(Family Features) With temperatures cooling and cravings leaning toward comforting flavors, fall offers a perfect time for families to explore adventurous twists on favorite foods. As you and your loved ones rework the menu for autumn, turn to versatile ingredients that provide fresh tastes and new ways to enjoy classic recipes.
One star ingredient that can be used for appetizers, main courses, sides, snacks and desserts alike is watermelon. In fact, using the entire watermelon (rind included) means you’ve discovered a sustainable way to create nutritious meals without food waste.
Consider these simple, delicious ways to use the entire watermelon in your kitchen.
In the fall, whole watermelon is still available in many areas. You can also find mini watermelon in the fresh cut produce section at many local grocers. The flesh is often the favorite (and most-used) part of the watermelon. Served on its own as a hydrating snack or as part of a recipe for tasty entrees, the flesh offers something for nearly every appetite so no watermelon goes to waste.
Watermelon is 92% water, making it a sweet choice for staying hydrated. Even if your watermelon is overripe, don’t throw it out – instead, juice or puree it to retain value and nutrition. Use it to sweeten this Watermelon Bourbon Glaze then drizzle over a perfectly grilled flank steak and serve with mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables for an ideal fall meal.
The rind is often thrown out – many people don’t realize you can eat it, too. The rind absorbs flavors added to it and adds an unexpected texture to this Watermelon Walnut Currant Chutney. Try serving over brie with crackers or simply dip with naan or baguettes.
Find more flavorful fall solutions to avoid food waste at Watermelon.org.
Watermelon Bourbon Glaze with Grilled Flank Steak
- 1 1/2 cups watermelon juice (approximately 2 1/2 cups chopped watermelon, blended)
- 2 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1/4-1/2 cup bourbon
- 2 pounds flank steak or London broil
- 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
- In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, reduce watermelon juice to 2/3 cup. Toward end of reduction, add garlic. Remove from heat, cool 10 minutes then add soy sauce, brown sugar, hot sauce and bourbon. Mix well.
- Place watermelon-bourbon glaze in large zip-top bag. Add steak and massage to cover meat. Close bag and refrigerate 3-4 hours.
- Heat grill to high heat. Remove steak from plastic bag and gently shake to remove excess glaze.
- Grill steak 4-6 minutes; turn, grill 4-6 minutes, depending on thickness of steak. Remove from heat. Steak should be pink in center.
- Allow steak to rest on platter or cutting board 10 minutes.
- Mix small amount of watermelon-bourbon glaze with cornstarch. In small saucepan over medium-high heat, add cornstarch mixture to remaining glaze and simmer 3-5 minutes. Reduce to medium heat until mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
- Cut flank steak on bias into thin strips. Drizzle watermelon-bourbon glaze over top.
Watermelon Walnut Currant Chutney
- 4 cups watermelon, juiced
- 2 cups watermelon rind (white part), diced small
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1/2 medium white onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves, ground
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 2 tablespoons currants
- 2 tablespoons roasted walnuts
- 1 wheel brie cheese, for serving
- crackers, for serving
- In saucepan over medium heat, reduce watermelon juice to 2 cups. Combine with watermelon rind, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, white onion, garlic, nutmeg, cloves, lemon zest, lemon juice, currants and walnuts; simmer until almost dry.
- Chill and serve over brie with crackers.
(Family Features) A healthy breakfast can give your student a boost that lasts all day long. Mornings tend to be rushed, but it’s still possible to prepare easy breakfasts that power little learners throughout the school day.
Fresh fruit is a breakfast staple, and a nutritious option like watermelon is a sweet way to satisfy hunger (and thirst). As a refreshing ingredient or standalone treat, watermelon includes just 80 calories and no fat. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C (25%) and because it’s made of 92% water, it’s a flavorful way to encourage kids to start a busy day well hydrated.
A bowl of watermelon cut into cubes, balls or fun shapes is a winning idea, but you can also think outside the rind with these ways to give watermelon a place at your breakfast table:
- Top a grain-based cereal like corn flakes or oatmeal with bite-size bits.
- Make Watermelon Donuts for a grab-and-go delight, perfect on hectic mornings.
- Freeze cubes overnight and use them in place of ice with your favorite smoothie ingredients.
- Put a twist on a breakfast favorite with these Watermelon Oat Flour Waffles.
- Add a layer of oat crumble to a bowl of watermelon balls for a savory, satisfying treat.
It’s no secret that kids gravitate toward fun foods. Watermelon is a versatile fruit that offers plenty of serving options that let kids get hands-on and creative.
A classic watermelon slice may be basic, but it does have a few tricks up its sleeve. With the rind on, it’s an instant finger food with a built-in “handle.” Add a wooden stick for watermelon you can eat like a sucker or pop it in the freezer for a cool way to start the day.
