10 Tips: Picking a Ripe Watermelon and Serving Ideas

Have you been enjoying watermelon this summer? It tastes especially good on really, really hot days–like the ones we’ve been having the past few weeks! And it’s good for you, too–I read that it’s high in vitamins A, B6, and C, and it’s also a good source of lycopene, which is good for your heart. And, since a watermelon has over 90% water, it helps keep you hydrated on hot days!

I’ve always managed to pick good watermelons–I don’t remember ever buying a bad watermelon. It doesn’t hurt to know a few helpful tips when you’re choosing one, so you might find these helpful the next time you buy a watermelon!

  1. You may find the best selection at your local farmer’s market, since watermelons sold at grocery stores are often picked before they are fully ripened–once a watermelon is picked from the vine, it usually doesn’t ripen that much more.
  2. Look for a watermelon that has a uniform, symmetrical shape, smooth texture, and free of bumps, dents, and bruises–lumps mean the melon didn’t have a regular amount of sunshine or water while growing.
  3. Look at the skin of the watermelon-it should have definite dark and light green strips and should be dull rather than shiny–shiny means it’s not ripe (some grocery stores sell melons with skins that have been waxed, so this tip may not help in that case).
  4. Check the bottom of the watermelon (also called the “field spot” or “belly”)–you’ll want to see a creamy, buttery yellow color there–that means it’s ripe (you don’t want to see a white or light green bottom).
  5. A ripe watermelon should feel heavy for its size–pick up some watermelons that are the same size and compare their weight–the heaviest one is the ripest.
  6. If you tap the watermelon and it sounds hollow, that means it’s ripe. If it sounds dull, that means it’s under-ripe or over-ripe.
  7. A cut watermelon can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for 3 to 5 days.
  8. You can freeze watermelon chunks to use in smoothies (you won’t want to freeze watermelon for eating, though–the texture gets soft when thawed).
  9. You can freeze watermelon juice in ice cube trays to add to lemonade, ice tea, or punch.
  10. Make watermelon skewers by pairing watermelon chunks or balls with any combination of the following: large blackberries, strawberries, honeydew or cantaloupe chunks or balls, mango chunks, pineapple chunks, cucumber slices, banana slices, feta cheese chunks, pitted black olives, cherry tomatoes.

Have you used any of these tips yourself? Do you have any other watermelon tips of your own?

Sharing at Inspire Me Monday.

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5 thoughts on “10 Tips: Picking a Ripe Watermelon and Serving Ideas

  1. skd

    Useful tips Nancy. It is always disappointing to find an over or under ripe watermelon after cutting it up. I have had to discard them many a time.

    Reply

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