Chill Out with Watermelon

Chill out with watermelon on hot summer days.

Chill out with watermelon on hot summer days.

Happy summer! One of my favorite parts of summer is enjoying all of her sweet & luscious fruits—peaches, plums, melons and berries—my mouth is watering just thinking about them. It’s no coincidence these juicy fruits appear during the hottest time of year. Their cooling thermal nature helps to cleanse and hydrate our bodies.

Watermelon has one of the highest water contents—about 92 percent—which makes it an effective diuretic as well as a satisfying food (when water is bound to food, it increases our satiety). Watermelon is also a great source of lycopene (a powerful anti-oxidant that has been shown to decrease cancer risk, especially for prostrate cancer), vitamin C, beta-carotene and fiber. One cup has about 48 calories.
Now, for those of you thinking, “Yeah, that’s great, but what about all of the sugar?”…even though watermelon has a high glycemic index—72 (measure of how quickly a particular food turns into sugar), it’s glycemic load (measure of a particular food’s impact on blood sugar based on available carbohydrate content and glycemic index) is very low—4. Because of its high water and low calorie content, watermelon actually provides more nutrients per calorie, which makes it the perfect summertime fruit. Just be sure to thoroughly wash your melons before cutting into them.
Here’s a refreshing chilled watermelon soup recipe with a twist—hot red pepper flakes—taken from Elsa Petersen-Schepelern’s book, “Soups, Simple Recipes for All Seasons.”

Watermelon Soup with Chili Flakes
Serves 4

1 round, chilled, ripe watermelon, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon chili flakes, plus extra, to serve
ice cubes, to serve (optional)

1. Cut the seedless parts out of the watermelon and put into the blender (reserve any juice).

2. Cut the seedy part out of each wedge and put it in a strainer set over a bowl. Press the flesh through the strainer (don’t worry too much about getting it all), then transfer the contents of the bowl to the blender.

3. Blend, in batches if necessary, until smooth. Add the chili, blend briefly, then serve in chilled soup bowls and add ice cubes, if using, and extra chili flakes.

About Annette Cain

Annette Cain is an award-winning author, endurance athlete and certified personal trainer.

Known as the Longevity Lady™ Annette helps baby boomers age stronger so their bodies can keep up with their lives. Her ageless lifestyle products and programs provide an easy and balanced approach to becoming lean & limber and living younger longer.

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