Watermelons are a healthy and refreshing treat in the summertime! If you spend time and effort picking out a watermelon and slicing it up, you want it to be sweet and amazing! Here are five tricks to pay attention to when buying a watermelon, to ensure a delicious watermelon every time.
1). Find a yellow, not whiteish, spot where the melon sat on the ground. If the spot is white or not there at all, the watermelon was picked before it was ripe (comparison pictured). Watermelons don’t ripen after they’ve been picked. The more yellow the ground spot, the longer it was on the vine and the sweeter it is.
2). Look for scar spots and bee stings. The greyish, brownish scars are where sugar was seeping out. Also, dots in a line are where bees pollinated. The more scars and pollination points, the sweeter the melon.
3). Pick a watermelon that is hard, firm and heavy. Choose a watermelon that is the heaviest for its size. It should have a slightly hollow, low pitch sound when thumped rather than a higher pitched sound.
4). Select a watermelon with a uniform shape. Whether the watermelon is round or oval, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s consistent. Irregular bumps may indicate the watermelon has not received a consistent amount of water or sun.
5). Choose a watermelon that is dull, rather than shiny. Like honeydew melons, shiny watermelons indicate that the watermelon is not fully ripe. Pick a nice dull green one instead.
6). Test the vibration of a watermelon. Avoid a mushy, mealy watermelon by slapping one end of the melon while feeling the other end. The higher the vibration, the better the melon. The mushy melons don’t transfer shock waves as well as the juicy, ripe ones.
Put these tricks to use and eat sweet watermelons instead of less-healthy desserts this summer! While watermelon is mostly water and natural sugar, it comes with vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and phytochemicals (like valuable lycopene) that help you hydrate in the summer heat and boost your health. It’s a win-win: watermelon can satisfy your “sweet tooth” while providing valuable health-promoting nutrition.
Check out this article entitled “Watermelon Wellness” to find out watermelon’s specific health benefits.
Judith (Judes) Scharman Draughon, MS, RDN, LD is a registered, licensed dietitian nutritionist, author of 12 Fixes to Health: A Wellness Plan for Life, as well as a corporate wellness speaker. Judes inspires many with her high-energy nutrition presentations, workshops, and seminars throughout the county. She is known as “Foods With Judes.”
Judes is passionate about her quest to empower people to make small changes that make a big difference. She can’t wait to empower you!