So, buying a watermelon at the grocery store is probably in my top 10 exciting things to do. (Other things on this list include spinning yarn and seeing cute dogs, so I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about how exciting my life is.) Seriously though, getting to buy a watermelon is great. It means summer is officially here, for one thing. It’s fun to pick it out, thumping around the bin until you find the one that speaks to you. And it feels so decadent. Why yes, I am going to purchase this ten-pound thing larger than my torso and consume it.
But then, of course, the issue is that you have a ten (or more) pound watermelon at your house. I’ve never managed to consume that much in slice form, and of course once you’ve picked out your perfect juicy melon, you don’t want it to go bad. So here’s my favorite thing to do with it: a simple slushie with just a few ingredients, totally perfect for hot summer evenings.
Watermelon Honey Mint Slushies
- 1/4 watermelon, cubed
- Juice of 2-3 lemons
- 1 tablespoon honey (or sugar to taste)
- 1-2 trays of ice cubes
- A handful of mint leaves (optional)
I found that about a quarter of a watermelon was the most I could fit in my blender; honestly, you may want to use a little less. Just cut up your melon and dump it on in, along with the rest of the ingredients. Depending on how watery your melon is, you might get a slushie, or something more like aqua fresca. It’s great either way. If you want a thicker texture, just keep adding ice until it looks right.
Another way to get that thicker slushie consistency is to start with frozen watermelon cubes. And incidentally, this is also a great way to store your remaining 3/4 watermelon (or however much you have left after your family has eaten their fill of slices). To freeze, cut up your remaining watermelon into cubes, and arrange them on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet. (Mine are a bit too close together here; ideally they should have a bit more space between the cubes.) Place the whole tray in the freezer. Once frozen, you can transfer the watermelon to a plastic freezer bag.
Freezing does alter the watermelon’s texture, and also makes it a bit less sweet, so you may not want to thaw your melon again once it’s been frozen. But it’s perfect for smoothies and slushies throughout the summer. You can make the same slushie above, or blend it up with some vanilla ice cream or yogurt & lime juice, or berries and honey, or whatever else you can think of.
Incidentally, here are a few tips and tricks on picking the best watermelon:
I was surprised to learn that bigger fruits are generally not better, and also that the sex of the plant makes a difference in the sweetness. (“Girl” watermelons, which are smaller and rounder, tend to be sweeter.)
Happy watermelon hunting!