Watermelon is a popular summer fruit. It’s sweet, refreshing, and healthy. But how do you know which one to buy? How can you tell if it’s not too soft or hard on the outside? And what about that spotty green color? This article will tell you how to choose a ripe and sweet watermelon by selecting a bright yellow rind color. Avoid bumps on the underside of the watermelon near where it was sitting on the ground when growing, checking for a creamy yellow spot where the melon rested on the ground as it grew.
Follow these simple steps to find a perfect watermelon!
Look for a watermelon with a bright yellow rind. If it has any brown spots, pass up the melon because it could be overripe. The more yellow, the better!
Check for bumps on the underside of the watermelon near where it was sitting on the ground when growing. Bumps are called “ground scars.” They’re caused by rocks and other hard objects on the ground. The less scarring, the better!
Next, check for a creamy yellow spot where the melon rested on the ground as it grew. This is called “field ripening.” If possible, choose a watermelon with no brown spots and find one with more cream color than green. Tap the melon with your knuckles and make sure it sounds hollow inside! Store it in a well-ventilated area if you don’t plan to use the watermelon right away.
Tap the melon with your knuckles to make sure it sounds hollow inside. If you don’t plan on using the watermelon right away, store it in a well-ventilated area.
Recipes that use Sweet Watermelon
Watermelon is the perfect fruit for summertime. It’s sweet, refreshing, and healthy. Here are some recipes that will help you use up all that watermelon!
Watermelon Salad with Feta Cheese
- 1 cup watermelon, cubed
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, combine the watermelon cubes, feta cheese, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Serves 4, Yields 2 cups per serving
Watermelon – Mint Slushie
- 1 cup watermelon chunks
- 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste (optional)
- 8 fresh mint leaves (or more if desired)
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
- Pure watermelon in a blender (or food processor if you like chunky bits and pieces of fruit and seeds).
- Add mint, sugar (if using), ice, and lemon juice to the food processor. Puree until smooth, adding more ice if the consistency is too thin.
- Serve immediately or store in a sealed container in the freezer.
- Makes 1 generous cup of slushie (8 servings), Yields about 2 cups of slushie per serving!
Factors to Avoid
There are also a few factors to avoid when choosing a watermelon.
- Avoid watermelons with soft spots, because they may be overripe.
- Avoid watermelons with a green rind, because they will likely be sour.
- Avoid watermelons with a dried-out rind, because they may have been in storage for a while.
- Avoid watermelons with a wrinkled rind, because they might not be ripe.
- Avoid watermelons that do not have the field spot near the ground, as they may indicate early ripening and lack of flavor.
- Avoid watermelons with flat ends, because they may be dry inside.
- Choosing a ripe and sweet watermelon is truly simple! If you follow these steps, you should end up with a great-tasting watermelon that everyone will love!
Health Benefits of Watermelon
- Watermelon is a good source of lycopene, an antioxidant that may help protect against some types of cancer.
- Watermelon is a good source of vitamin C, which helps keep the immune system strong.
- Watermelon is a good source of potassium, which may help lower blood pressure.
- Watermelon is a good source of citrulline, an amino acid that helps relax blood vessels and improve blood flow.
Best Climate to Grow Sweet Watermelon
The best climate to grow watermelons is in a hot, humid environment. Places that have the following conditions are known for producing excellent watermelons:
- Averages roughly 80°F during the day and 70°F at night
- Averages roughly 60 to 70 inches of rainfall per year
- At least 50 to 80 frost-free days, with the last frost in spring and first in fall.
- Bred for a warm climate.
Storage practices to Avoid With Sweet Watermelon
Watermelon should be stored in a cool, dry place. If stored in a warm, humid area, the watermelon will rot.
When storing watermelon, keep in mind that it will produce ethylene gas when ripening. It’s best to store away from other produce sensitive to ethylene gas, such as apples and bananas.
Make sure to store with the stem end down and protect from bruising. This storage method will help reduce the amount of decay and rot on the watermelon.
Preparing Sweet Watermelon
Watermelon is not difficult to prepare; it will be easier to cut and slice right before serving.
Here is a list of how to cut and slice:
- Cutting: First, twist off the stem end, then using a sharp knife, follow the contours of the watermelon to slice.
- Slicing: First, cut wedges of the entire watermelon. Next, lay each wedge on its side and slice off sections following the contours of the melon.
- Cubing: Cut into uniform cubes or balls using a knife or cookie cutter. You can also remove all of the inner flesh and use as a fruit salad.
- Spilling: First, twist off the stem end of the watermelon then cut it in half. Twist each piece until it breaks apart. Sprinkle with salt and enjoy!
Watermelon is a delicious fruit that can be enjoyed in many different ways. When choosing a watermelon, make sure to look for one with a sweet taste and follow our tips. Watermelon is a good source of nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene and has many health benefits. It’s also easy to prepare and can be eaten as part of a healthy diet. We hope you enjoy this nutritious fruit!