recipes

Snacks 21 March 2019

Making Munchies Matter

Better-for-you snacks kids will love

(Family Features) Kids love to snack. But left to their own devices, most kids don't always make the healthiest snack choices. A new study of long-term eating patterns in children, from researchers at the University of North Carolina, shows that kids today are getting nearly one-third of their daily calories from unhealthy snacks such as chips, crackers and candy.

Nutritious and delicious snacks are as close as your produce aisle. Watermelon is practically a multivitamin unto itself - and its natural sweetness is something kids love.

Did You Know?

  • A 2-cup serving of watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamins A, B6 and C.
  • Vitamin A found in watermelon is important for optimal eye health.
  • Vitamin B6 found in watermelon is used by the body to manufacture brain chemicals (neurotransmitters), such as serotonin, melatonin and dopamine, which preliminary research shows may help the body cope with anxiety and panic.
  • Vitamin C in watermelons can help to bolster your immune system's defenses against infections and viruses, and is known to stimulate the immune system and protect against free radical damage.
  • A 2-cup serving of watermelon is also a source of potassium, a mineral necessary for water balance and found inside of every cell. People with low potassium levels can experience muscle cramps. A 2-cup serving has less than 10 percent of the daily reference value for potassium.

Try these fun recipes as after-school and post-activity snacks. For more kid-friendly recipes and healthy eating tips, visit www.watermelon.org.

Send some healthy lunch munchies to school - watermelon chunks are an easy way to brighten up a sack lunch and give kids a tasty nutritional boost in the middle of the day.

Healthy Eating Tips

Healthy eating habits start at home. One of the best things you can do for your kids is to be a role model for smart food choices. Here are some simple things you can do to help your kids develop healthy lifelong habits.

  • Shop for food together and take time to examine, discuss and select fruit and vegetables that catch your child's eye. Allow your child to help you to prepare these healthful foods. For example, let your child use a melon-baller to create melon balls from watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew to create a festive, nutritious and visually appealing dessert.
  • Make healthy snacks available at all times for your children by keeping the fridge filled with flavorful, nutrient-rich treats such as grapes, cherries, carrots and watermelon cubes.
  • Simple changes are easier for your child to get used to. Try switching from full fat milk to non-fat milk, serving sherbet, sorbet, ice milk or fruit juice bars, or adding fresh fruit to his or her cereal in the morning.
  • Serve your children colorful, deeply pigmented plant food. These foods tend to offer tremendous nutritional value. For example, red peppers, carrots, broccoli, oranges and watermelon are all packed with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Start each day with breakfast, preferably fruit with low-fat yogurt or granola. Make a fruit smoothie by blending watermelon cubes and a banana with crushed ice.

Watermelon Kebabs

Makes 6 servings

  • 1-inch cubes of seedless watermelon
  • Smoked turkey breast
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Coffee stirrers or beverage straws
  1. Cut watermelon, turkey and cheese in cubes and skewer on stirrers or straws.

Watermelon Nachos

Serves 6 to 8

  • 12 to 16 1/2-inch thick watermelon triangles with 3-inch sides
  • 2 cups Greek vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A few drops almond extract
  • 1 cup Craisins
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Arrange the watermelon triangles on a serving platter or glass cake stand. Mix yogurt with extracts and spoon yogurt over the watermelon in the fashion of nacho cheese sauce. Sprinkle craisins, white chocolate chips, and almonds over the yogurt and dust with cinnamon.

Watermelon Dippers

  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Watermelon sticks or small wedges
  1. Blend together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a small serving bowl. Use as a dip for the watermelon.

Watermelon Cut Outs

  • Seedless watermelon, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick slices
  • Yogurt
  • Granola or similar cereal
  1. Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut shapes out of watermelon slices. Frost with vanilla or other flavored yogurt. Sprinkle with granola.

Watermelon Berry Slush

Makes 6 servings

  • 4 cups cubed, seeded watermelon
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen raspberries
  • 1 12-ounce bottle sparkling mineral water
  1. Place watermelon in a single layer in shallow pan; freeze until firm. Remove from freezer and let stand 5 minutes. Drop watermelon through food chute of a food processor or blender with the motor running. Add frozen raspberries alternately with mineral water, processing until smooth.

Watermelon Jelly Logs

Makes 6 servings

  • 6 3-inch x 2-inch x 5-inch watermelon rectangles
    3 flavors all fruit or low sugar preserves
    6 ginger, molasses or peanut butter cookies
  1. Using a melon baller, cut 3 divots into a long side of each watermelon rectangle. Fill each divot with a different all-fruit or low-sugar preserve. Serve each rectangle with a cookie.

