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Usually associated with summer, watermelon -- one of my all time favorite fruits -- actually is a late summer/early fall treat.Some fun facts about watermelon:

  • The inside of watermelons aren't always red. They can also be yellow, white, or orange.
  • The outsides of watermelons vary, too. Some are striped, while others are a solid dark green.
  • Bigger watermelons aren't always more ripe. Different melon varieties grow to different sizes naturally, so a nice small melon could still be jam-packed with sweetness.
  • The rumors about watermelons made square to ship more easily? They're true. Watermelons can be grown in molds to fit all sorts of shapes. But to be honest, this has always looked like some kind of melon torture to me.
  • Watermelon seeds are edible (no, they won't make a melon grow in your stomach). In fact, they have some nutritional value when sprouted or roasted.
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You probably don't need too much inspiration for what to do with a fruit that is so good on its own. But just in case you want to think outside the box (or the rind)...

  • Watermelon margaritas are an easy and impressive treat. Cut up chunks of melon about the size of ice cubes and freeze them solid. Then blend the pieces in a blender or electric mixer until they're a good, slushy texture. Add lime juice and tequila to taste and serve. (They're delicious with or without the booze.)
  • Watermelon can also be a dose of sweet in a savory salad. The crunchy sweetness complements a smooth cheese like feta, and spicy greens like arugula. For a super summer crunch, make a salad of diced watermelon, cucumber, and jicama. Try adding toasted nuts (almonds or pine nuts) to your watermelon salad, or even fresh herbs like mint or basil.
  • Before you throw out your rinds, consider making something great with them! Watermelon rinds can be pickled with this simple recipe. They can also be made into a chutney, or added to a cool summer gazpacho.
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Whatever you do, enjoy your watermelons right away because the seasons are changing and they'll be gone before you know it!