Watermelon helps put the red into red, white and blue celebrations. Few things say “summer” like fresh fruit, and watermelon is at the top of the list for a warm-weather favorite. It’s refreshing and available at roadside stands and farmers markets.

In addition to being delicious and refreshing on a hot, summer day, watermelons are nutritious. They don’t contain fat or cholesterol. They are light in calories. They are an excellent source of fiber, potassium and vitamins A and C. fruit salad in water melonAnd that red color is an indicator that they are high in lycopene, which fights cancer.

Pick a Perfect Melon

  • Look for a melon with a full, symmetrical shape that’s firm and free from bruises, cuts or dents.
  • A juicy watermelon will be heavy for its size; the fruit is 92 percent water. If you must, thump the melon and listen for a dull hollow sound.
  • Look for a pale yellow patch on the underside, which means the melon sat on the ground and naturally ripened in the sun.

Watermelon is delicious on its own. In fact, it makes a perfect impromptu gathering. Pick up a couple of watermelons and call a few friends to come over and enjoy the taste of summer. No fussing or planning necessary!

Watermelon is delicious mixed with other melons such as honeydew and cantaloupe. It also pairs well with a variety of fruit such as grapes, blueberries and strawberries.

For recipes, carving guidelines and party ideas, visit www.watermelon.org, the site of the National Watermelon Promotion Board.