Source: National Watermelon Board

Breakfast & Brunch 18 March 2019

Go Big on Brunch

(Family Features) Building out a full menu to please your brunch guests with simple, tasty recipes can help create a fun, flavorful atmosphere when it’s time for a morning bite.

By making a variety of dishes to accommodate an array of personal tastes, you can give friends and family the flavors they desire. With choices like Apple Strudel Pancakes and Mini Hash Brown Casseroles, you can fulfill a multitude of food groups from grains and fruits to dairy and meat. Allow the adults at your gathering to top off the meal with a spicy take on this Watermelon Bloody Mary, featuring simple preparation and a handful of garnish options.

Find more brunch recipes at Culinary.net.

Add Apples to Your Brunch Buffet

As part of a balanced brunch, these Apple Strudel Pancakes feature whole grains rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins to provide energy for you and your guests. With a rich, nutty flavor, buckwheat flour complements the sweet taste of apples and maple syrup for a twist on traditional pancakes. Find more nutritious recipes at aicr.org.

Apple Strudel Pancakes

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research

Servings: 8

Apple Strudel Mixture:

  • 1          cup water
  • 1/4       cup raisins
  • 1          tablespoon butter
  • 2          tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3       cup thoroughly chopped walnuts
  • 1          large apple, peeled, cored and chopped

Batter:

  • 1          cup buckwheat flour
  • 1          cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2          tablespoons sugar
  • 1          teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1          teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 2          eggs
  • 2          cups 1 percent buttermilk
  • 1/4       cup safflower oil
  • 1/2       teaspoon vanilla extract
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • maple syrup
  1. To make apple strudel mixture: Boil water; add raisins. Remove from heat and let steep until raisins are plump and reconstituted, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. In shallow pan over medium heat, add butter. Once butter melts and is bubbling, stir in brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook about 3 minutes until sugar starts to dissolve. Add walnuts, apples and raisins. Cook apples until just tender when pierced with fork, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
  3. To make batter: In large bowl, mix flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, beat eggs lightly and mix with buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry, mixing as little as possible. Add apple strudel mixture and fold all ingredients together. Set aside.
  5. Heat nonstick pan or griddle over medium heat. Grease pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Once pan is hot, ladle about 1/4 cup batter per pancake taking care not to overcrowd pan. After 2-3 minutes, flip pancakes once.
  6. Serve pancakes warm with syrup.

A Small Brunch Bite

A full brunch menu calls for small bites on the side to complement the multitude of flavors brought on by a variety of brunch dishes.

For a clever option that’s quick to make, these Mini Hash Brown Casseroles provide a morsel bursting with flavor to pair with just about any morning meal. Made with refrigerated Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns, which are pre-shredded for a faster fridge to fork kitchen experience, you can make a batch of the tasty cups in less than an hour.

Find more brunch solutions and recipes at simplypotatoes.com.

Mini Hash Brown Casseroles

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 24

  • 1          package refrigerated Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns
  • 1          pound Bob Evans Farms Original Sausage Roll
  • 4          large eggs
  • 1/2       cup milk
  • 3          tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1          cup ham, cubed
  • 1          cup red pepper, diced
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1          cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Remove hash browns from refrigerator and let rest.
  3. In skillet, cook sausage according to package directions.
  4. Lightly grease two 12-cup muffin tins. In bowl, whisk eggs and milk. Add hash browns, butter, ham, red pepper, black pepper and cheese; mix.
  5. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake 27-30 minutes. Serve warm.

Sipping on Sweet and Spicy

Take your brunch the extra mile with a twist on the traditional mid-morning beverage. By adding jalapeno and horseradish to this Watermelon Bloody Mary, you’ll have a spicy, tasty version of a traditional brunch drink ready for your guests.

With watermelon balancing out the jalapeno, it’s an ideal balance of spicy and sweet with just the right amount of kick. Find more brunch recipes at watermelon.org.

