We couldn’t let the dog days of August saunter in without featuring a fresh recipe featuring the queen of all summer fruits: Watermelon.
What’s not to like? It’s sweet, juicy, easy to share, and easy to juice. Watermelon is such a treat when it’s ripe in season. Read on to learn about the health benefits and how to make watermelon poke bowls.By: Elizabeth Toy
Because watermelon is mostly water – 92%, to be exact – it’s an easy answer to a craving for a filling snack. Watermelon low in calories and high in Vitamin A, E, and C. Additonally, it contains a high amount of antioxidants like lycopene. Lycopene helps eliminate free radicals in the body, which helps prevent cancer.
Watermelon has a number of health benefits. In addition to offering high amounts of vitamins and antioxidants, it also helps:
- Soothe sore muscles. L-citrulline is an amino acid found in watermelon. It helps improve circulation and reduces your heart rate.
- Reduce inflammation and neutralizes free radicals. Ripe watermelons have higher amounts of the beneficial phenolic compounds that work as an anti-inflammatory. Check out these natural ways to help reduce inflammation.
- Supports stronger bones and teeth because it’s rich in potassium. And, it helps retain calcium in your body.
- Improve eye health, because it’s rich in beta-carotene.
- Works as a natural diuretic without straining the kidneys. In addition, it helps process waste in the liver from protein digestion.
So you can confidently reach for a slice of watermelon or a glass of juice any time, especially right before a workout!
While I love diving face-first into a slice of chilled watermelon, I find it especially creative when a recipe integrates a sweet seasonal fruit into a savory dish.
You may have noticed poke shops popping up over the past few years. Love & Lemons took the craze and concocted a vegan version of the popular dish. They replace the fish with watermelon, which may surprise you with its unexpected flavor combination.
So grab a watermelon, a cucumber, and a few ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. You can throw together a watermelon poke bowl for a refreshing, light lunch or a summer-y side.
Heading outside to grill? Bring out the watermelon, peaches, and pineapples for delicious grilled summer fruit.
Watermelon Poke Bowl
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon beet sugar or agave
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 5 cups cubed watermelon
- ¼ cup chopped scallions
- 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup macadamia nuts
- 2 tablespoons pickled ginger
- 1 small jalapeño or Thai chile, diced
- ½ ripe avocado, pitted and diced
- Furikake (recipe below) or toasted sesame seeds
- Handful of microgreens, optional
Furikake (toasted nori topping)
- 1 sheet nori
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- Make the furikake (if using): Toast the nori over a gas burner by waving the sheet above the burner until it’s darkened and crispy. Cut into small pieces. Place the toasted nori in a food processor with the sesame seeds, salt, and sugar. Pulse until everything is well-chopped.
- Make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the tamari, garlic, lime juice, rice vinegar, sugar and sesame oil.
- Toss the watermelon with the scallions and a bit of the dressing. Assemble bowls with the watermelon, cucumber, macadamia nuts, pickled ginger, jalapeño, avocado and microgreens (if using). Pour on more dressing (as much as you like) and gently toss. Serve with furikake sprinkled on top.
Still got leftover watermelon? Try this refreshing watermelon mint smoothie.
Photo Source: Love and Lemons