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HappyHealthy Newsletter: Watermelon

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Publication Number: P3524
View as PDF: P3524.pdf

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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 to 5 days.
  • Use airtight containers with lids to store smaller pieces. Keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

BENEFITS

  • 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.

FUN WITH FOOD

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.

ENJOY

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

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

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds.
  • Rinse and dice watermelon and discard rind. Add to a large bowl.
  • Drain pineapple tidbits and add to the large bowl with other ingredients.
  • Drain diced tomatoes and add to the bowl with other ingredients.
  • Peel and dice 1/2 onion and add to mixture.
  • Wash and mince 1/2 jalapeño and add to mixture.
  • Add salt and mix all ingredients together with a large wooden spoon. Add chopped cilantro and toss.
  • 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

Publication 3524 (POD-03-21)

By Samantha Willcutt, Regional Registered Dietitian, Extension Northeast Region.

Mississippi State University is an equal opportunity institution.

Extension Service of Mississippi State University, cooperating with U.S. Department of Agriculture.Published in furtherance of Acts of Congress, May 8 and June 30, 1914. GARY B. JACKSON, Director 

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Authors

Portrait of Ms. Samantha Ann Willcutt
Regional Registered Dietitian
Nutrition

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