We count summer in watermelons at my daughter’s house. On any hot day, she makes a giant bowl of watermelon chunks or slices (which will not turn mushy when put on top of a vegetable steamer placed in the bottom of the bowl).
Health Benefits of Watermelon
With less than a week to go, it looks as if this month will top the charts to become the hottest July on record on Long Island, where I live. It has been a watermelon summer – and not only for the pleasure of the crunch, the hydration, or the sweetness. According to researchers at the universities of Newcastle and Manchester in Great Britain, watermelon can help protect the skin against sunburn and premature aging caused by ultraviolet rays.
The fruit’s protective power comes from the antioxidant lycopene, which gives many foods their red color. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an ounce of watermelon has 75% more lycopene than an ounce of raw red tomatoes, although when cooked, tomatoes have the edge. Never mind. It’s watermelon season.
Dress it Up
If watermelon au natural is not for you, here are some things you can do to dress it up…
Cool. Cut a hole into its center. Infuse with your drink of choice, refrigerate, and cut into pieces.
Disgusting. Those hell-bent on diminishing the healthy appeal of the fruit you can (this is not my idea) deep fry it. The mere sound of that makes me cringe, but there is a recipe for everything.
Fun. Rinse and dry pits. Bring out the paints, glitter, and glue and let the kids make pit paintings.
Fried Watermelon Recipe
The health benefits of watermelon are not found here. Just slice the melon, cut into squares, diamonds, or circles, remove the seeds and then coat with flour. Make a batter from 2 egg whites, 7 tablespoons of cornstarch, and a little water. Heat 3 cups of vegetable oil to 250°F in a deep fryer, dip watermelon pieces into the batter and then fry until the coating becomes firm. Turn off heat; continue frying until pieces are light brown. Remove, drain, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Chew two Tums and, most likely, say, “Why did I eat that?”
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