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How To Choose A Watermelon

Sweet and full of refreshing juicy fruit, ripe watermelon always reminds me of summers as a child. Playing all afternoon in the hot summer sun, then cooling down with freshly sliced watermelon. There’s nothing better on a hot day! Of course, you need to know how to choose a watermelon to enjoy the best this fruit has to offer.

Once you know how to pick the ripest watermelons, you can, of course, enjoy it fresh. There are plenty of unique recipes you can make to enjoy watermelon this summer though! Check out the recipes at the end of this guide for some summery inspiration!

a watermelon being cut in half on a wooden cutting board

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Choosing Only The Ripest Watermelons

For those of us where watermelon doesn’t grow locally, choosing a truly ripe and sweet watermelon can be a bit of a challenge.

If you do have local watermelon available to you, go to the farmers market and get the farmer to pick one out for you! They know what they are doing and can take the guesswork out of it.

a bunch of watermelons with a red arrow showing where the field spot is, is key in learning How To Choose A Watermelon

For the rest of us, there are 4 simple telltale signs to look for to help ensure we pick only the finest watermelon available.

  1. The Shape – if possible try and choose a watermelon that is evenly shaped and doesn’t have pointed ends. Blunt (flattened) ends indicate the melon may be fully mature and won’t grow any larger.
  2. The Weight – pick the watermelon up. Regardless of size, it should seem heavy for its size, and not light or airy.
  3. Field Spot – watermelons grow on a vine which creeps along the ground. This means the melons mature with one side on the ground. This ‘sun’ or ‘field spot’ is usually pale and not as green as the rest of the melon/due to lack of sunshine. The longer the melon ripened on the vine the more pronounced the spot. Pick melons with a creamy yellow sunspot. Melons with a white spot are not yet ripe.
  4. The Sound – give the watermelon a good thump or tap with your hand. It should have a deep hollow, ringing sound.

Now that you’ve chosen the perfect watermelon, take it home and enjoy it! Eat it plain on its own or turn it into any one of these delicious recipes!

Refreshing & Unique Watermelon Recipes

1 Ingredient Watermelon Popsicles
These 1 ingredient watermelon popsicles are refreshing, healthy, and the perfect way to cool down on a hot summers day.

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close up of watermelon popsicles
Watermelon Salad with Jalapeno and Bacon
Smoky, spicy, crunchy and sweet. This salad has it all going on.
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watermelon bacon and jalapeno salad
Creamy Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie
A refreshing fruit smoothie, this strawberry watermelon smoothie mixed with banana, greek yogurt, and chia, is full of healthy goodies.
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A glass of creamy strawberry banana smoothie on a wooden board
Watermelon Pavlova
A refreshing watermelon pavlova recipe with fresh mint and lime. It’s a great no-bake dessert when it’s too hot to turn on the oven (if you use store-bought meringues)!
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Watermelon Slushie
Cool down this summer with an icy watermelon slushie. Made in less then five minutes with only four ingredients!
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Watermelon & Tuna Crudo
Watermelon and raw ahi tuna cured with olive oil, scallions, black pepper, and a touch of fennel!
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Raw Watermelon Candy
Raw Watermelon Candy; dehydrated watermelon is ridiculously good!
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dehydrated watermelon strips

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  1. GreenGrocer

    I was told the thumping approach doesn’t mean much. You can still get an unripe watermelon or one that has too much juice. Only in extreme cases like a nearly rotten watermelon has meaning. It’s best to pinch the ends of the watermelon. It should not be too hard or too soft.

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