Watermelon is a versatile fruit bomb that pairs equally well with feta for a Mediterranean twist. There’s even a vegan feta recipe too!
PERFECT FOR BBQ & BRUNCH
Summer is here and watermelons abound, ready to delight you with their juicy, scarlet flesh. Not only are these sweet gourds pleasing to the eye, they contain nutrients and antioxidants that support your body too.
☝️TIP☝️ Take the Atlas Microbiome Test and use the app to track your Eat The Rainbow goals and see how microbiome-friendly your meals are!
|Watermelon nutrition facts||per serving (280g)|
The phytonutrients in watermelon, like beta-carotene, lycopene, and polyphenols, help prevent inflammation and oxidative cell damage in your body. The benefits of watermelon even include heart health because some nutrients have a positive effect on blood pressure.
☝️FACT☝️ Studies show that watermelon can influence blood sugar levels, liver inflammation markers, and the microbiome in obese and diabetic mice.
Calories in watermelon
According to the US Department of Agriculture, a government body that has a massive database of nutritional values for foods, watermelon calories amount to just 85 calories per 280g.
How to pick a good watermelon?
When choosing a watermelon, look for a fruit that doesn’t have any visible damage or bruising. When you pick it up, it should be heavy (surprisingly heavy), and if you tap the end of it with your knuckles, it should sound hollow.
If you’re a beginner, pick up a few watermelons and compare the weight and sound.
Lighter watermelons and muffled sounds when you tap them are a sign that the fruit isn’t ripe enough. When you cut into an unripe watermelon, it will be more pink than red and the flesh will have a spongier texture with less liquid.
Watermelon salad recipe
☝️TIP☝️ Whip up some vegan feta using tofu and a quick marinade using our recipe below.
- 2 tbsp of honey
- 2 tbsp lime (or lemon) juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Pinch of salt
Step 1 Put all the ingredients in a small glass jar and tighten the lid.
Step 2 When ready to serve, shake the jar vigorously to combine the ingredients and drizzle over the salad.
The watermelon and feta
- ½ watermelon
- Feta cheese
- Basil or mint (optional)
- Walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds (optional)
Step 1 Dice the watermelon into small cubes and put in a pretty bowl (or an ugly one).
Step 2 Using your fingers, crumble the feta into a separate bowl.
Step 3 Drizzle the vinaigrette over your watermelon and top with herbs or nuts (if you have any).
Step 4 Serve to guests and pass around the feta to top off the salad (if you have any vegan or lactose-intolerant guests).
Vegan feta anyone?
Vegans don’t have to live without “cheese”, they just need to make some adjustments. To make vegan feta, just marinade firm tofu in a (very) salty brine with apple cider vinegar, water, and oregano.
Marinade for at least 3 hours, or up to 2-3 days for uber-flavour. If you prefer to cook your tofu before serving, drain off the excess brine and heat in the oven. Drizzle with olive oil before serving.
- Becraft, A., Sturm, M., Mendez, R., Park, S.H., Lee, S. & Shay, N. 2019, "Intake of Watermelon or Its Byproducts Alters Glucose Metabolism, the Microbiome, and Hepatic Proinflammatory Metabolites in High-Fat-Fed Male C57BL/6 J Mice", The Journal of nutrition, vol. 150.
- Maoto, M.M., Beswa, D. & Jideani, A.I.O. 2019, Watermelon as a potential fruit snack, International Journal of Food Properties, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 355-370
- Minich, D.M. 2019, A Review of the Science of Colorful, Plant-Based Food and Practical Strategies for Eating the Rainbow, Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, vol. 2019,
- USDA Food Data Central
- Wong, S.Y., Wu, L., Lu, P., Ojo, B., Tang, M., Clarke, S., Keirns, B., Lucas, E.A., Smith, B., Chowanadisai, W., Conway, T. & Lin, D. 2019, "Drinking Watermelon Juice Shift the Gut Microbiome in Diabetic Mice P20-025-19, Current Developments in Nutrition, vol. 3, no. Suppl 1.