Question: What fruit looks like a giant smile when sliced and is the envy of bubble gum?

Answer: the watermelon!

August might be the last month of summer, but it’s the beginning of watermelon season, and that’s something to smile about. Our watermelon harvest will be ready soon, and coinciding with it is National Watermelon Day on August 3. Although here at Orr’s we love all fruits, we have to admit that the watermelon is the ultimate symbol of summertime. With that grassy-green skin and hot-pink flesh, it just looks like summer. Is there any other fruit with such a satisfying blend of taste and texture? And then there are the seeds—we’ve all enjoyed shooting a mouthful, haven’t we. Maybe even as adults!

To celebrate National Watermelon Day, check out some fast facts about our favorite rotund refresher.

  • At 91.5% water, it’s an excellent source of natural hydration.
  • A one-cup serving contains more of the super antioxidant lycopene than a large tomato.
  • Low sodium content makes it a healthy choice that won’t negatively affect blood pressure.
  • Citrulline, an amino acid concentrated in the rind, is related to improved artery function and lower blood pressure.

From June through August, water is the name of the game. We drink tons of it, play in it, and cool off with it. With water in its name, this melon is primed to be the spokesperson for summer. Come on out to the farm and pick one up—with two hands and a little help if you need!

In the meantime, we dug up two funky watermelon recipes you have to try before summer’s end.

Watermelon, Basil, and Feta Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 pounds seedless watermelon (rind removed), cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips (see note)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, broken into large pieces (about 1 cup)

Directions

In a large bowl, combine watermelon, lime juice, and half the basil; season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Divide among four plates; scatter cheese and remaining basil on top.

*Courtesy marthastewart.com

Watermelon Gazpacho

  • 3 cups seedless watermelon, pureed in a blender
  • 1 cup seedless watermelon diced small
  • 1 cup ripe tomatoes, diced small, about 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 peeled, seeded cucumber, about 1/2 of one large cucumber
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced small
  • 2 cobs of raw sweet corn, kernels removed 
  • 1/4 red onion, peeled, and diced fine
  • 2 or more Tablespoons of lime juice, to taste
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 small jalapeno, seeded and minced – alternately you could add several dashes of cayenne
  • 1 tsp sea salt or more to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • large handful of cilantro cut fine as garnish

First blend your 3 cups watermelon until pureed. In a large bowl combine your watermelon puree with the diced watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, corn, onion, ginger, and jalapeno. Add lime juice, sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Adding more of each as needed.

*Courtesy lindawagner.net

Photo Credit: Snowpea & Bokchoi. Licensed under: CC BY 2.0

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