Simple and versatile cubes are a solution for banishing breakfast boredom. You can cube a melon and use them differently every day of the week by eating them on their own, mixing in a fruit salad, layering with other ingredients, blending in a smoothie and more.
There’s nothing like a dipper to get kids’ attention. A watermelon stick offers a bit of rind to hold onto and a juicy strip of sweet melon that’s perfect for dunking in a cup of yogurt or fruit dip.
Cut watermelon into thin slices and use cookie cutters to create a treat that shows off creativity.
Get in a school morning groove with more easy breakfast ideas at watermelon.org .
Watermelon Oat Flour Waffles
Yield: 8 waffles
- 1 cup old-fashioned or regular oats
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup watermelon juice
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 egg whites
- nonstick cooking spray
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 3 cups watermelon, diced 1/2 inch
- fresh mint leaves
- powdered sugar (optional)
- honey (optional)
- Preheat Belgian or regular waffle iron.
- In blender, process oat flakes into flour.
- In bowl, mix oat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in watermelon juice and oil.
- Whip egg whites into stiff peaks and fold into batter.
- Spray hot waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter into waffle iron and bake 3-4 minutes, or according to waffle iron instructions. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Garnish waffles with yogurt; watermelon cubes; mint sprigs; powdered sugar, if desired; and honey, if desired.
- 2 slices seedless watermelon, 1 1/2 inches thick
- 2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 pinch sugar
- vanilla, to taste
- 9 slivered almonds
- Cut out donut shapes from watermelon slices.
- Sweeten Greek yogurt with sugar and vanilla, to taste, to create frosting.
- Frost half of watermelon donuts with half of frosting. Add layer of remaining watermelon donuts and top with remaining frosting.
- Sprinkle toasted almonds over top and serve.
(Family Features) Making the holiday season special is an important tradition for many families, and it’s likely to take on heightened importance this year with gatherings, celebrations and festivities taking on a different look than years past. One family-favorite way to create holiday magic is through delicious desserts that can be made and enjoyed together.
Don’t be afraid to try something new this year by turning to foods typically associated with warmer weather. For example, watermelon is available year-round and makes a surprisingly nutritious, flavorful addition to your seasonal spread, whether it’s the main ingredient or included in recipes from entrees to sides and drinks to desserts.
For a kid-friendly, tasty treat, ask your little ones to help make these Holiday Watermelon Cutouts. Because they only require a few ingredients and plenty of creativity, they’re perfect for getting the whole family involved. Or try this Watermelon and Blueberry Cheesecake as the highlight at your dessert table with its creamy, fruity flavor and eye-popping looks.
To find more holiday dessert solutions and other sweet recipe ideas, visit watermelon.org.
Holiday Watermelon Cutouts
Recipe courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board
- 1/2 watermelon, cut into 1/2-inch thick disks
- vanilla frosting or yogurt
- sprinkles, for decorating
- Using holiday cookie cutters, cut shapes out of watermelon disks.
- Decorate watermelon shapes with yogurt.
- Top with sprinkles.
Watermelon and Blueberry Cheesecake
Recipe courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (2 graham crackers)
- 24 ounces fat-free cream cheese, at room temperature
- 8 ounces low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup no-calorie sugar substitute
- 3/4 cup fat-free half-and-half
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon peel, finely grated
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups liquid egg substitute (equivalent of 6 eggs)
- 3 cups watermelon juice, with pulp
- 6 teaspoons cornstarch
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons no-calorie sugar substitute
- 1-1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 2 cups diced watermelon
- 3 cups blueberries
- To make cheesecake: Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Spray bottom and sides of 9-inch springform pan. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs in pan and tilt to spread evenly over bottom and sides, leaving extra crumbs on bottom.
- Using electric mixer, beat fat-free cream cheese, low-fat cream cheese, sugar and sugar substitute until creamy and well-blended. Slowly add half-and-half, lemon juice, lemon peel and vanilla; continue beating. Add egg substitute until mixture is thoroughly blended and creamy. Pour into crumb-lined pan.
- Place springform pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake cheesecake until firm, slightly golden and top is cracked, about 1 hour, 25 minutes. Remove springform pan from water and refrigerate, uncovered, until cold, about 3 hours or overnight.
- To make watermelon-blueberry sauce: In blender, whip watermelon juice, cornstarch, lemon juice, sugar and sugar substitute until smooth. Pour into small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to gentle boil until topping begins to thicken. Remove from heat and place in refrigerator to cool. Just before serving, add lemon extract, diced watermelon and blueberries; stir to thoroughly blend.
- To serve, run knife around sides of cheesecake and remove springform pan sides. Top each slice with generous helping of watermelon-blueberry sauce.