Watermelon Bloody Mary

Recipe courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board

Yield: 4 cocktails

  • 2          cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1          medium jalapeno pepper, stem removed, chopped
  • 2          limes, juice only
  • 6          ounces low-sodium tomato juice
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1          teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1          teaspoon horseradish
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • 1/3       cup vodka
  • lime wedges
  • chili lime salt
  • ice
  • 4          bamboo skewers (6 inches long)
  • watermelon wedges (optional)
  • prosciutto (optional)
  • cucumber slices (optional)
  • jalapeno slices (optional)
  • green olives (optional)
  1. In blender, blend watermelon cubes and jalapeno pepper until completely smooth. Pour mixture through fine sieve set over pitcher.
  2. Add lime juice, salt, pepper, fish sauce, horseradish and hot sauce, to taste, to pitcher; stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add vodka and stir.
  3. Line rims of four glasses with lime juice from lime wedges; dip in chili lime salt poured on plate. Carefully put ice in each glass and divide Watermelon Bloody Mary mixture evenly.
  4. Add garnishes, as desired, by skewering watermelon wedges, prosciutto, cucumber, jalapeno and green olives. Place garnishes in glasses and serve.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Pancakes)

Source: American Institute for Cancer Research
Simply Potatoes
National Watermelon Promotion Board

Meal Ideas 01 July 2018

Simple Summer Solutions

(Family Features) Summertime entertaining should be easy and fun. And it can be - with some simple solutions and fresh recipes.

Start with Simple Recipes

  • For this tropical dessert pizza, make the cookie crust the day before. Mix the filling and store it in an airtight plastic container, then cut up fruit and store in individual resealable plastic bags. Be creative and substitute your family's favorite fruits. Kids will have fun arranging the sliced fruit on this yummy dessert pizza!
  • Three ingredients plus three minutes equals one tasty marinade. Let the kids help pour the ingredients into a resealable plastic bag to flavor juicy pork tenderloins with a subtly sweet, spicy marinade.
  • The combination of crisp watermelon, juicy tomatoes and fresh basil with balsamic vinegar creates a fantastic and refreshing light salad. Just cut up ingredients and store in separate plastic containers, then toss together right before the party to keep the flavors fresh.

Simply Entertaining

  • For picnics on damp ground, placing an inexpensive plastic tablecloth under a blanket helps keep dampness from reaching picnickers - and keeps your blanket cleaner, too.
  • Wash, chop, measure and prepare your ingredients 1 to 2 days before an event or party. They can be stored in resealable plastic bags or airtight containers in the refrigerator to make putting together recipes much easier the day of the party.
  • Save plastic grocery bags to send guests home with leftovers. Placing an empty plastic grocery bag in a picnic basket is also a great solution for collecting trash after a picnic in the park - it doesn't take up much room and will act as a waterproof barrier to prevent spills.
  • Create a dipping station for barbeque and grill sauces using reusable plastic storage containers with lids. Guests can spoon sauces onto their plates; when the party is over, simply place the lids back on the sauces and store in the refrigerator. They come in all different shapes and sizes and even fun colors.
  • Use resealable plastic bags for marinades. Put meat in the bags with marinade and refrigerate overnight. It helps save space in the refrigerator and clean up is easy. This also works for coating and breading.

For more tips on ways to make summer entertaining a breeze, visit www.PlasticsMakeitPossible.com.

Tropical Fruit Dessert Pizza

Makes 12 servings

  • 1 18-ounce roll refrigerated ready-to-slice sugar cookie dough
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 8-ounce package fat-free cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange rind
  • 1 cup fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 26-ounce jar mango slices, drained, or 2 fresh mangoes, sliced
  • 1 16-ounce can pineapple slices, drained, or 1 fresh pineapple, sliced
  • 1 11-ounce can mandarin orange segments, drained
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur or orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons coconut, toasted, optional
  1. Preheat oven 350°F.
  2. Press cookie dough into a 12 to 14-inch pizza pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 12 minutes, cool completely.
  3. In medium mixing bowl, blend together sugar, cream cheese, coconut extract until well mixed. Stir in orange rind and whipped topping, mixing until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture on top of cooled crust.
  4. Arrange mango slices around edge of iced pizza. Then, arrange pineapple slices around edge. Next, arrange mandarin orange slices in another ring to fill center of pizza.
  5. In small saucepan or in microwave, heat apricot preserves and orange liqueur just until melted. Spoon glaze over fruit. Sprinkle with toasted coconut, if desired. Refrigerate until serving.

Terrific Tidbit: Go ahead and grate more orange rind than you'll need for the recipe - you can grate a whole orange or lemon and freeze the rind in a plastic freezer bag until needed.

Watermelon and Tomato Salad

Makes 10 (1/2-cup) servings

  • 4 cups scooped out watermelon balls or chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese, optional
  1. In bowl, combine watermelon, onion, tomatoes and basil. Whisk together oil and vinegar and toss with salad. Season to taste. Refrigerate until serving.

