There is an abundance of fresh, sweet watermelon this summer, so don’t forget to bring one or more home.
While my favorite way of enjoying sweet summertime watermelon is to eat it cold and fresh, once in a while I like to get a little more creative with it. I love watermelon agua fresca, but as a diabetic I have to watch the juices and fruit I consume. I manage to enjoy a reasonable amount so as to avoid feeling deprived.
Our hot weather isn’t showing any signs of going away anytime soon, so if you have a craving for watermelon, I hope something here in this week’s recipe box appeals to your tastes. As usual, stay cool and safe, whether at home or on your travels.
Watermelon-lime agua fresca
5 cups cubed watermelon
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
8 cups water
1/3 to 1/2 cup lime juice
In a blender, whirl melon, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup water until smooth.
Pour into a large pitcher (at least 3 quart-size). Whisk in 1/3 cup lime juice, 7 cups water and more sugar and lime juice to taste.
Chill at least 1 hour. Stir well and serve in tall glasses over ice.
Watermelon-lime agua fresca with syrup
2 pounds seedless watermelon (1/8 of a good-size watermelon)
1 cup cold water
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 tablespoon simple syrup or agave nectar
For the simple syrup: Mix 1/4 cup water with 1/4 cup sugar. Bring to boil over medium-low heat and simmer, without stirring, until all sugar is dissolved (about three minutes). Remove from heat and cool. Store any unused syrup in the refrigerator.
For the beverage: Blend all ingredients, adjusting sweetness as needed. Serve chilled. Makes about 4 servings.
Watermelon pomegranate green tea
From the National Watermelon Promotion Board.
4 cups watermelon puree
2 cups pomegranate juice
4 cups strong prepared and chilled green tea
1 cup white grape juice
Ice for serving glasses
Mix ingredients together in a large container (except ice) and chill well.
Stir before serving and serve over ice. Makes 5 to 8 servings.
1 small seedless watermelon (approximately 4 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup water
Slice about 1/2 inch off the bottom and top of the small watermelon.
Use a chef’s knife to cut the skin off the watermelon, sliding it between the rind and the flesh. Go all the way around the melon until all of the skin and rind have been removed.
Cut the watermelon into large chunks. Add the watermelon chunks, sugar, vanilla and water to a blender.
Blend until you have a very smooth mixture, about 30 seconds. It will be on the thin side and will have a froth on top.
Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl or the container for the ice cream machine. Pour the watermelon mixture into the strainer, and then use the bottom of a large mixing spoon to move it around until all of the liquid has passed through. Continue to use the bottom of the spoon to press on the fruit pulp to get as much as possible through to the other side, leaving the tiny white seeds behind. (A seedless watermelon will still contain tiny white seeds; it will not have the larger black seeds.)
Pour the strained mixture into your ice cream maker (if it wasn’t already strained into it), and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You can serve the sorbet straight from the ice cream maker, or for a firmer texture, place it in an airtight container in the freezer for a couple of hours first. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
From the folks at Kraft.
1/2 of a 16-pound seedless watermelon
4 packages (3 oz. each) Jell-O Cherry Flavor Gelatin (or any other brand)
Cut 1/2-inch-thick slice from rounded bottom of watermelon half to prevent it from rolling around. Scoop watermelon pulp into large bowl; reserve shell. Blend pulp, in batches, in blender until smooth; pour each batch of juice into separate large bowl. (You should have about 7 cups juice.)
Pour 2 cups juice into saucepan; bring to boil. Remove from heat. Add dry gelatin mixes; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Add to remaining juice in large bowl; mix well.
Refrigerate 45 minutes or until thickened, stirring every 15 minutes. Pour into watermelon shell. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm. When gelatin is firm, cut away any watermelon rind that extends above the gelatin layer. Makes 16 servings.