Watermelons are a standard dish at every summertime BBQ. This delicious fruit is packed with lycopene, a phytonutrient that has been shown to improve cardiovascular health and possibly even bone health. In fact, Americans now get this nutrient from watermelon more than any other fruit, including tomatoes. Watermelon also contains high amounts of citrulline, an amino acid that also improves cardiovascular health may help with fat absorption.
Whether sliced, diced or turned into a fruit “basket”, there’s no denying our love for this melon, but no matter how big the watermelon may be when we buy one it can take a very long time to finish it all. With so much fruit inside it may take a few creative minds and a few culinary ideas to use up the whole melon. But instead of focusing on the red watermelon meat, think about the rind too. Usually the rind gets tossed into the trash-a sticky mess-but there many uses for it that can allow you to use the whole melon with little leftover waste. Scientists have confirmed that there are just as many nutrients inside the pale rind as there are in the red fruit so you can reap the benefits of the entire melon. However, there are also many ways to use a watermelon rind without eating it. Take a look at a few of these ideas to get the most out of your watermelon purchase.
Homemade watermelon rind jelly
Watermelon rind is a unique flavor for homemade jelly that also makes great gifts. Using items you probably already have you can easily turn that pale rind flesh into a sweet-tasting condiment that also makes a one-of-a-kind gift. This recipe from squidoo.com will get you started.
Watermelon rind candy
You may not think to the watermelon rind fruit into candy, but the subtle sweetness of the rind plus syrups, spices and sugar makes for a delicious snack. This recipe from CharlotteFresh.net is slightly time consuming but the end result is sure to please. Pickling the rind fruit is also quite common as the fruit easily mimics the texture and thickness of a cucumber. For a tried and true recipe try this one from Southern Living. Star anise gives the rind a unique flavor.
Believe it or not, the same health and anti-inflammatory benefits that watermelon give you on the inside may be just as beneficial on the outside. By rubbing a watermelon rind on your face you are releasing the nutrients directly onto your skin and cleaning up bacteria-prone areas. Rub directly onto skin and leave on for a few minutes before rinsing off for maximum benefit.
While this is an obvious idea, many people forget to toss their unused rind into their compost heaps. With so many nutrients and amino acids packed into the rinds themselves, these peelings can boost your compost piles’ benefits quite easily. No compost pile? Make your own or simply bury chopped up rinds directly into your garden for improved soil conditions.