3-Ingredient Marinade for Pork Tenderloin

Makes 6 to 8 servings

  • 2 1-pound pork tenderloins, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup roasted garlic seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  1. Preheat oven 350°F.
  2. In bowl, combine all ingredients except tenderloins. Place meat in dish or large resealable plastic bag, pour marinade over meat. If time permits, refrigerate overnight, turning meat several times.
  3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the tenderloin registers 160°F. Slice tenderloin, serve.

Quick Tip: Tenderloins come two to a package. If one will be enough for you to serve, halve recipe, freeze other tenderloin in freezable plastic bag.

Source: American Chemistry Council

Meal Ideas 01 August 2018

Reserve the Rind

(Family Features) Watermelon rinds make for more than just attractive containers for serving cold dishes and beverages. The rind can also be used in creative, edible ways and is good for your heart.

Watermelon, both the flesh and the rind, is a good source of a compound called citrulline, an amino acid that raises levels of arginine in the blood, which in turn helps maintain blood flow, healthy blood vessels and heart health. 

Whether you’re eating for good health or good taste (or both), you can use the rind to make pickles and relishes, grate into salads and slaws, toss into stir-fry and add to smoothies and juice. The key to chowing down on watermelon rind is knowing how to prepare it. These three preparation methods can help you put that rind to good use: 

Pickled: Watermelon rind is similar to a cucumber, which is why it’s no surprise that pickled watermelon rind is a popular option.

Juiced: Most people know you can enjoy juice from red flesh of the melon, but you can juice the rind, too. Just like the watermelon flesh, the rind is loaded with water and nutrients.

Stir-Fried: When it’s cut up, watermelon rind is just like a vegetable, which means it can be tossed in a pan and stir-fried right alongside broccoli and carrots.

Look for more creative ways to use your watermelon rind at watermelon.org.

Watermelon Rind Pickles

  • 4          cups water
  • 1          tablespoon coarse salt
  • 2          cups peeled watermelon rind, cut into 1-1/2-by-2-inch pieces (leave thin layer of pink)
  • 3/4       cup granulated sugar
  • 1          allspice berry
  • 1/2       cup cider vinegar
  • 4          peppercorns
  • 4          whole cloves
  • 1/2       teaspoon pickling spice
  • 1          long slice of fresh gingerroot
  • 1/4       teaspoon celery seeds
  1. In large pot over medium-high heat, bring water and salt to boil. Add rind pieces and boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Strain. Transfer rinds to large metal bowl.
  2. In saucepan, combine watermelon rind, sugar, berries, vinegar, peppercorns, cloves, pickling spice, gingerroot and celery seeds. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 15 minutes until slightly reduced. Pour over watermelon rinds in bowl. Place plate over top to keep rinds submerged in liquid.
  3. Cover and refrigerate 1 day. Transfer to glass jar and keep sealed in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Watermelon Rind Stir-Fry

  • 2          teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2          cups watermelon rind, julienned (white part only, from about 1/2 of seedless watermelon)
  • 1          cup julienned carrots
  • 1/2       cup chives, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1          tablespoon honey
  • 1          tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1          tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1          piece (about 1 inch) ginger, minced
  • 1/2       cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4       cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4       cup mint leaves
  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. In wok over high heat, heat sesame oil. Add watermelon rind and carrots and fry, stirring constantly, 1-2 minutes. Let sit over high heat 1 additional minute without stirring. Add chives and stir to combine.
  2. In small bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic and ginger. Pour sauce over watermelon rind and cook, stirring, 30 seconds-1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Transfer to serving dish. Add basil, cilantro and mint, tossing to combine. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if desired, and serve.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

Beverages 19 June 2018

Watermelon Soda Float

Ahhhh....soda floats.  Remember being a kid and getting so excited for a root beer float or a coke float during the hot days of summer?  One scoop, then two scoops of vanilla ice cream plopping into the glass. Oh and the root beer, the delectable liquid sugar being poured over the scoops of vanilla ice cream creating a frothy white foam at the top of the glass.  You just couldn't wait to drop in a straw and slurp it all up. 

Well, nowadays we like to change things up a bit.  We like to take a classic and give it twist.  VOILA! introducing the Watermelon Soda Float.  Not only do you get to plop in scoops of your favorite vanilla ice cream, but you'll add in some watermelon balls, a bit of lime zest and fizzy water to give you the awesome fizz and frothy foam you loved as a kid. 

