Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fun Facts: How Sweet It Is!

There's a lot more to watermelon than just delicious taste. Here are some fun facts about this nutritious fruit...

Melon Trivia
  • The first recorded watermelon harvest took place in Egypt almost 5,000 years ago.
  • Watermelons were placed in the burials tombs of Egyptian kings so they would have nourishment in the afterlife.
  • Watermelon is 92 percent water.
  • Early explorers used the watermelon as a canteen.
  • More than 1,200 types of watermelon are grown worldwide.
  • In the U.S. and Mexico, 200 to 300 varieties are grown, with seedless being the most popular.
  • In the U.S., Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia and Texas produce the most watermelon, followed by 39 other states.

Serving Tips
  • Freeze pureed watermelon in ice cube trays for a refreshing frozen treat or add watermelon ice cubes to lemonade.(for fun add vodka for a fun party treat)
  • Watermelon rind can be marinated, pickled or candied.
  • Roast, season and eat watermelon seeds as a snack.
  • For a refreshing summer soup, puree chilled watermelon, cantaloupe, and kiwifruit together. Swirl in a little plain yogurt and serve.
  • A traditional Russian sweetener, watermelon syrup is made by boiling juice pressed from watermelon pulp down to one-seventh of its original volume. The resulting sweetener can be used in cocktails, smoothies and desserts.

Food Facts
  • Watermelon has no fat or cholesterol and contains fiber as well as potassium. It's an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, and C, and it's rich in lycopene.
  • Because of watermelons high water content and low calorie count-only 48 calories per cup-it delivers more nutrients per calorie.
  • Watermelons are available from May to September, with peak season mid-June to late August. When selecting, choose melons that are symmetrical without any flat sides. Look for a smooth surface, a cream colored underbelly, and a rind that appears dull rather than shiny.
  • Store whole, uncut watermelon in the fridge or a cool, dark place for no more than one week. Cut watermelon should be wrapped and refrigerated and used within a day or two. :)