–5 days.
  • Use airtight containers with lids to store smaller watermelon pieces. Keep in the refrigerator for 3–5 days.

Benefit

  • The flesh of watermelon is over 90% water. Eating this fruit is a great way to keep hydrated!
  • Watermelons have many nutrients your body needs, such as vitamin C.
  • The plant pigment that gives watermelons their red or pink color can help protect your cells from damage.

Children can help:

  • Select a ripe watermelon.
  • Remove the seeds after cutting.
  • Use a plastic knife to cut larger watermelon pieces into fun shapes.
  • Use a small scoop to make mini watermelon balls for a snack.

Fruit Kabobs with Yogurt Dip

Ingredients

  • 1/2 small watermelon, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 pineapple, cut into chunks, or one 8-ounce can of pineapple chunks in 100% juice
  • 1/2 cup red seedless grapes, washed
  • 1 cup strawberries, with the green stems and caps removed
  • 16 wooden skewers, 6 inches long
  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

Directions

  1. Wash your hands well with soap and warm water for 20 seconds.
  2. Wash all fruit with cool water. Drain in a colander.
  3. Remove the green stems and caps from the strawberries.
  4. Carefully slide a skewer through the center of 4 or 5 pieces of fruit.
  5. Repeat with the other skewers to make 16 kabobs.
  6. Serve the kabobs with the yogurt for dipping.
  7. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Watermelon Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1/2 mini seedless watermelon
  • 1 20-ounce can pineapple tidbits
  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 1/2 jalapeño
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Directions

  1. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds.
  2. Rinse and dice watermelon and discard the rind.
  3. Add to a large bowl.
  4. Drain the pineapple tidbits and add them to the bowl with the watermelon.
  5. Drain the diced tomatoes and add them to the bowl with the other ingredients.
  6. Peel and dice the onion and add it to the mixture.
  7. Wash and mince the jalapeño and add it to the mixture.
  8. Add the salt and mix all of the ingredients together with a large wooden spoon. Add the chopped cilantro and toss.
  9. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Learn more

  • To learn more about storing and cutting watermelon, visit HappyHealthy.MS and click on Tips and Videos.
    • How to Store Fruits and Vegetables
    • Sharpen Your Knife Skills

happy healthy

@happy healthyms

happy healthyms

www.happy healthy.ms

Publication 3524 (POD-11-21)

By Samantha Willcutt, Mississippi State University Extension Service.

This material was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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Authors

Portrait of Ms. Samantha Ann Willcutt
Regional Registered Dietitian
Nutrition

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