When it's a hot summers day, you'll be pleasantly surprised with the refreshing taste of watermelon, vanilla ice cream and fizzy water in this frothy concoction.   

For more beverage ideas, go to culinary.net.

FFES watermelon float3

FFES watermelon float4

FFES watermelon float2

Watermelon Soda Float

  • Vanilla Ice cream (2 scoops)
  • 12 watermelon balls
  • 1/2 cup watermelon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/2 cup fizzy water
  1. Mix lime zest with watermelon water.
  2. Place 6 watermelon balls in tall glass.
  3. Add 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  4. Add in remaining watermelon balls.
  5. Add 2nd scoop of ice cream.
  6. Pour watermelon water over the watermelon balls and ice cream.
  7. Top off with fizzy water.

 Recipe adapted from Watermelon Board.

Source:  Culinary.net

 

Appetizers & Sides 11 June 2018

Host a Better-for-You Barbecue

(Family Features) A traditional backyard barbecue is typically filled with a wide array of tempting foods that make it hard to keep a healthy eating plan on track. With a few simple modifications to your menu, you can transform your grilling party into a spread of better-for-you foods you can still enjoy.

Get creative on the grill. An easy swap like chicken or pork instead of burgers and brats is an instant nutrition boost. Use wood chips or a marinade to create a main dish so tasty you’ll forget it’s a health-conscious choice.

Put produce front and center. There’s no time like summer to enjoy the bounty of the garden, so pile on the veggies in place of dense, calorie-laden sides. A crisp, refreshing salad, lightly seasoned veggies on the grill and even fresh raw veggies with a light yogurt dip can all be healthier additions to your barbecue menu.

Make apps amazing. A health-conscious meal doesn’t have to mean eliminating entire courses. Appetizers while you wait for the grill to heat are practically a requirement, after all. Instead of the typical rich, creamy dips, try a lighter approach, like these cracker canapes. Add a special touch with Crunchmaster crackers, which are gluten-free, non-GMO and full of flavor. Made with wholesome ingredients from trusted sources and available in Sea Salt, Roasted Vegetable, Applewood Smoked BBQ and Aged White Cheddar flavors, these snacks are crafted to fit healthy lifestyles. 

Find more delicious ideas for summer entertaining at crunchmaster.com.
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Grilled Watermelon, Feta and Balsamic Cracker Canapes

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 4          watermelon wedges (1/2-inch thick slices, 4 inches wide at base)
  • 16        Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Sea Salt Crackers
  • 1/4       cup finely crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4       cup prepared balsamic reduction
  • 2          tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  1. Heat grill to medium-high; grease grate well. Grill watermelon wedges, turning once, 3-5 minutes, or until grill-marked on both sides. Cut each watermelon wedge into four smaller wedges.
  2. Top each cracker with watermelon wedge and sprinkle with feta. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Garnish with fresh mint.

Tip: Add finely chopped Kalamata olives for a tangy twist.

Source: Crunchmaster

Meal Ideas 31 May 2018

Eat Well On-the-Go

Perfectly portable watermelon dishes

(Family Features) A packed schedule often leads to less meals around the table. Between balancing family, friends, work and activities, it can be easy to reach for a pre-packaged snack on-the-go that lacks important vitamins and nutrients.

Instead, when looking for portable, grab-and- go foods, think about a multi-purpose treat like watermelon. Not only can watermelon be diced, sliced, balled or blended, it also provides numerous health benefits. Watermelon contains higher levels of lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable and is a source of vitamins A and C, as well as vitamin B6 and potassium.

Thinking beyond traditional slices, chunks or balls, there are many ways to incorporate watermelon into some of your favorite to-go meals, whether as a side dish or a key ingredient in beverages, salads or wraps. For example, these recipes for Watermelon and Bulgur Wheat Salad and Watermelon Collagen Creamsicle from the National Watermelon Promotion Board can help satisfy your sweet tooth and provide necessary nutrients while tackling the next task on your to-do list.

Find more watermelon recipes perfect for an on-the-go lifestyle at watermelon.org/WatermelonOnTheGo.
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Watermelon and Bulgur Wheat Salad

Servings: 4

  • 4          cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 2          cups cooked bulgur wheat
  • 2          cups arugula
  • 2          cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4       cup chopped mint
  • shaved pecorino romano cheese, to taste

Dressing:

  • 1/2       cup olive oil
  • 1/4       cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1          garlic clove, crushed
  • 1          tablespoon honey
  • salt
  • black pepper
  1. In large serving bowl, combine watermelon, bulgur wheat, arugula, grape tomatoes and chopped mint.
  2. To make dressing: In liquid measuring cup, whisk olive oil, vinegar, garlic, honey, salt and pepper until well combined.
  3. Just before serving, pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Top with shaved pecorino and season, to taste. Serve immediately.

