Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fruit-tastic - Watermelon News for Your Summer Health


Summer is probably my most favorite time of year!  Not only because it is hot and sunny, but oh - the food!  Creativity on the barbecue is key!  I grab fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans from the garden; visit the local farms and pick fresh fruit.

This turns in to fresh strawberries over homemade short cake, grilled zucchini and peaches on the grill.   Soooo many choices of healthy, juicy, luscious foods to add into my diet that makes me feel good and improves my health.

I agree with Krysta's blog on Monday about watermelon becoming a food group ( in the summer.  It has to be my favorite - I can eat a half of one every day!  I eat it, juice it, add it to other recipes - the options are endless.  But this fruit isn't just a good tasting treat on a hot day.  The nutritional properties of watermelon can improve your health.  For beginners, a one cup serving size of watermelon has:
  • Only 46 Calories; 0 grams Fat and Cholesterol; 11 grams Carbohydrates; 1 gram Dietary Fiber; 1   gram Protein; 2 mg Sodium; 865 IU Vitamin A; Less 1 mg of Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Thiamin and Vitamin B6; 12 mg Vitamin C; 11 mg Calcium; 170 mg Potassium; 7,481 micrograms Carotenoids
So how does this amazing fruit improve health?

Because it is loaded with vitamins, minerals, amino acids (proteins) such as L-Citruline, which creates L-arginine, and Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. (You may be saying "HUH?" on the last few - but read below and I will share.)

Watermelon is full of nutritional benefits.

Like what you ask?  It is good for:
  • Arthritis, kidney and bladder issues - because it is 92% water it is a natural diuretic thus reducing inflammation. This is also great for pregnant women and water retention.
  • Cholesterol - A University of Kentucky (Oct. 2011) study showed that watermelon in mice reduced fat mass and cholesterol.  Watermelon also provides good HDL cholesterol. 
  • Asthma and overall healing - the antioxidants, Vitamin C, A, and Carotenoids by combating free radicals.
  • Blood pressure, prehypertension, and atherosclerosis - According to the American Journal of Hypertension, Dr. Arturo Figueroa, lead food scientist, from Florida State University conducted a study which indicated that eating watermelon can help reduce these risks aiding in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes.
  • Cancer (prostate cancer) - the pink middle (in most watermelons) or meat of the melon is high in lycopene and carotenoids reduces the risk of cancer especially prostate cancer.
  • It is even good for skin care - just rub it on your face and leave the juice on for 10 minutes before washing to help control blemishes.
Watermelon minerals vitamins
Watermelon a great summer snack and Lycopene rich food.
The list of health benefits goes on.  The bottom line is - watermelon isn't just my favorite sweet, refreshing, fiber filled treat.  It is a really HEALTHY treat!  And there about 100 varieties to choose from.

There are hundreds of recipes on the Web, but please share with me some of your favorite recipes using watermelon!!  Then we will have everyone vote on the recipes. (Voting link forthcoming.)  The recipe with the most votes will be posted on the FamilyWize Facebook page and will receive a $25 Gift Card from Barnes & Noble!

Contest begins today and ends June 30th!  We will share the winner in time for your July 4th picnic!

Be sure to subscribe to our blog.  We will be sharing great topics as we grow our blog!

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*Please note:  even though watermelon is a great source of nutrients, it is not a replacement for your prescription medications, so do not give those up.


  1. Kathryn W: Tropical Watermelon Sorbet

    1 (2-pound) piece seedless watermelon, rind removed and flesh cut into 1-inch pieces to yield about 3 1/2 cups
    1 (6-ounce) can pineapple juice, chilled
    3/4 cup ginger ale, chilled
    1/3 cup fresh lime juice (from about 3 large limes)
    1/2 cup grenadine (recommended: Rose's)
    In a blender, blend the watermelon, pineapple juice, ginger ale, lime juice, and grenadine until smooth. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze, according to the manufacturer's instructions, for about 35 minutes.

    Spoon into glasses or small bowls and serve.

    Cook's Note: The ginger ale can be replaced with dark rum.

    Per 1/2 cup serving: Calories: 96 ;Total Fat: 0 grams; Saturated Fat: 0 grams; Protein: 0 grams; Total carbohydrates: 24 grams; Sugar: 19 grams; Fiber: 0 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Sodium: 9 milligrams

    Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis


    Here is one I plan to try on a hot day this summer!

  3. Summer cocktail:
    Blend or juice fresh Watermelon

    6 oz of watermelon juice
    2 oz fun flavored seltzer (Polar pina colada)
    1 shot of ice cold vodka (acai berry is yummy)

    Garnish with piece of watermelon or a few pieces of frozen pineapple to keep your drink cold. Cheers!!

