Chill Out! 12 Watermelon Recipes to help you keep your cool

I think there is no fruit as quintessentially summertime as the watermelon. It's bright green rind, juicy, bright red fruit is perhaps the most refreshing of them all, especially on a really hot day. Watermelon is one of those things I truly crave as the temperatures rise - especially after a really intense workout when I'll go home and head for the container of cut up watermelon. My mother used to tell me that watermelon had no nutritional value, but that's not at all the case. Packed with citrine and lycopene, watermelon is 91% water and contains vitamins A, B5 and C. Furthermore watermelon is associated with lowering blood pressure and reduced insulin resistance. One study shows watermelon to reduce muscle soreness after exercise; maybe this is why I crave it after the gym? Although watermelon has a high glycemic index (it's very high in sugar and can make sugar levels spike) it is relatively low in carbohydrates and calories, at just 45 calories a cup. So go ahead and eat your watermelon! Below are a few recipes to get you to rethink this pretty pink and green fruit.

1. Watermelon Frosé 

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How Sweet It Is shares her recipe for this summer's hottest chilled beverage. Have you tried frosé yet? The icy cocktail made with rosé and watermelon is a grown-up's version of the Slushy. You will definitely want to have batches of this around at your next summertime shin-dig!

2. Watermelon Mint Lemonade

What do you get when you mix summer's most iconic fruit with summer's most iconic beverage, a delicious and refreshing beverage that will make you forget just how hot it is outside! Simple Vegan Blog has the recipe. 

3. Watermelon Tomato Gazpacho

I'm curious to try this. If done right the watermelon should enhance the tomato's natural sweetness and cut down on the acidity. I might serve it with some toasted ciabatta and whipped goat cheese.... Recipe provided by Happy Kitchen Rocks.

4. Watermelon Bruschetta with Whipped Goat Cheese, Feta, Basil and Balsamic Drizzle

Or you could make this - blending the flavors of the goat cheese and watermelon on a crunchy piece of bread. A fun, summery twist on the more traditional tomato bruschetta.... or as in the chilled soup above, combine the tomatoes and watermelon to create a version of your own. Recipe via Host the Toast.  

5. Grilled Watermelon with Feta Salad

I was skeptical of the combination but after having a bite of a beautiful watermelon and feta salad at a local restaurant last year I was sold. Although I'm a huge fan of salty and sweet I'm not really into sweet for my meals... This, however, was a game changer for me. This recipe is from Cooking for Keeps.

6. Watermelon Feta Mint Skewers

Bites from Bri brings us another form of the watermelon feta combination with these minted bite-sized skewers that are pop-in-your-mouth aka party-friendly. The balsamic drizzle adds some acidity to the sweet and salty combo. Try substituting a really fresh and creamy mozzarella for the feta in any of these recipes.

7. Watermelon salad with Goat Cheese and Fennel

This variation uses a soft, spreadable goat cheese and adds some thinly shaved fennel and apple to the top for an added layer of flavor complexity. It's quite a beautiful presentation too. This recipe is from The Hungry Cook.

8. Cucumber, Watermelon and Feta Salad

Cucumber is another incredibly refreshing fruit. Combining it with the melon and feta, adds another layer of texture, and lessens the sweetness of the salad, offering the perfect balance. A simple dressing made of olive oil, lime and honey makes this a perfect summertime salad. Pair it with a glass of rosé and call me over to join you! Recipe from Downshiftology.

9. Watermelon Jicama Salad with Cilantro and Lime

Bon Appetit Magazine brings us this twist - offering sweet with spicy and sour - refreshing with a kick!

10. Watermelon S'mores

A healthier and more refreshing twist on the old campfire favorite. Cool Whip and watermelon sandwiched in between two graham crackers. I would imagine these are best served immediately to prevent the graham cracker from becoming too soggy. We will be trying these for sure!