By: Haiya Patel, Kennedy College of Sciences Well-being Leader
What is the first memory that comes to mind when someone says the word watermelon? Did you ever have watermelon by the beach or poolside as a child? When someone says watermelon, I usually imagine a warm sunny day on the beach. I have a very distinct memory of enjoying watermelon on the beach with my family. Because of that, watermelon is a nostalgic fruit for me.
Watermelon is one of the fruits that correlates closely to the warm weather of summer as it brings a vibrant color accompanied by fresh flavors, in addition to immaculate hydration. However, eating watermelon alone can be boring, so pairing it in dishes can allow for a variation in the summer. One of my personal favorites is watermelon and feta salad. The fresh flavor of watermelon cubes can be paired perfectly with the salty crumbled feta cheese, some finely chopped mint leaves, and a drizzle of lemon. The watermelon and feta salad can be consumed as a snack or appetizer as it is light in volume, but also is dense with fresh flavors from the mint and watermelon, with hints of sourness and saltiness from lemon and feta cheese. The watermelon cubes and feta crumbles can also be enjoyed by simply drizzling some balsamic glaze, or some honey on the skewers.
Another variation of watermelon that really tops the summer recipes is watermelon as a dessert. My personal favorite is watermelon sorbet. Scooping the watermelon sorbet out of a cone shaped container often brings back nostalgic emotions from my childhood. For me, enjoying watermelon sorbet is a fun summer treat that makes me feel like a child all over again. The recipe for the watermelon sorbet is simple, but versatile, as it can be customized based on preferences. I enjoy sweet and sour combinations for my sorbet, so I use watermelon, sugar, lemon juice, and strawberries. The volume of each ingredient can be curated based on your taste preferences. Then, you blend it all together and freeze it for a few hours. Honey or other sugar substitutes can also be used as a healthier alternative for sugar.
For times that I am in rush, my favorite way to utilize watermelon is to make a watermelon drink. Personally, I enjoy the combination of lemonade and watermelon together, so I often lean towards watermelon lemonade. The recipe for the watermelon lemonade calls for watermelon and lemon juice blended with few mint leaves and about a spoon full of sugar or any other sugar substitutes.
Regardless of how you consume it, watermelon is packed with hydration, versatile, and its flavor often brings back nostalgic memories. I hope these recipes help you enjoy more watermelon this summer!