  4. Watermelon Green Smoothie:

    Fill blender 3/4 full with seedless Watermelon (you can include the seeds if you have a powerful blender like a Vita-mix).
    Fill the blender the rest of the way with greens (spinach, romaine, or green leaf work great!).
    Add a 1/4 slice of Avocado,(this gives the smoothie a nice texture and adds nutrients at the same time:)

    Blend till liquefied, and ENJOY! A life giving, energy enhancing, fabulous tasting Green Smoothie.

    1. This one gets my vote.It's an awesome, refreshing smoothie, summer or not.

  5. Watermelon Star Cake


    1 watermelon oblong and seedless
    16 ounces whipped cream or light frosting
    8 ounces blueberries
    8 ounces strawberries
    1 dash powdered sugar


    1.Cut a three-inch thick slice from the center of an oblong, seedless watermelon. Place flat on a cutting board and use an oversized star-shaped cookie cutter (or sharp kitchen knife) to cut a star shape. Set on paper towel to drain excess water. Wash the watermelon and pat dry.
    2.Place on a serving dish or cake stand
    3.Pipe whipped cream or a light frosting between the bottom edge of the star and the plate. Dot with blueberries.
    4.Frost the cake with topping and arrange blueberries and cut strawberries on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

  6. Kid's Watermelon Strawberry Shake and Frozen Smoothie Pops

    Easy to find and now affordable home ice cream machines and popsicle sleeves make for a great dessert. Check out your Costco and Target stores for some good finds.


    Strawberry Shake
    1 container (8 ounces) lemon nonfat yogurt
    2 cups cubed, seeded watermelon
    1 pint fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled
    1 banana medium, peeled and sliced

    Frozen Smoothie Pops
    Strawberry Shake
    Small paper cups
    Popsicle sticks


    Strawberry Shake
    In blender or food processor, process yogurt, watermelon, strawberries and banana until smooth and frothy. Serve immediately.

    Frozen Smoothie Pops
    Pour prepared Watermelon Strawberry Shake into small paper cups. Freeze, inserting popsicle sticks or plastice spoons when mixture is partially frozen. Or, pour Watermelon Strawberry Shake into ice cream machine. Set and enjoy!


    Makes 4.

  7. Watermelon Snow Cones

    Fun for Kids of All Ages


    1 piece seedless watermelon
    1 piece vanilla yogurt
    1 piece sweetened coconut
    1 piece sprinkle or jimmies
    1 piece ice cream cones or paper snow cone cups


    Using an ice cream scoop, make balls of watermelon and place them in the freezer on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet for no more than 1 hour. Remove from freezer and roll in vanilla yogurt and then sweetened coconut, and top with sprinkles or jimmies. Place in an ice cream cone or snow cone cup and enjoy.


    Servings vary

  8. Frozen Watermelon Mousse :) :)


    2-1/2 C. seeded, diced watermelon
    1 envelope unflavored gelatin
    1 C. sugar
    1 Tbs. lemon juice
    1 C. whipping cream, whipped


    Place watermelon in container of an electric blender, and process until smooth. Reserve 2-1/4 C. puree, discarding any remaining puree. Combine gelatin and 1/4 C. watermelon puree. Bring remaining 2 C. puree to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat; add gelatin mixture, and stir until gelatin dissolves. Stir in sugar and lemon juice, and chill mixture until consistency of unbeaten egg white. Fold whipped cream into chilled watermelon mixture. Spoon into a lightly oiled 6-C. mold. Cover and freeze 8 hours or until firm; unmold onto serving plate.

    Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

  9. Ingredients
    6 cups cubed watermelon
    1 cup crumbled feta cheese
    ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
    ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
    ¼ cup fresh lime juice
    1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    1.Combine watermelon, feta cheese, red onion, and mint in a large bowl.
    2.Pour the lime juice and olive oil over the watermelon mixture and toss gently to coat.
    3.Serve immediately.
    Yield: 6-8 servings

  10. right now I am having watermelon, Strawberries, & Bananas with Romaine Letttuce and ice. What a Smoothe.
    Never done this until several yrs ago When Wendy came to my house in Illinois and we done watermelons and Cantaloupes. AWSOME Drink & Girl

  11. Watermelon is an amazing fruit and it cools your stomach very effectively. Every morning I drink a smoothie which includes lots of watermelon as well as a bunch of mint. It makes me feel fresh from inside.