August 3rd is considered National Watermelon Day and for good reason too. Here in Ontario, the watermelon harvesting window runs from July to September, with the peak arriving in August. These delicious fruits are often considered a staple of summer and highly anticipated by melon lovers near and far. While these fruits are typically accessible in large grocery stores outside harvest season, they aren't as sweet, ripe and ready as in summertime!
This melon is entirely unique, from a striped, green outer shell, to the bright red delicious center, and it makes for a perfect way to keep cool and hydrated in summer! Being composed of 92% water, this fruit has an accurate name! Many of our farm vendors are always excited to bring the best watermelon of their fields directly to you through the Horton Farmers' Market. While eating this citrulline-rich fruit on its own is delicious, there are plenty of recipes to help you and your family beat the heat!
A classic recipe and nearly a no-brainer, watermelon juice will help keep you and your family cool. You can make this drink as straightforward or sophisticated as you like. While some prefer drinking the juice with the melon as the only ingredient, others recommend adding lime juice, mint, sugar and even strawberries to sweeten the deal. You can concoct a watermelon lemonade using lemon juice and granulated sugar for a more tangy taste.
Another odd but rather popular way to serve watermelon is found in salads. For a hot summer's day, watermelon is said to pair delightfully with cucumber, basil, lemon zest and feta cheese, making for a crunchy, refreshing appetizer. Not to mention beautiful! The red, green and white colours genuinely pop.
If you still need to chill, this last recipe will cool you down quickly and make a delicious homemade dessert. While it requires an ice cream maker to prepare, this tasty treat will surely be a riot. For those who still want to enjoy a classic dessert but don't have an ice cream machine, watermelon ice pops are always possible and easy for the kids to help with too!
With many possibilities and ways to prepare watermelon this summer, you'll surely return to the market for more! Remember to stay hydrated in the heat, and while watermelon is an excellent water source, sometimes nothing beats a good old bottle of H2O.