Watermelon juice: Here's the scoop

SIPS

Big melons are full of delicious liquid

Sips

July 24, 2002|By Sara Engram | Sara Engram,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

It's ruby red and sweet and, this time of year, ripe and abundant. It's also bursting with juice.

Watermelon is one of the delights of summer. But it's most often enjoyed as chunks of fruit, while its potential as a sipper's delight often goes unrecognized. That may be changing as watermelon juice turns up in more recipes.

A recent feature on the food and nutrition Web site Foodfit.com featured a watermelon-juice recipe from the chef-owners of the Border Grill in Santa Monica, Calif., Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger.

If you haven't sampled this fruit in its beverage form, you're in for a treat. It's easy to make, tasty and versatile, combining well with other drinks. And because watermelon is more than 90 percent water, you get a lot of juice for your effort.

"It's pretty, kids love it, and it's a great use of summer fruit you sometimes have too much of," says Foodfit's Frances Largeman.

Watermelon also has nutritional benefits. It's fat-free and provides vitamins A, B6, C and thiamine. The juicy fruit is also getting a new look from agricultural researchers for its lycopene content; on average, it has about 40 percent more lycopene than raw tomatoes. Lycopene, the red pigment that gives watermelon and tomatoes their color, is a strong antioxidant, a substance that protects cells and helps keep them healthy.

All good reasons to get out the blender, seed a few cups of watermelon and produce a tasty juice. Try it alone, or use it in lemonade or mixed cocktails.

Watermelon Juice

2 servings

2 cups watermelon chunks, seedless

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup cold water

5 ice cubes

juice of 1 lime (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Serve over ice.

-- Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Border Grill, Santa Monica, Calif.

Watermelon Lemonade

4 servings

6 cups watermelon, cubed and seeded

1/4 cup raspberries

1 cup water

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup lemon juice

Place watermelon, raspberries and water in blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a pitcher. Stir in sugar and lemon juice until sugar dissolves. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

- National Watermelon Promotion Board

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