Watermelon: The Official Fruit of Summer

When I was a boy, the neighborhood kids gathered to play games while we were waiting for the annual 4th of July picnic to start. The game I looked forward to the most every year was the watermelon-seed-spitting contest. I just loved sinking my teeth into a slice of sweet melon, letting the juice drip off my chin. And being allowed—even encouraged—to spit the seeds was a rare treat.

These days, savvy shoppers seem to prefer the seedless variety of watermelons. And while that’s not going to help today’s youngsters win any seed-spitting contests, it’s good news for health-conscious eaters. That’s because seedless varieties contain more cancer-fighting lycopene than the seedy kind!

Here’s a few other ways wonderful watermelon can make you feel fantastic:

  • Grab the next ripe watermelon you see and whip up this cool and refreshing treat:

In a blender, combine ½ cup of plain yogurt, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1 cup of seedless watermelon cubes. Blend on high to make a smooth sauce. Pile an additional 2 cups of cubed watermelon into a tall parfait glass and pour on the sauce. Eat your treat with an iced-tea spoon.

  • Munch on a big chunk of watermelon after a game of tennis or a long, hot afternoon of yard work. The mighty melon is, after all, 90 percent water, so it goes a long way toward quenching your thirst. Plus, the natural sugars will boost your energy and get your blood sugar back to normal.
  • Take a little time away from summer’s daily grind and treat yourself to a wonderful watermelon facial. Simply peel a slice of the fruit, and mash it in a bowl until it’s about the consistency of thin applesauce. Wash your face so that it’s really clean. Then spread the melon over your skin, making sure to avoid your eyes. Lie down and put a piece of cheesecloth over the fruit to keep it from sliding off. Relax and think lovely thoughts for 20 minutes or so, then rinse the mash off and pat your face dry.

Happy 4th of July!