The summer sunshine is here and I have been making a beeline for refreshing juices, smoothies and homemade ice-lollies.
Watermelon is so incredibly refreshing in the heat and I tend to buy a large half at a time, so in the days that follow I eat it in all sorts of ways. Here are three of my favourite simple watermelon recipes.
Watermelon is filled with health benefits, brimming with beneficial vitamins: B complex vitamins, vitamins C, A, beta carotene, lycopene, vitamins E and K, and is a great source of minerals: boron, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc.
Watermelon is anti-inflammatory and is a great antioxidant. Lycopene, a carotenoid, which becomes more abundantly available as watermelon get more ripe, is an inhibitor of many inflammatory processes. Lycopene also neutralizes free radicals. Lycopene content of watermelon remains very stable over time. Researches found that even when cut and refrigerated, up to seven days, lycopene levels remained stable.- good to know!
While watermelon flesh itself is delicious and nutritious, did you know the rind of the watermelon holds so much of the nutritional value? The part that we so often discard! The slushie recipe below is a great way to maximise the nutritional benefits- or you can juice it and add a little to any favourite juice or smoothie recipe.
Recipe: Watermelon Coconut Cooler
Serves 2-3 (depending on size of glass)
1 ¼ cups plain coconut water (equivalent to 1 can)
1 cup berry flavoured herbal tea of choice
½ tsp fresh grated ginger
½ tsp coconut sugar or unrefined syrup of choice.
Pinch sea salt
1 cup watermelon chunks
Prepare the tea and allow to cool (leave the bag in whilst it cools as discard just before use)
Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Strain into glasses.
Best consumed within 24 hours. Store in the fridge if not using straight away and shake before drinking.
Recipe: Watermelon Ice-lollies
Makes 4-6 lollies
1 large slice of watermelon segment- peeled and de-seeded
Optional chocolate frosting:
½ cup thick vegan yoghurt
2 tbs melted coconut oil
2 tbs cocoa powder
1-2tsp syrup to taste
‘Sprinkles’ of choice to decorate
Combine all frosting ingredients in a small bowl and stir together well.
Place the watermelon slice on a plate suitable for the freezer.
Using a knife, frost the watermelon slices with a thick coating on one side. This will be easier if you first pat the surface of the melon dry to remove excess moisture. I found it easiest to frost the largest area of outer skin. Press extra fruits, nuts or sprinkles into the frosting if desired.
Carefully push lolly sticks at intervals into the fat side of the segment making sure to leave the frosting intact. Slice the watermelon carefully and slightly separate the segments so that they don’t freeze together.
Place in the freezer until solid and then wraps necessary to store. Allow to defrost for 5 minutes prior to eating for best texture.
Recipe: Watermelon Slushie
2 cups frozen cubed watermelon
Rind from the water melon*
1 cup water
2 tsp maple syrup
A few mint and/or basil leaves, if you want to take it to the next level
Slice and freeze the watermelon flesh, reserving the rind.
When the watermelon is ready, juice the rind on it’s own and then add this to a blender with the frozen watermelon and the water, blend until smooth. Add the syrup and mint/basil and blend for another few seconds until you have the consistency of a slushy.
* Note you can simply add the juiced watermelon rind to my favourite juice or smoothie. It is fairly bitter so you’ll likely want to add just a little to start and/or offset the sweetness with fruit.
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Jo is the health and mindset coach who works with the ‘square pegs’ trying to force themselves into ‘round holes’. Her passion was born from a personal journey of plant-based nutrition being the gateway to stepping away from convention and conformity into a deeper connection with her true sense of self. When she’s not whipping up incredible dishes in the kitchen, you can find her sharing her recipes and words of wisdom over at www.includingcake.com and on Instagram @johodson