11 wonderful ways to use watermelon

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3 Things You Should Be Making With Watermelon

The juicy fruit of summer, watermelon, never fails to please.

And many people don't realize how healthy it is, thinking it's simply sugar and water. In fact, watermelon actually contains more lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable – about 15 to 20 milligrams in 2 cups of melon. Lycopene, which gives the melon its rosy red color, has been linked to lower cancer risk, especially prostate cancer. Watermelon is also an excellent source of vitamins A and C and a good source of vitamin B6, and it provides water for hydration.

The nutrition alone...

...is a great reason to add this fruit to your grocery cart. But sometimes consumers shy away from watermelon for fear of food waste – the melon simply provides more fruit than the household can eat at one time. If that's the case for your family, here are 11 ideas to use up that extra melon after the seed-spitting contests are done:

Fancy ice cubes

Freeze cubed watermelon with a little water and mint into ice cube trays for a refreshing – and pretty – addition to iced tea.

Popsicles

Cut blocks of watermelon, stick an ice cream stick into the end and freeze into watermelon pops.

Summer smoothies

Add frozen watermelon cubes to a blender with some nonfat plain yogurt, strawberries, coconut water and a drizzle of agave syrup.

Margaritas

Blend frozen watermelon cubes with some tequila, lime and Triple Sec.

Agua fresca

Blend about four cups of cubed, seedless watermelon with 1 to 2 tablespoons of simple syrup or sugar, and then strain solids out through a sieve as you pour the mixture into a pitcher. Then add 2 cups of cold water.

Yogurt parfait

Layer chunks of watermelon with granola and plain yogurt. Drizzle with honey if desired.

Sweet n' salty salad

Add watermelon chunks to a salad of leafy greens, goat cheese, red onions, olives and slivered almonds. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.

Grilled cheese

Add a thin slice of watermelon between two slices of cheese when making a grilled cheese sandwich.

Salsa

Add finely chopped watermelon to a spicy salsa recipe for a touch of sweetness.

Chilled soup

Puree watermelon with cantaloupe and a little lemon juice, and swirl in some Greek yogurt to enjoy as a chilled soup.

Roasted seeds

Rinse the black seeds (not the small white ones), and allow them to dry completely on a cookie sheet. Spray the dried seeds with cooking spray, sprinkle with some salt and roast them in a 325 degree F oven for about 20 minutes.

Copyright 2015 U.S. News & World Report

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