The watermelon enjoys great popularity, especially in the summer, because on hot days we enjoy the juicy fruit. A high water content and fruity taste make watermelons a healthy refreshment - almost without calories. This melon variety is best eaten fresh and raw, but delicious watermelon recipes such as punch, smoothies or fruit sorbet are the hit at every garden party.
Watermelon: calories and vitamins
First and foremost, a watermelon - as the name implies - contains water, about 95 percent. Apart from that, there are many A and C vitamins in the fruit fibers. In addition, there is a significant amount of iron and a low sodium content, which dehydrates and cleanses the kidneys along with the many water.
A watermelon has hardly any calories, only about 24 kcal per 100 grams. Also, the kernels of this melon are not to be despised, because they contain vitamins, minerals, fat and protein.
Watermelons: season and buying tips
The season for watermelons is due to their large distribution area basically throughout the year. In Germany, however, they are usually only in the summer months to buy.
Because when buying the green, thick shell the Ripe of the fruit is not to look at, helps here a little trick: If a dull, sonorous sound when tapping on the watermelon, the fruit is ripe. If, on the other hand, it sounds hollow and metallic, the melon is not yet ready for consumption.
Since most people anyway can not eat a whole watermelon at once and the fruit in the fridge after a few days is bad, it is advisable to buy half a melon from the fruit dealer. These are usually kept fresh with plastic wrap and are just as good as whole watermelons.
However, it is easier to judge the condition and maturity of the watermelon by looking at the sliced pulp. The meat should be evenly colored in a juicy red or pink tone.
5 facts about watermelons - © istockphoto, chekat
Recipes with watermelon
The most common way of preparing a watermelon is to simply cut it in half, then quarter it and slice it. Because of its rich, bright color, watermelon is also a popular means of decorating food.
For summer parties the following recipe is suitable for one Watermelon Punch:
- Cut a kind of lid off a big watermelon.
- Remove the pulp until, like a Halloween pumpkin, only the hollow shell is left. This serves as a vessel for the punch.
- Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces.
- Now fill the hollowed out watermelon with a bottle of white wine and 0.5 liters of vodka.
- Add the flesh of the watermelon and a can of mixed fruits.
- Then put the lid back on and let the punch in the fridge overnight.
- Just before serving, add a chilled bottle of sparkling wine.
Smoothie with watermelon
A great refreshment on hot days is also the non-alcoholic Watermelon smoothie which can be prepared simply according to this recipe:
- Purée 300 grams of pitted pulp with a cup of yogurt, 120 ml of milk and 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar.
- Then add two scoops of vanilla ice cream.
- Mix the shake foamy.
- Fill into two glasses, decorate with mint leaves and serve.
Watermelon: cultivation and origin
Originally the watermelon comes from South Africa. Because she loves sun and dry, sandy soil, she still grows wild there in the steppe even today. However, wild watermelon varieties usually taste bitter and are more popular because of their seeds. These are roasted and salted in many southern countries such as sunflower seeds and thus eaten as a healthy snack. Also flour or oil is made from watermelon seeds.
The domestication and the Growing the watermelon started with the ancient Egyptians. However, the fruit came to Europe relatively late. Today, China, Turkey, USA, Iran and Brazil are among the most important countries for growing this type of melon.
Incidentally, the watermelon belongs to a different genus than the remaining melon varieties such as the honeydew melon. While melons generally count as fruit vegetables, watermelons belong to the cucurbits on the other hand, other melons of the pumpkin family.
Like their relatives, the annual, herbaceous watermelon plants grow in branched tendrils on the ground. A full-grown watermelon can weigh up to 100 kilograms - but usually weigh between three and 25 pounds.