If endless watermelon triangles are feeling monotonous, but your kids still want that sweet summer treat, here are recipes to help you mix it up a little, and make a classic Labor Day picnic side dish more than just a plate of fruit.
Kid-Friendly Watermelon Mojitos
Best drink of the summer! Mix one part Seven Up, one part pureed watermelon, and blend with ice in the blender. Add some fresh mint ground with sugar in the bottom of each glass before serving. For parents, just add rum!
Want a good way to introduce salsa to kids? Consider making a watermelon salsa. Chop watermelon, lime, cilantro, and some red onion and chile powder. Grab a bag of tortilla chips. They’ll learn about salsa but will have an opportunity to taste a less traditional recipe.
Watermelon Paletas (Popsicles)
Watermelon is often paired with mint, but in a popsicle or paleta just add a little yogurt, lime squeeze and ginger to make it stand out and hold together. For a real Mexican food experience, consider adding a little salt and chile pepper.
Using much the same ingredients of the above paleta, follow this recipe for a tasty treat.
Frozen Watermelon Pie
Frozen yogurt Cool Whip pies were all the rage in the early eighties. My grandmother always had one in her freezer. Take a tub of Cool Whip, a few pints of plain yogurt (two or three), and one watermelon. Whip it up in a blender and pour into a graham cracker or Oreo cookie pie crust. It's not fancy (but it’s yummy). Add some mint for just the right flavoring.
Watermelon salads are prevalent these days. At first taste watermelon seems to be a stand alone sort of fruit but there are quite a few recipes out there gaining popularity. Keep in mind that watermelon is both sweet and watery so it’s best pairing is something opposites with strong but not sweet flavors. Consider the following salad combos for a refreshing taste:
Kiwi Watermelon Salad: Not only does the salad look stunning with the mix of sliced green kiwi and red balls of watermelon, but the slight bitterness in the kiwi is perfect against the watermelon. Nothing to add but give it a lime squeeze afterwards.
Arugula, Watermelon and Feta Cheese: Green, red, and white! A triangle of color and tastes that complement but don’t over power each other. It also introduces kids to arugula, which can taste bitter on its own but will be masked a bit by the sweetness of the watermelon and the cheese. No need for a dressing here. A variation of this one is to use black olives or toss with a vinegarette.
Watermelon, Mint, and Cucumber: This one also does great as a smoothie with some crushed ice. As a salad, just add a light rice wine vinegar. The mint makes it exciting to the kids. Of course you can always take off to a state fair and find deep fried watermelon if you’re into that sort of thing. And remember! Don’t throw those rinds away. Aside from making cool sculptures with them, you can make pickles!
Enjoy those last watermelons of summer!