W is for watermelon

Water melonIt’s the time of year when big wedges of watermelon start to appear on fruit stalls.  Watermelon is 90% water, so a slice makes a refreshing snack on a hot day, writes Dr Susan Aldridge, freelance writer and editor based in London, with an interest in medicine, health, science and food/nutrition.  It’s also rich in vitamins A and C, as well as being an excellent source of the powerful antioxidant lycopene, which gives the fruit its red colour.

However, watermelon does have a glycaemic index (GI) of 72, which is considered high, although its glycaemic load (GL) of 2, is low. The GL value reflects the fact that the carbohydrate content of watermelon is low, so it shouldn’t cause a ‘spike’ in your blood glucose after consumption. But if you are bothered by the high GI element, try combining watermelon with other foods, as in this month’s recipes!

Summer watermelon juice

I was curious about how much juice I might get from a watermelon. The answer is 250ml from a whole small watermelon (much less than I was expecting). Here it is used as the basis for a slightly tart and very refreshing juice that will energise you when temperatures soar.

Serves one

One watermelon, quartered with the flesh sliced into chunks

Two red grapefruit, peeled and segmented

400g raspberries

One inch of root ginger, peeled

Pure pomegranate juice

Juice the fruits and ginger and top up with the pomegranate juice.

 

Feta, olive and watermelon salad

In this salad, the salty creamy feta cheese complements the crisp sweet watermelon perfectly.

Serves two

200g pack of barrel-aged feta cheese, cubed

One tub of black, green or mixed olives

One red onion, thinly sliced

One red pepper or Romano pepper, thinly sliced

Watermelon chunks cut from a wedge

Oil

Lemon

Green leaves

Herbs

Mix the cheese, olives, onion, pepper and watermelon and serve on a bed of green leaves. Dress with oil and lemon and top with mint and basil.

 

Watermelon fruit salad

I was invited into a school recently and treated to lunch. I was interested to see what was on offer and very impressed by one of the best fruit salads I’ve had for a long time. It contained sliced plums so I’ve included these in the recipe below. Note, plums and raspberries are low GI fruits, so they balance the watermelon well.

Serves two to three

Watermelon chunks cut from a wedge

400g raspberries

400g strawberries

Six plums cut into quarters

Next month – late summer recipes with aubergines, beetroot and blackberries

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