Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Watermelon
Cravings around pollen HQ are a little different to your normal office, and come summer there's pretty much a constant demand for watermelon - fresh, juiced, smoothies, cocktails, salads: we've craved it all (and satisfied most). And rightly so - once the weather hots up (or at least tries to) it's the perfect snack for anytime of the day.
And let's face it, it's also pretty insta worthy - with it's distinct green striped shell, and bright pink flesh, watermelon is thought to originate from Africa, and varies a lot from the other types of melon, being more watery with a less intense flavour. You can find them year round, but they're at their best, and available in abundance from June through to September.
And picking the perfect watermelon can be an art form in itself - a ripe melon should sound hollow when tapped and feel heavy for it's size (yes we're those people you see at the supermarket tapping the watermelons and squeezing the avo's). The skin should be hard, not bruised, cracked or spotted and not give too much when pressed. If you're buying it pre sliced, the flesh should be bright and not grainy, the seeds black not white.
There is nothing more enjoyable than huge slices of fresh watermelon - the kind that are bigger than your face and manage to drip everywhere, but it's just as delicious in recipes too:
- Freeze your watermelon. It sounds so simple, but tastes so good. Cut it into bite size chunks and throw it in the freezer, never again will you need ice lollies.
- Make slushies. Just take that frozen watermelon and blend it with a little frozen banana and lime for the ultimate creamy frozen drink.
- Add it to your salads. Sliced watermelon goes well with so many ingredients. Try it with summer greens, white quinoa, courgetti, avocado, mint and walnuts then drizzle with a lime dressing.
- Make watermelon juice. Simply blend watermelon slices with ice cold water, or juice watermelon and mix with a little water, then serve with fresh mint leaves.
- Try grilling your watermelon. It sounds strange but it's delicious. Brush with a little oil (we like basil infused) then grill on the bbq for 5 minutes.