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Watermelon Collagen Creamsicle

Servings: 1

  • 2          cups cubed watermelon
  • 2          rounded tablespoons collagen
  • 2          tablespoons heavy cream
  1. In blender, combine watermelon, collagen and heavy cream; blend. Pour into glass to serve.

Wrap It Up

Wraps are a perfect on-the-go snack and are easily customizable. Get started with one of these varieties from the National Watermelon Promotion Board or create your own combination. Start with a spread to help the fillings stick together. Place toppings in the center of a tortilla and a watermelon spear on top. Roll the tortilla over the watermelon spear to tuck in all ingredients. Fasten with a toothpick, if needed.
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Watermelon Sandwich Wraps

  • 1          wheat, flour, corn, spinach or sun-dried tomato tortilla
  • 2-4       teaspoons chive cream cheese, hummus, guacamole or Greek yogurt
  • 5-8       slices turkey, ham, chicken breast, roast beef or pepperoni
  • 1          watermelon spear, about 1/2-inch thick, 1-inch wide
  • 2-4       teaspoons barbecue sauce, ranch, pesto, Thai peanut sauce, teriyaki, salsa or sweet chili and ginger
  • 2-4       slices feta, pepper jack, swiss or mozzarella cheese

Toppings:

  • watercress
  • olives
  • scallions
  • cilantro
  • romaine lettuce
  • Bibb lettuce
  • jalapenos
  • fresh mint
  • basil
  • shredded carrots
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cucumber slices
  • bacon
  • pine nuts

English Tea Sandwich Wrap: Flour tortilla, chive cream cheese, ham, watermelon, watercress

Greek Wrap: Tortilla, plain Greek yogurt, feta cheese, watermelon, black olives

Latin Watermelon Wrap: Flour tortilla, guacamole, ham, watermelon, pepper jack cheese, cilantro, scallions, jalapenos

Southwest Chicken Wrap: Corn or flour tortilla, guacamole, chicken, watermelon, salsa, bacon ranch dressing, pepper jack cheese, romaine lettuce

Watermelon Caprese Wrap: Flour tortilla, pepperoni, watermelon, pesto, mozzarella cheese, basil

Thai Peanut Chicken Wrap: Corn tortilla, chicken, watermelon, Thai peanut sauce, Bibb lettuce, carrots, cilantro

Southwest Veggie Wrap: Spinach tortilla, guacamole, watermelon, barbecue ranch dressing, swiss cheese, cucumber, cilantro

Mid-Eastern Veggie Wrap: Corn tortilla, Hummus with pine nuts, watermelon, mint, cucumber slices

Ginger Chicken Wrap: Wheat wrap, chicken, watermelon, teriyaki ginger sauce, sweet chili and ginger sauce, Bibb lettuce, Brussels sprouts

Hawaiian Wrap: Spinach wrap, pineapple cream cheese, ham, watermelon, sweet chili and ginger sauce, cilantro

Source:

watermelon.org/WatermelonOnTheGo
Healthy 14 December 2017

Fresh Fruit Flavors

(Family Features) When it comes to fresh fruit, watermelon is a top pick in many households.

It’s available year-round and makes for a nutritious snack, but its great taste is the reason most people buy watermelon, according to research from the National Watermelon Promotion Board.

Not only is watermelon a tasty snack by itself, it’s a great complement to other flavors, making it easy to create flavorful pairings. This sweet take on pizza combines watermelon with a host of other good-for-you ingredients for a delicious treat. Healthy enough for breakfast and sweet enough for dessert, this pizza can make its way into your weekly meal rotation.

For another nutritious option, consider this Buddha bowl featuring watermelon, which contains higher levels of lycopene, an antioxidant, than any other fresh fruit or vegetable. Watermelon is also an excellent source of vitamin C, and it provides vitamin B6 and potassium. It’s the perfect sweet addition to balance the savory flavors of this traditional plant-based Buddha bowl.

Each of these recipes leaves plenty of room for personalization; experiment with your favorite flavors to make each dish your own. Also remember that watermelon travels well, so these recipes make for ideal take-along snacks when you’re on the go.

Find more fresh, fruity recipes to enjoy any time of year at watermelon.org.

