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Enjoy that Summer picnic AND be healthier too !!

So Yum AND healthy too !!

So Yum AND healthy too !!

Hey Folks,

Here’s a great tip that will help make your picnics healthier and your blood pressure too !!

Drop your blood pressure down a few notches by enjoying this pink, juicy picnic treat more often: watermelon.

Turns out watermelon is loaded with an amino acid called L-citrulline. And in a small study of prehypertensive people, this compound helped improve circulation and lowered people’s systolic blood pressure by as much as 9 points. Pretty sweet!

Go ahead….Savor those Slices !!
Nine points may sound like a small drop. But it’s enough of a drop to prevent prehypertension from progressing to full-blown hypertension. And a drop in aortic systolic blood pressure is thought to be especially important in mitigating cardiovascular disease risk. In the study, not only did people’s systolic blood pressure drop when they took a watermelon extract of L-citrulline and L-arginine, but also their blood flow arterial function improved compared with the placebo group. The watermelon extract used in the study contained approximately 2.7 grams of L-citrulline, which is the same amount you’d get from about 7 cups of watermelon juice. That’s a lot of juice. But other studies have shown blood pressure benefits with smaller amounts, so don’t feel like you have to eat the whole melon.

Simply…. Amazing Amino Action !!
Just what’s so great about L-citrulline from watermelons? In the body, this compound gets converted into another amino acid that’s key to the formation of nitric oxide (NO) — that stuff that helps open and relax arteries. So whether you slice it, dice it, or juice it, you’ll want some watermelon year-round, not just on your summer menu.

When you’ve had your fill of watermelon wedges, here’s some great melon recipes for you ….

Watermelon Salad… Oh Yeah !!

What makes this recipe so Yum is the contrasting flavors and textures of crisp, sweet watermelon and creamy, tangy goat cheese are magical partners. Top with sliced grilled chicken to make it a meal.

This makes 5 servings of 2 cups each….so Enjoy more !!  😉

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 8 cups watercress, tough stems removed, or mixed salad greens (5 ounces)
  • 4 cups diced seedless watermelon, (about 3 pounds with the rind) (see Tips)
  • 1/4 cup very thinly sliced red onion, (1/4 small)
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, (2 ounces), toasted

Prep Tips…

Whisk oil, orange juice, vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl until well combined. Add watercress, watermelon and red onion; toss to coat. Divide among 5 plates. Top with goat cheese and hazelnuts to serve.

Tips & Notes:

  • Tips: Melon selection & storage: Look for symmetrical unblemished melons, without flat sides, that have a creamy yellow spot on the bottom indicating ripeness. At 92% water, this fruit should feel heavy when you heft it. Precut melon flesh should be dense, firm and appear moist. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or keep in a cool, dark spot. Cover the cut surface of melon with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  • To toast chopped hazelnuts: Toast in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Looky here at the Nutrition Bonus: Vitamins A & C (45% daily value) … Yeah !!

Another Yum recipe for you folks….

Watermelon Gazpacho

Those delicate flavors of cucumber and watermelon go hand in hand to create a sweet-and-savory chilled soup, perfect as a first course on a hot night.

This makes 6 servings, generous 1 cup each

Ingredients

  • 8 cups finely diced seedless watermelon, (about 6 pounds with the rind) (see Tip)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Some Prep Tips …

  1. Mix watermelon, cucumber, bell pepper, basil, parsley, vinegar, shallot, oil and salt in a large bowl. Puree 3 cups of the mixture in a blender or food processor to the desired smoothness; transfer to another large bowl. Puree another 3 cups and add to the bowl. Stir in the remaining diced mixture. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Tips & Notes …

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  • One more tip: Melon selection & storage: Look for symmetrical unblemished melons, without flat sides, that have a creamy yellow spot on the bottom indicating ripeness. At 92% water, this fruit should feel heavy when you heft it. Precut melon flesh should be dense, firm and appear moist. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or keep in a cool, dark spot. Cover the cut surface of melon with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Finally one of my Summer favs….

Watermelon Slush

This will make 4 servings, about 1 cup each

Ingredients

  • 3 cups diced watermelon
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1/2 cup water

Preparation:

  1. Blend watermelon, lime juice, date sugar (first tried now love it!), ice and water in a blender until smooth.

AND finally remember those healthy benefits while enjoying these yummy recipes too !!

It’s loaded with lycopene. Watermelon juice actually gave tomato juice a run for the money in a recent study of lycopene levels. That’s good news for your body, because early research suggests that lycopene may be a cancer crusher.

It can make your skin healthy both guys and gals love this one ! . Watermelon is loaded with a key compound credited with helping skin’s healing and regenerative processes. Say no more — bring on the melon!

It’s practically calorie-free. With fewer than 50 calories in every cup, watermelon is one smart way to satisfy a sweet tooth. And with a whopping 141 grams of water per cubed cup, watermelon will keep you hydrated, too.

Here’s to a Healthy Fun Summer Everyone !!

Dig in to that slice of Health !!

Dig in to that slice of Health !!

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2 Responses

  1. The one thing my children love about summer: watermelon!

    • Yes Colline, remember when as a child always looked forward to that watermelon…still do !!

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