So many questions about watermelon!
Some of you asked about seeds versus seedless, some were concerned about the price of organic, some wanted to know how to pick a good one, and others wanted to know what to do if they got a less than fabulous watermelon. I had no idea this classic summer favorite fruit was such a hot topic. But you asked, so I will share all the tips I have on this delicious melon because it is a naturally detoxifying fruit that carries the benefit of lycopene (the same phytonutrient that give tomatoes their red color) and I want you to enjoy lots of it while it is in season.
Seeds vs Seedless
ALWAYS choose the watermelon with seeds. It takes genetic modification or at the very least some crazy crossbreeding to create a watermelon without seeds. As a woman, I don’t want scientist to create a version of me that has no ovaries (although on PMS days my family might prefer it!). Likewise, I don’t want my watermelon without seeds. Watermelon has seeds. Get over it. The color, flavor, and texture of the REAL DEAL watermelon, seeds and all, is well worth the effort of spitting out a few seeds.
Organic VS Non-organic
Get organic PERIOD. The conversation of organic versus non-organic produce is always a question of pay now or pay later. Choosing to pay now means we, our generation, pays for the true cost of producing healthy, nutrient rich foods in quality soil in such a way that the soil’s fertility is ensured for seasons (and generations) to come. Choosing conventional produce grown with mass chemical fertilizers that attempt, but fail, to provide what the soil has been stripped of does not provide food that truly nourishes you. It also condones the poisoning, stripping and all around destruction of our lands. This is a CLEAR and OBVIOUS choice as well as a reminder that we are all connected to the land and to each other.
Cost of Organic Watermelons
You are right! Organic watermelons can be priced completely out of range when you factor in their weight. I saw melon for $0.79 a pound which meant that the 16 pound watermelon I had in my cart would have been thirteen bucks, so I passed. But guess what, I must not have been the only one because two days later the same full size, seeded, organic watermelons were $5.99 a piece. Quite a steal at 50% off. Look for deals, buy at the peak of the season and you will get decent deals on these delicious melons.
The disappointment of a mealy melon is hard to take, but don’t despair! You can loose the texture altogether by juicing. One of my favorite summer beverages is Watermelon Ginger Juice. This refreshing drink has a light kick from the ginger and a hint of mint to keep you cool. Other quick fix recipes for mealy melon include Watermelon Gazpacho and Watermelon Mojitos. Find a watermelon juice recipe you like or blend the watermelon in a Vita-Mix and freeze it to form popsicles.
Watermelon grows on the ground, which means a properly raised melon will have an obvious “bottom”, a flat, maybe even lighter colored area. The melon should feel heavier than it looks, have skin the is neither shiny or totally dull, and be a rich, deep green color. If you are buying half melons, the seeds should be pitch black and the flesh should be bright red, without white streaks. A note about Whole Foods: I paid admittedly more than I was comfortable paying for an organic, seeded watermelon at Whole Foods only to open it and find very mealy flesh. They took it back and gave me a fresh one that they sliced open to ensure quality before I drove home. Kudos to Whole foods for putting their customer satisfaction first. Impressive.