Smoothies are a classic healthy treat enjoyed by kids adults alike. Usual flavors include fruits like strawberry, banana, and tropical flavors like pineapple.
But watermelon can bring an unexpected flavor and health benefits to your smoothie making.
This article suggests why and how you can start enjoying watermelon smoothies today.
What is Watermelon?
Watermelon is a sweet fruit with a relatively mild flavor. Its origins can be traced back to Africa and Ancient Egypt.
Traditional watermelons are large and can weigh anywhere from five to 50 pounds.
According to the Watermelon Board the average watermelon sold in stores is about twenty pounds and makes around 33 servings.(1)
A smaller variety known as ‘personal watermelons’ has been bred to weight around five pounds and grow without seeds.
Other non-traditional varieties include watermelons with yellow and orange flesh.
Larger watermelons tend to have smaller white seeds and larger, harder, black seeds.
Some people choose to spit black seeds out, while others simply swallow them along with the fruit.
Despite the urban myth that if you swallow a watermelon seed, a watermelon will grow inside you, watermelon seeds are not harmful.(2)
If swallowed raw, the seeds pass through the digestive system undigested. If prepared correctly, they can even be a valuable source of protein and vitamins.(3)
However, it is best to use seedless watermelon or remove the seeds for smoothies. This will ensure that they retain their smooth texture.
One serving of watermelon is approximately one cup of cubed melon, six balls if scooped with a melon baller, or a one-inch thick slice.
Each serving of watermelon is approximately 50 calories, with the majority of the calories being carbohydrates.(4)
A serving of watermelon provides 17 percent of daily vitamin A, 21 percent of vitamin C, 2 percent of iron and 1 percent of calcium.
Watermelon also contains more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable.(5)
Lycopene is an antioxidant that can prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals in the body.
How to Prepare Watermelon
Watermelon is most commonly eaten raw in slices or cubes, with the rind removed. If a large knife is not available, a watermelon can be split open and scooped with a spoon or melon baller.
Pieces can be bagged and frozen or threaded on a skewer for easy eating. It is important to be careful when cutting watermelon because the knife can slip easily through the porous fruit.
Health Benefits of Watermelon
Watermelon is over 90 percent water so it has a hydrating effect.(6) It has a lower sugar content than other common fruits, so it can be eaten in greater volumes without the worry of increasing blood sugar too quickly.
Because of the low calories and fat content per volume in watermelon, it can be eaten by people who are attempting to lose weight but still want to feel full.
Potential Health Risks Associated with Watermelon
There are little to no health risks associated with consuming watermelon.
The primary warning is against consuming it in such excess that more vitamins are accumulated than necessary.
Where and When to Buy Watermelon
Local watermelons are usually most ripe and flavorful in summer months.
However, they are usually found in stores year round as an imported item. They can be found whole at almost all regular grocery stores, farmers markets, and sometimes even local farms.
In order to select a ripe watermelon, look for a large lighter patch on the green outer rind.(1)
The patch should be more yellow than green or white. Next, pick up the watermelon and hit it with an open palm. It should make a hollow sound relative to the other possible choices.
Watermelons come in conventional and organic varieties as well as large and mini sizes. Recently, many grocers have also been providing pre-cut watermelon spears or cubes in the refrigerated produce section.
Others offer half watermelons, for those who want a smaller serving but the freedom to create their own shapes.
How to Make a Smoothie
Making a smoothie is easy, just collect your ingredients and blend!
But here are some steps to stick to if you are just starting out with smoothie making. First, choose which fruits and/or vegetables you would like to include.
Fruits can be fresh or frozen or a mix of both. If using larger fruits like peaches, bananas or melon, be sure to cut the fruit into smaller pieces before blending.
Next, choose a liquid to add. Liquids help the smoothie blend well and keep it from becoming too thick. For a more juice-like smoothie, add orange juice, lemonade or water as the liquid.
For a creamy smoothie, add drinkable yogurt, milk or a non-dairy milk like almond milk. If you want to increase the nutritional content of your smoothie, you can add protein powder or other supplements such as chia seeds, flax seeds or powdered vitamins. If you prefer colder or thicker smoothies, add ice.
Once you have added all your ingredients to the blender, start it at a low-medium speed until the mixture starts to come together.
Once everything is incorporated, increase the speed and run until smooth. Sometimes, frozen fruits may gather at the bottom of the blender under the blades.
To mix them in, stop the blender, stir with a wooden spoon or spatula (so as not to damage the blades), then blend again.
Always use caution when using a blender to avoid injury or mess, especially with children.
We found these smoothie recipes with watermelon on the web and we are sure you will love them as much as we did!
Watermelon smoothies are an easy and delicious way to enjoy a healthy fruit.
They are adult and kid friendly, and can be enjoyed year round. These smoothies are also suitable for people on restricted diets such as dairy free, gluten free and low fat.
They can be made in any way you wish, with a variety of ingredients. For quick cleanup after making a smoothie, simply add water and soap to your blender and turn it onto a high speed.
After rinsing thoroughly, most of the fruit residue should be gone.