Watermelon is such a symbol of summer and sun, picnics and fun. But before I sing the praises of this delightful summer treat, I have a confession to lay out on the table. I don’t like watermelon. I won’t eat it. I have never liked it, even as a kid at summer camp surrounded by all the other kids happily munching down on a bright red wedge, face, hands and arms covered in sticky juice. I used to give it a try once a summer or so, only to confirm what I have always known. I don’t like it. Whenever I confess to a friend that I don’t like watermelon, I receive a look of shock and disbelief, followed by an interrogation as to how I could possibly not like watermelon. I always say the same thing, the consistency is too mushy and grainy, to which I always get a response along the lines of, “Oh, well you’ve just never had a GOOD watermelon.” A good watermelon must be extremely hard to come by then because believe me, I have really wanted to like watermelon and have given many a melon a go at proving me wrong. So far, this little method I am about to share with you is the only way you will ever catch me ingesting this mammoth of summer fruits.
The good news for all you watermelon lovers out there is the nutritional value contained in this giant fruit. It’s a good source of vitamin C and also contains vitamin A, thiamine, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, niacin and folate. You will also benefit from trace amounts of minerals including potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, iron, calcium, phosphorous, zinc and selenium. Lycopene is also found in watermelon, a carotenoid that may help reduce the risk of several cancers. So eat to your hearts content!
Watermelon Ice Cream
You will need:
Space in your freezer
There are a couple of was to do this. Using a Champion Juicer (or juicer of similar design) is your best bet for obtaining a real ice cream consistency for your watermelon. If you don’t have a juicer of this type, find a friend who does and borrow it! Better yet, peruse Craigslist for a used one and add this versatile piece of equipment to your kitchen. You not only can use it for juicing, but also for making nut butters, sauces (homemade apple sauce anyone?), jams and even grinding your own grain with the proper attachment. If you can’t get your hands on a juicer, this treat is worth a try in your blender. It will come out the consistency of snow, or like a slushy. Perfect for kids that love shaved ice treats!
Slice watermelon into narrow rectangles. I do this by cutting the watermelon into thick wedges and then slicing from top edge down to the rind, slicing about one inch wide pieces. The idea here is to get your fruit to fit into the feeder tube, so take a glance at your juicer and you will be able to gauge what size piece will fit through.
Line your slices of watermelon on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer until frozen solid. If you will not be using them within a day or two of freezing, transfer them to a ziploc so they stay fresh until you are ready to use them.
Place the blank on your juicer and feed the frozen watermelon through the feeder tube. Be sure to have a bowl ready at the juicer spout! Serve immediately.
Slice watermelon into ice cube size pieces and place on a cookie sheet. Attempt to keep pieces from touching or they will freeze together. I have also sliced watermelon as described above and once frozen and ready to use I have chopped into smaller pieces before putting in the blender. Either way will do.
Place a handful of cubes into your blender and process on the ice crush mode. Serve immediately.
Slurp a slushy!
You can also let your watermelon melt a bit and pour into a glass and sip through a straw.
I must say, my favorite fruit ice cream so far is banana. Not only because it looks amazingly delicious (comes out looking like a classic vanilla bean ice cream) but it also, by far, has the creamiest consistency of all the frozen fruit treats I have made. It is also the easiest! Peel your ripe to over ripe bananas, stick in a ziploc and freeze. You can make just about any combination of frozen fruit treat using a good juicer. Let your imagination roam the possibilities, and help keep your kiddos from eating artificially enhanced, chemically laced, sugar loaded frozen treats this summer.