Jul 29, 2020

LET’S DISH! Let’s Talk About Watermelon and Dessert!

By MaryAnn Miano

What’s related to the cucumber, squash, pumpkin, and gourd family and is red and green all over? Did you guess watermelon? If you love watermelon (and who doesn’t?), this is your season to enjoy it. Delicious and refreshing, sweet and tasty, watermelon is a great summertime fruit.

There are more than 500 varieties of watermelons grown today. They rank as the most-consumed melon in the United States. Seedless watermelon is popular due to the ease in eating them. (They are not really seedless; they contain tiny, white edible immature seeds in lesser amounts.) If you are adventurous, you can try some of the more exotic watermelons with white, pink, yellow and even orange flesh. However, the color, size and shape of the watermelon have little to do with the flavor of the flesh inside.

Selecting a ripe watermelon can seem a daunting task. One simple way to be sure of its ripeness is to look for a stem that is shrunken and discolored. If the stem is missing, it is possible that the watermelon is overripe, mealy, and lacking juiciness. If the stem is green, the watermelon is most likely unripe. The skin of this huge fruit should be dull instead of shiny. It’s okay if the underside of the watermelon is yellow, where it has sat on the ground growing to its full size. The yellowness is also another indication of a ripe fruit. Most of us like to slap the melon to listen for a hollow thump to help determine ripeness, but that might not always promise the perfect watermelon.

Nutrition-wise, this thirst-quencher fruit ranks high in lycopene with zero fat or cholesterol. The extremely high water content (92 percent) helps our digestive system and kidneys. The large amount of vitamin C and beta-carotene in watermelon add to its antioxidant properties. Surprisingly, the extremely sweet taste of watermelon does not mean it has excessively high sugar content. It is actually half the sugar content of an apple, but with a sweeter taste. If that is not enough to convince you to indulge in a slice, the calorie count will — just one cup is only 48 calories! Watermelon is also a great source of potassium and other vitamins and minerals.

Most people do not realize that watermelons can be used in recipes. By using the juice and pulp, you can create moist and delicious baked goods. Here is an easy recipe to try to bring the goodness of this superb food to your table. Kids will love these cupcakes!

 

WATERMELON CUPCAKES

INGREDIENTS:

 

For cupcakes:

1 box white cake mix

1 cup pureed fresh watermelon

½ cup vegetable oil

4 egg whites

Red food coloring

 

For frosting:

½ cup softened butter

¼ cup pureed watermelon

2 cups powdered sugar

Red food coloring

 

DIRECTIONS:

For cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 20 (12 count) muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat cake mix, 1 cup pureed fresh watermelon, vegetable oil and egg whites with an electric mixer. Beat in a drop or two of red food coloring. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins and bake 19 to 21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in tin about 10 minutes before removing them to wire racks to finish cooling.

 

For frosting:

  1. Beat butter with ¼ cup pureed watermelon and powdered sugar until blended. (Add more puree if the frosting is too thick or more sugar if it’s too thin.) Beat in a drop of red food coloring. Frost cooled cupcakes; store in the refrigerator.

 

 

Recipe from Shay Shull of mixandmatchmama.com