By Sally Birks, Herald writer
What’s 92 percent water and has a healthy glow?
No, not the human body. It’s watermelon.
Yes, that green giant weighting down the picnic tablecloth is the new darling of health food fans.
Watermelon gets its ruddy inner glow from high levels of lycopene, an antioxidant; it contains citrulline for good heart and cardiovascular function; and it’s low in sodium, the National Watemelon Promotion Board says.
Plus it’s great fun to see how far you can spit those big black seeds.
And if you’re handy with a melon baller, you can carve some pretty cute and edible centerpieces, such as this easy golf ball, fitting for Father’s Day.
Select a small to medium very round melon. Cut ¼ to ½-inch off the stem end so it will sit flat. Then cut out a 3- to 4-inch round circle off the top.
Wield your mellon baller to make shallow round divots like the dimples in a golf ball. Next peel off thin layers of the rind to expose the white part.
Scoop out the red flesh and make little round balls to fill the golf ball.
Buy another watermelon or two and you can complete Dad’s dinner with chipotle maple citrus watermelon wings — that’s chicken, not a carved melon in flight — and watermelon popsicle wedges.
And P.S.: A watermelon won’t grow in your stomach if you swallow those little white seed coats, despite what Gramma says. We can’t guarantee that you won’t get a tummy ache if you eat down to the green, though.
The watermelon chicken wings are a little tangy and a touch spicy, but you can control the action. And the refreshing popsicles are an easy way for kids to grip their treat.
Find lots more recipes on www.watermelon.org.
Chipotle maple citrus watermelon wings
- 2 cups watermelon puree
- Juice from 3 fresh lemons
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (can use light version)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, or to taste
- Chicken wings or drumettes
- 2 cups pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 3 cloves minced fresh garlic
Watermelon glaze: Simmer ingredients together in a heavy saucepan for 20 minutes or until sauce is thick. Makes 2 cups. Keep warm.
Chicken: Place the chicken in a large zip-lock bag with rest of the ingredients and seal tightly. Allow to marinate at least 2 hours or up to 12.
Grill until cooked and arrange on a warm platter.
Pour the glaze over the chicken and serve immediately.
Watermelon slice popsicles
- Watermelon slices, cut to triangular wedge shapes, about 1/2 to 1-inch thick
- Popsicle sticks
- Insert a popsicle stick into the rind. You can also freeze the sliced popsicles for a chilly, refreshing treat.