Fresh Forecast: Beat the heat with local, organic watermelon

How are you beating the heat? Watermelon is my summer savior. Icy cold, from my fridge, cut into slabs, juice dripping from my chin as I munch it on the porch. Great timing, because we just got our first shipment of black-rind watermelon (so named for its deep green skin) from Inaba Farms in sunny Wapato, Wash.

Matt at PCC Fremont sliced one open for me last night. Check out that beautiful color. Even sweeter when it's been chilled.

It tastes as good as it looks!

Watermelon is great on its own. But it's also refreshing transformed into sorbet, in salads and in beverages. Check out this recipe from the latest Sound Consumer.

*****

Agua Fresca

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 cups fresh organic watermelon chunks

2 tablespoons honey (optional)

2 cups sparkling mineral water

3 limes

 

Purée the watermelon in a blender. Strain with a fine sieve into a pitcher, pressing on the pulp with the back of a spoon to extract all the juice. Discard pulp. Add sparkling water to the pitcher and season with honey (if using) and juice of 2 limes, to taste.

Cut remaining lime into wedges and use to garnish four glasses. Serve over ice.


Original recipe by Trina Kaufman, PCC Cooks instructor
Sound Consumer, August 2009

*****

That's one option for the watermelon I bought last night that's currently chilling in my fridge at home. He's a happy little guy. Matt advises you hunt for a watermelon that sounds hollow, like a drum. If the sound is too muffled, the insides may have collapsed. When in doubt, ask any of the friendly produce folks to help you choose, though Joe Hardiman, our produce merchandiser, loves this variety for its consistency. You can pretty much wander up to the display with your eyes closed and you will go home happy, he says.

We also have a huge selection of frozen treats at all our stores, including many that are vegan/gluten-free/dairy free. My new love? Cool Fruits, the natural answer to Otter Pops of yore.  

Here's some other cool inspiration via Facebook and Twitter

  • Add fresh mint leaves to your ice water (from Priya on our Facebook fan page)
  • Stack a chunk of watermelon, cube of feta and a mint leaf, secure with a toothpick and you have an easy appetizer (from @dominiqueb via Twitter)
  • Combine a pitted peach, half a tray of ice cubes and enough limeade to fill a 16 oz glass. Blend until smooth. Instant Slurpee! (from my pal Rhean via Facebook)
  • Add basil leaves to lemonade for a twist on tradition (from my wedding reception menu ;)
  • Pop a bunch of organic grapes, fresh Many Hands blueberries or other small fruit in the freezer for a chilly treat

Please chime in with your tips!

More about: Inaba Farms, watermelons

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