Watermelon is everyone’s favorite summer fruit, or is it? Did you know that the watermelon isn’t even a fruit? Yeah, neither did we. Here are 10 other interesting facts about watermelon guaranteed to impress fellow picnic guests.
- Not only does it quench your thirst, it can also quench inflammation that contributes to conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer and arthritis.
- Over 1,200 varieties of watermelon are grown worldwide.
- Watermelon is an ideal health food, because it doesn’t contain any fat or cholesterol, it is high in fiber and vitamins A and C, and it’s a good source of potassium.
- Pink watermelon is also a source of the potent carotenoid antioxidant, lycopene. These powerful antioxidants travel through the body neutralizing free radicals.
- Watermelon is a vegetable! It is part of the Cucurbitaceae family, which also includes cucumbers, pumpkins and squash.
- Early explorers used watermelons as canteens.
- Watermelon is grown in over 96 countries worldwide. According to PA Preferred, seasonal watermelon (in Zone 7, where Pennsylvania is situated) hit their peak between July and October.
- In China and Japan, watermelon is a popular gift to bring a host.
- In Israel and Egypt, the sweet taste of watermelon is often paired with the salty taste of feta cheese.
- Every part of a watermelon is edible, even the seeds and rinds.
What an amazing fru … vegetable! To help us celebrate watermelon in true style, we put together this healthy treat:
Frozen Watermelon Lemonade
Makes 6-8 servings
- 3 cups watermelon cubes, seeds removed
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 1/2 cups strawberry-flavored, calorie-free carbonated water, chilled
- Place watermelon cubes and raspberries in a blender; process until smooth. Pour through a sieve; discard pulp.
- Combine the sugar and water in the small saucepan. Heat, stirring constantly, just until the sugar dissolves. Set aside, allow to cool slightly.
- Stir the sugar-water and lemon juice onto the watermelon raspberry juice mixture. Pour the juice mixture into a covered freezer container. Freeze until firm.
- Using an ice cream scoop, spoon the mixture into tall glasses. Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons of the strawberry flavored water over the frozen juice in each glass. Serve immediately.
- Feature photo: Jenny Pakradooni for Dish Works