Summer always calls for watermelon. What's fantastic about watermelon is it's diverse utility. It can be eaten alone, blended into a cocktail - or in this case - tossed in a salad as the star of the dish. I'll show you how to make a quick, simple and refreshingly balanced salad that's perfect for the summer.
What's better than a cold, juicy watermelon on a hot summer day? I honestly can't think of anything else. It's healthier than a popsicle while keeping you just as cool. It's deliciously sweet like a dessert. And it has so many health benefits that you need.
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Vitamins A, B1, B5, B6, and C - necessary for proper function and strength of your immune system, eyes, bones, nervous system, heart health, and much more.
Potassium - necessary for proper electrolyte balance, heart health, and muscle function
Magnesium - necessary for heart health, digestion, anti-inflammatory benefits, and more
Lycopene - an antioxidant with anti-cancer properties
Full of water
With only 46 calories per cup (150 grams), watermelons are one of the fruits with the lowest of calories. One cup of watermelon is very dense so it can be very filling for such a small amount of calories. That means it's great for those watching their weight. It's also 92% water which means it's basically drinking electrolyte water while eating watermelons. What a fantastic way to replenish fluids you need after sweating all day.
Keeping in mind that although watermelon has a high glycemic index, the glycemic load (which is more reliable to measure) is low. The glycemic load is the combination of the carbohydrate content and the glycemic index (how quickly sugar enters your bloodstream) of food. Meaning, as long as you're eating watermelons in moderation - like any other fruit - it's okay to eat when you're watching your sugars.
How To Balance The Mix
With watermelon being so wonderfully sweet, we want to balance out the salad with something countering the sweetness. I chose arugula (rocket) because it has a softer crunchy texture along with a peppery spicy flavour. If you want a milder green that still has a nice crunch, you may want to go for kale as a great substitute. We've covered sweet and spicy. Now adding something salty like feta cheese to create another dimension to the flavour profile of the salad will perfectly balance it out. Another ingredient that will create a bridge between the watermelon and arugula (rocket) flavours is red onions and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Since these are sweet and savoury, they'll fit right into the mix to tie it all together. So, here's what you'll need.
(for 2 servings)
2 cups (50 g) arugula
1/4 red onion
2 cups (200 g) watermelon
1 small cucumber (about 60 g)
1/4 cup (40 g) feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 lime, juiced
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp honey
salt, a pinch
Cut the watermelon into one-inch cubes (2.5cm).
Cut the cucumber into fourths lengthwise then into 1/2 inch-thick triangles.
Slice the red onion into 1/4 inch-thick slices.
Place the arugula, red onion, watermelon, and cucumbers in a bowl.
Crumble feta cheese over the vegetables.
In a small bowl, juice the lime and mix in the balsamic vinegar, honey, and salt until uniform.
Pour the balsamic mixture over the salad and toss. Then, serve. Garnish with mint leaves.
You have a beautifully colourful and healthy salad using less than 10 ingredients - half of which make up the dressing. This has to be my favourite salad for the summer. If you bring home a big watermelon from the supermarket, or already have one in the fridge, it's so easy to use it up in this shared salad for a big group of people. I guarantee that people are going to love it and it'll take you less than 20 minutes to make something so good.
If you've read my previous posts, you know that I encourage you to make at least one change to my recipe to add your own twist - whether it be a different dressing or a change in one ingredient. Let me know what you change up and how it worked out for you. This hydrating and delicious watermelon salad is going to be the talk of the party.