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Watermelon Buddha Bowl

Citrusy Tahini Dressing:

  • 3          tablespoons tahini (ground sesame seed paste)
  • 1/3       cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4       cup rice vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1          teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt

Buddha Bowls:

  • 2          cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 4          mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1          cup sweet cherries, pitted and halved
  • 2          avocados, sliced
  • 2          cups cooked black rice
  • 1          cup sliced, toasted almonds
  • Citrusy Tahini Dressing
  1. To make Citrusy Tahini Dressing: In bowl, whisk tahini, orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and salt. If dressing seems thick, add more orange juice or water to reach desired consistency.
  2. To arrange Buddha Bowls: Separate watermelon, cucumbers, cherries, avocados and rice in four bowls. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.

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Sweet Watermelon Pizza

  • Greek yogurt
  • Watermelon, cut to 1-inch thick round slice
  • Shredded coconut
  • Mint
  • Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries or blackberries
  • Slivered almonds
  1. Spread yogurt to cover fleshy part of watermelon, leaving room to hold rind. Sprinkle with coconut, mint, berries and almonds, or other toppings, as desired.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

Healthy 06 June 2017

Go Ahead ... Eat the Whole Watermelon

(Family Features) Sliced or diced, grilled or blended, there are countless ways to prepare watermelon. With some fruits, half or more is wasted when you throw away the seeds and peel, but you may be surprised to learn that you can use an entire watermelon, including the rind, to make delicious and refreshing dishes.

Most people think of watermelon as a sweet, juicy snack perfect for hot summer days, but with its high water content (92 percent), the fruit is more than just tasty. It’s also an ideal way to keep your body hydrated. What’s more, the ability to use the entire fruit makes watermelon one of the most versatile and value-conscious options in the produce department.

An average watermelon consists of about 70 percent fruit and 30 percent rind. Hollowed out, the rind is an attractive way to serve any number of recipes, but the rind is actually edible, too, and can be stir-fried, stewed or pickled, or even enjoyed raw. This yummy slaw gets its distinctive crunch from the watermelon rind, which is packed with citrulline and arginine, two compounds that may aid in healthy blood flow.

Watermelon is also a flavorful substitute for tomatoes, as shown in this traditional Italian appetizer, and contains higher levels of lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable per serving, according to award-winning nutrition author and registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer.

Additionally, it lends some sweetness to a spicy salsa and a refreshing twist on a summery salad. You can also try blending watermelon with other fresh fruits for a super smoothie or mixing it up with some adult libations (and don’t forget, you can transform the rind into a mini-keg in minutes; just add a pour spout).

Find more ideas for using every bite of fruit, juice and rind at watermelon.org.

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Watermelon Caprese Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Makes: 6 servings

  • 12 slices watermelon cut into rounds or squares, approximately 3 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick, with seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 12 slices
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig basil, for garnish
  1. Place watermelon slices on paper towels and cover with additional paper towels to absorb excess fluid.
  2. In small saucepan over medium heat, add vinegar and honey. Stir to blend, bring to simmer and reduce heat. Stir occasionally until mixture is reduced by almost half. (Do not let reduce too far or allow to froth.) Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. On large platter, place watermelon slices and top each with slice of cheese. Add salt and pepper, to taste, then sprinkle basil leaves evenly over top. Drizzle with olive oil, followed by reduced balsamic vinegar. Garnish with sprig of basil.

Tip: Use red and yellow watermelon for an extra pretty presentation.

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Watermelon Rind Slaw

Makes: 4 one-cup servings

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Slaw:

  • 4 cups grated watermelon rind (fruit and green peel removed)
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple
  1. In small bowl, blend Greek yogurt, sour cream, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, poppy seeds, olive oil, salt and pepper thoroughly. Set aside.
  2. Place watermelon rind on several layers of paper towels to soak up excess fluid.
  3. In medium bowl, place dressing, rind, carrot and pineapple, and toss to thoroughly coat.

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Watermelon Slice Ice Pops

Makes: 5-15 servings

  • 5-15 watermelon slices, cut into triangular wedge shapes, about 1/2 to 1 inch thick, with seeds removed
  • 5-15 ice pop sticks
  1. Insert ice pop stick into rind of each slice.

Optional variation: After inserting sticks, freeze ice pops before serving.

