Your Raw Food Guide to Watermelons
I know that in most of the U.S. the weather has cooled and people are gearing up for the cold winter ahead. Here in Northern California we usually have an Indian summer and just last weekend watermelons became in season at my local farm, hence the timing of this article!
How to Pick a Watermelon
I have to admit that I never knew how to pick out a watermelon, which is strange considering my husband considers me an expert at picking out the ripest most sweet fruits whenever we go shopping. I have to say that at my local farm they were all good, but there is a trick to picking a sweet one that I finally mastered.
- The best advice I can give you is to buy them from a local farm or farmer’s market where they pick them when they are ripe.
- Then you want to make sure they have a yellow or light spot on them. This spot develops from the watermelons sitting on the ground as they ripen. If a watermelon doesn’t have the spot it was likely picked too soon.
- Then you want to tap the watermelon and what you a listening for is a high pitched tone, that my husband described as “springy” because the sound feels like it bounces back at you like you are tapping something that is hollow.
- The sound should NOT be low, flat, or dull.
- If you follow this advice you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the quality of your watermelons.
I did a little research on watermelon and as it turns out they have a lot more nutrition in them than I realized. They are an excellent source of vitamin A, C, vitamin B1, and B6. In addition, watermelon is a good source of thiamin, potassium and magnesium. It is also a good source of beta carotene and red watermelon is a great source of the antioxidant, Lycopene.
The World’s Healthiest Foods
I couldn’t fine much information on the rind since most people in our country don’t eat the rind except for in the South. In the South and in some cultures they pickle it. What I did find though, is that it contains the amino acid known as citrulline. Our bodies use citrulline to make another amino acid, arginine, which helps cells to divide, wounds to heal, and has the ability to relax blood vessels among other important functions in our bodies.
I also suspect there are other nutrients in the rind and, at the very least, they are a good source of chlorophyll.
Juicing The Rind
One of the things that I’ve been doing lately is adding the rind along with the fruit to my green juices instead of cucumber or celery and I’ve gotten great results. Juicing the rind is a great way not to waste the rind and it cuts the sweetness of the watermelon juice. Not only do I feel great when I drink them, but I notice they keep me full for longer than I expected. I don’t feel a sugar rush and even though I know you aren’t supposed to combine watermelon with any other food for proper digestion, I found they digested fine.
My tricks for watermelon for digesting well:
- Only eat ripe and sweet watermelon
- I always eat it alone or blended with greens or I juice it with greens and some other water rich fruit
- Always eat watermelon or watermelon drinks on an empty stomach
- Eat or drink watermelon very slowly
- Never overeat on watermelon! If you overeat on watermelon you will get a bad stomach ache that I affectionately call, watermelon tummy, but it really hurts!
Watermelon Green Juice
1-2 small apples
3 crescent slices of watermelon with the fruit and rind
( about 3 cups chopped )
1 bunch parsley, cilantro, OR spinach
1 cup water
Chop all ingredients and blend in a high speed blender and squeeze through a sprout bag. If you want to make it less sweet you can substitute one of the apples for a small cucumber. Enjoy!
Please drink these juices on an empty stomach and slowly. Stop drinking them if you notice any stomach discomfort at all. I didn’t notice any discomfort but everyone is different.
If you live in Northern California I hope you can add this healing green juice to your routine, if not I hope you can enjoy it next summer!