When it’s hot outside – temperatures approaching 100 degrees – any food that’s light and refreshing is perfect for any menu. You picnic basket, sunflower watermelon for web can’t go wrong with watermelon. This fruit is in the cucurbit family (think cantaloupe, squash and pumpkin) yet it has its own distinct flavor.

Its watery goodness is packed with lycopene and carotenoids, antioxidants that help provide protection against many types of cancers. Watermelon is a good source of Vitamin A, good for your skin, and has loads of potassium, which helps your cells and body fluids. In turn they help control heart rate and blood pressure.

Let food be your medicine! The flavors of summer provide many options.

Watermelon can’t be beat when it is chilled, sliced and eaten just as it is. (Food safety tip: wash rinds of melons before you cut the melon so that any bacteria on the outside won’t be pulled inside the melon as you cut it.) But if you would like some variation, here are some other ideas for enjoying this summertime delight.

  • A fruit salad mixing watermelon with other melons such as cantaloupe, honeydew, and Sprite melons is always delicious.
  • Cold melon soup is easy and refreshing. Try this recipe from SELF magazine
  • Make a Creamy Watermelon Sherbet using this recipe from the National Watermelon Board.
  • Chunky Watermelon Lemonade sounds perfect for a hot summer day. It’s easy to make following these steps.

There’s lots of other ideas at www.watermelon.org. In addition to the great flavor, watermelon is low in calories. Eat up for good health!