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Superfood Smoothie

Makes: 3 cups

  • 2 cups cubed and seeded watermelon
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup raspberry kefir
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons hemp
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • ice (optional)
  1. Place watermelon, raspberries, raspberry kefir, orange juice concentrate, hemp, agave syrup and ice, if desired, in blender and blend until smooth.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

Beverages 14 April 2017

Sweet Meets Spicy

Fresh ideas for a fun fiesta menu

(Family Features) There’s no better way to spice up a party than by using unexpected ingredients in fun, flavorful dishes and drinks. For your next fiesta, celebrate a star of the party with sweet and juicy watermelon.

Not only does versatile watermelon lend a unique taste to your menu, it’s a healthy ingredient that provides natural hydration with 92 percent water content, along with the antioxidant lycopene and the amino acid citrulline.

These recipes show how, with a little creative carving, you can use the whole melon, including flesh, juice and rind, for big value and zero waste.

Find more fiesta-ready recipes at watermelon.org.

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Cactus Carving

  • Medium-large oval or oblong watermelon (seeded or seedless)
  • Cutting board
  • Paring knife
  • Dry erase marker
  • Kitchen knife
  • Scoop
  • Cactus cookie cutter
  • Small flower cookie cutters
  • Toothpicks
  • Fire and Ice Salsa (recipe below)

Wash watermelon under cool, running water and pat dry.

On cutting board, place watermelon on its side and cut off 1/4 inch-1/2 inch from stem end; this will provide a sturdy base. Reserve end piece to make into small cactus.

Stand watermelon upright on base. Use dry erase marker to draw simple outline of cactus shape.

One-third up from bottom of watermelon, draw straight line around back, being careful not to go through cactus outline; this will create a serving bowl for watermelon salsa.

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Use kitchen knife to cut around outline, leaving just bowl with cactus attached. Scoop out base to form bowl.

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From pieces of watermelon that were cut away, use cookie cutters to make cactus pieces and flower pieces to decorate with, and chop remaining watermelon to make watermelon salsa and watermelon margaritas, or juice.

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Attach toothpicks randomly around cactus to make thorns and decorate with watermelon flowers. Decorate bottom rind scrap with toothpicks to resemble short, round cactus.

Fill bowl with Fire and Ice Salsa and serve with tortilla chips.

Fire and Ice Salsa

Makes: 3 cups

  • 3 cups seeded and finely chopped watermelon
  • 1/2 cup finely diced green peppers
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced green onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeno peppers
  1. Combine ingredients; mix well and cover. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

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Nachos with Watermelon Avocado Salsa

Makes: 8 servings

  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies, drained
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups diced watermelon
  • 16 ounces fat-free refried beans
  • 11 ounces corn tortilla chips
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup fat-free sour cream
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. To make salsa: In medium bowl, combine avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, chilies and red onion; toss to thoroughly mix. Add watermelon and toss gently. Set aside.
  3. Over medium heat, heat beans until hot. Mash if preferred.
  4. Place chips on flat, oven-proof plate or cookie sheet and top with beans and cheese. Repeat layers as desired. Heat in oven 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted and chips are hot.
  5. Top with salsa mixture and sour cream.

Tip: Reserve some salsa to place in bowl for dipping.

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Blended Watermelon Margarita

Makes: 2 margaritas

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed and frozen
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 ounces silver tequila
  • 1 1/2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 ounce elderflower liqueur
  • pinch of salt
  • lime slices, for garnish
  1. In blender, combine watermelon, water, tequila, lime juice, elderflower liqueur and salt. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into two chilled margarita glasses and garnish with lime slices.

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Watermelon Margarita on the Rocks

Makes: 2 margaritas

Watermelon Simple Syrup:

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1 cup sugar

Watermelon Juice:

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1/2 cup water

Margarita:

  • lime wedges
  • coarse salt
  • ice
  • 4 ounces silver tequila
  • 4 ounces watermelon juice
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 ounce watermelon simple syrup
  1. To make watermelon simple syrup: In small saucepan over medium heat, combine watermelon and sugar. Use potato masher to mash watermelon and sugar together, pushing out liquid and dissolving sugar. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour mixture through fine mesh sieve set over bowl or jar, pressing watermelon to extract all liquid. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. To make watermelon juice: In blender, combine watermelon and water. Blend until smooth then pour through fine mesh sieve set over bowl or jar.
  3. To assemble margaritas: use lime wedge to line rims of two glasses with juice. Dip glasses in coarse salt and carefully fill glasses with ice.
  4. Combine tequila, watermelon juice, lime juice and simple syrup in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until thoroughly chilled, about 30 seconds, and pour into prepared glasses. Garnish with lime wedges.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

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