Before our TOPS meeting officially began this week we were talking about the abundance of fruit in the summer. I love the peaches, nectarines, berries, golden plums and melons at this time of year. One of my members mentioned that as much as she loves the summer fruits she is finding it difficult to get her recommended intake of fruit every day because she is getting tired of them.
That surprised me because I am of the opposite opinion. Come February and March I find myself willing to pay the (out of season) premium price for a couple of nectarines. They’re always a little on the disappointing side as far as sweetness and juiciness, but what a taste sensation after months of apples, pears and bananas.
Watermelons are in season right now as well. I love watermelon and seeing as I have difficulty getting my 8 glasses of water in every day … I allow as eating watermelon subsidizes at least some of my water intake deficiencies. The tough part about buying watermelons is that you can’t see inside them. And while I have cantaloupes and Honeydew pretty much figured out, I seem to get a dud watermelon two out of three times. Any and all suggestions on how to rectify this and pick a perfect watermelon every time are welcome! It’s either pale or mealy, just basically looks too unappetizing to serve “as is”.
When I was traveling in Greece years ago the fruit vendors had a little apparatus that looked very similar to an apple corer that they would use to take a plug out of the melon you wanted to buy. That way you could see what the inside of the melon looked like and even have a taste. If it wasn't to your liking, you simply picked another one. Seemed like a good idea to me! However, I am fairly certain if I tried that here my local grocery store manager would promptly throw me out of the store.
All that aside … really, what do you do with a watermelon that is not quite up to snuff? It’s not like you can throw it into a pie!
For some reason it had never occurred to me to throw watermelon into a smoothie! So I was quite excited when I came across the suggestion www.babble.com under the heading “Sweet and Skinny Healthy Yogurt Dessert Ideas”. Not only can you make smoothies, but also the site suggested freezing cubes of the watermelon (I also never thought to freeze watermelon before … it was just a day of revelations for me) and use the cubes to make a slushy type drink.
Not that anyone needs a recipe for a smoothie, it’s easy enough to throw some berries, bananas ice and yogurt into a blender but here is the suggestion from Babble.
CREAMY WATERMELON SMOOTHIE
1 small watermelon
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1 cup strawberries (optional)
Fell free to add a handful of raspberries, blueberries or a few sprigs of mint, if you like. The mixture, by the way, would also make great Popsicles – just freeze in a pop mold.
Now I know a lot of people throw dark leafy vegetables into their smoothies. I can handle some spinach but as far as kale and chard go – I just don’t like the taste that they add to the smoothie. And, no matter what everyone tells me, I can taste them in there. I have nothing against kale and chard if they are cooked. But just not in my smoothie. The article with the suggestion for the watermelon smoothie also suggested adding parsley to a smoothie.
Everyone thinks of parsley as a garnish or a natural breath freshener. Parsley has the same nutrients as any of its dark green leafy cousins.
Apparently (and no I have not tried it yet) you can’t see it (taste it?) as long as you use dark blueberries or the frozen strawberry-raspberry-blueberry fruit mix you can buy at the store (or make yourself if you are more industrious than I am)
PURPLE PARSLEY SMOOTHIE
1 banana, peeled and broken into chunks
2 cups frozen mixed berries (such as blueberries, raspberries and blackberries)
1 big handful (or a small bunch) or curly or flat leaf parsley, stems removed
1 cup plain yogurt
½ cup orange or other fruit juice
2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
Put all the ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth, adding more juice, water, yogurt or berries as necessary to achieve the right consistency