How do you usually enjoy your watermelon? In slices perhaps? Or straight off the rind? Although watermelon is one of the most popular things to enjoy in Cyprus in the summer months, what many people don’t know is that there are tons of creative ways to enjoy the beloved fruit. Whether you want to enjoy it sweet and simple, or with an innovative twist in a savoury dish, My Cyprus Insider brings you a few ideas to jazz up your summer days with a touch of sheer deliciousness.
1. Cool down with watermelon ice lollies
If you’re a bit hot and bothered, nothing beats indulging in ice cold lollies. And if you want to do it the healthy way, there’s nothing quite like biting onto a wonderful watermelon flavoured one. A really simple procedure, all you need to do is remove the pips, cut the watermelon into cubes, blend or puree, add a touch of freshly squeezed lime, and pour or spoon the juice into the ice lolly moulds. Place in freezer, and when partially frozen, insert wooden lolly sticks. Continue freezing until solid and voila: you’ve got a yummy healthy treat at the ready if ever there was one!
2. Get a dose of nutrients in a cup with watermelon juice
Absolutely divine, cool watermelon juice is probably the ultimate summer thirst quencher! Topped off with a dash of lemon or lime, you’re really onto a winner. And the drink is very beneficial for your health too. Lycopene, which is responsible for the beautiful red colour of watermelon pulp is packed with antioxidants, while citrulline aids a better blood flow and also aids weight loss, while it’s generally packed with vitamins and minerals known for having a great anti-inflammatory effect on the body. To make watermelon juice, scoop out the seeds and discard. Then scoop out chunks of watermelon fresh from the rind and blend until fully pulverised. Squeeze the juice of one small lime into the mix, and then pour into a pitcher or glasses over ice and enjoy!
3. Add a creative flair to your fruit salad with watermelon cut-outs
Whoever said cookie cutters are only for cookies? We certainly beg to differ. If you’re entertaining guests, just cut your watermelon into slices of medium thickness and get creative with all sorts of shapes and sizes, whether you fancy some hearts, stars or other fun shapes in the mix. And don’t just stick to watermelon, you can make a great colourful combination with some melon and other colourful summer fruits thrown into a bowl.
4. Enjoy a salad with a dash of watermelon sweetness
Here in Cyprus, we often enjoy our watermelon with a slice of halloumi cheese, but have you ever enjoyed your watermelon with feta and mint? How about with tomato, black olives and a touch of onion? Rather dreamy, the mix of sweet and sour is enough to give your taste buds a real party, and it makes for a great light meal when you can’t stomach anything heavy. Just remove watermelon pips, cut into cubes and let the experimentation begin.
5. Heat things up on the grill
Yep, that’s right, you can actually grill watermelon! With a smoky quality and intensified sweetness, grilled watermelon is a splendid treat that you’ve got to try. And it’s particularly delicious enjoyed as a sweet and sour savoury dish with a honey glazing. First off, cut the watermelon into thick wedges, discarding the rind. Whisk honey, lime juice and pepper in a small bowl. Brush the watermelon slices with the honey mixture and place on grill and heat for about two minutes on each side. Remove from grill, sprinkle with mint, and serve.
6. Indulge in watermelon jelly
Looking for a healthier sweet treat for a kid’s birthday party? Watermelon jelly should go down an absolute treat. Relatively easy to make, the young ones will certainly thank you for it. Just get hold of a big watermelon, some unflavoured gelatine, sugar, and fresh lemon lemons. Cut the watermelon into large pieces, discard the rind and puree in a food processor. Then strain to remove the pulp and seeds and pour just one cup of the puree into a small bowl. Add in a sachet of unflavoured gelatine, and let it stand for a couple of minutes. Warm the remaining watermelon juice and a half a cup of sugar together in a small saucepan over medium heat until all sugar dissolves. Whisk in the gelatine mixture with ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice and remove from heat. Pour into a jelly mould and refrigerate overnight.
Want to find out how to quickly cut and serve a watermelon? This video will help!