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3 great uses for watermelon rind


Watermelons are in season and what a joy to be able to grab a nice cold slice out of the refrigerator or freezer on a hot day to cool down. But unless you buy containers that have precut fruit slices, you always end up with a large amount of watermelon rind that usually goes in the garbage or the compost pile. But what if there was a way to use all the rind? You know me by now, I don’t like to waste food so finding new ways to use up other parts of fruit and vegetables is exciting and kind of fun!

Watermelon’s health benefits

It turns out that the rind of watermelon is high in fiber, antioxidants (like Arginine, L-citrulline), nutrients and minerals like vitamin A, C, B6, potassium and zinc. Arginine is known to increase blood circulation around the head, so it helps hair growth. Watermelon can also lower blood pressure because it is a good diuretic. Mother Nature provides complete food in the form of fruit and vegetables, skin and all. So not only do you reduce unnecessary food waste, but you also getting more health benefits from it.
But the benefits don’t stop there, next time you have a sunburn or irritated skin, use the rind to gently rub and soothe it.

Should watermelon be refrigerated?

Only if you cut slices. Whole watermelons, canteloupes and honeydews shouldn’t not be refrigerated. They keep their delicate flavors at room temperature but once you open them, they should be refrigerated and consumed in the next few days. Watermelon freezes well, so if you can’t eat the whole thing, cut some slices and freeze them.

Can pets eat watermelon?

Yes, watermelon is safe as long as you make sure to remove all the seeds or better buy seedless ones. The seeds could cause intestinal blockage so be careful.

So what can be done with watermelon rind?

Pickled rind

pickled watermelon rind

This is my new absolute favorite quick pickle. Move over cucumber, you have been temporarily replaced! The little bit of red flesh makes this pickle naturally lightly sweet and so good!

Peeling watermelon

But first scoop out the flesh then remove the green skin with a peeler. Cut in pieces or slices.
For added crunch, slice some jicama, you will love it!
Next, prepare the brine. All you need is:
1/4 cup of white vinegar
1/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch salt

Pickled watermelon rind
Combine the ingredients and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the warm brine into sterilized jar. Add the slices of watermelon rind. Push them down a little and tighten the lid. Flip the jar upside down and few times to move the brine through the slices. They will keep refrigerated for about a week. They are best consumed in the next 3-4 days if you want to them to be crunchy.
Use with sandwiches, salads, as a side or  just on their own. They are that good!


Whenever you buy pickled vegetables (gherkins, pepperoncini), and have eaten all of them, don’t discard the brine. Just keep adding new fresh vegetables and a little white vinegar if needed.  You will save a jar, and make a fresh batch every week!

Watermelon tea

watermelon tea

Skip tea bags or powder tea! You can make simple watermelon tea only using watermelon rind and water. Place 2 cups of roughly chopped watermelon rind with some flesh in a pot with 4-6 cups of filtered water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes covered. Filter and serve hot or cold.
For a more refreshing and tasty drink, brew some green tea leaves with the rinds. Add a little fresh lemon juice when you are ready to serve. This will increase the vitamin C absorption.

In stews and curries

Like a sweet potato or a zucchini, watermelon rind can be used in curries, soups, or stews. I would remove the red part if you don’t want to to add a sweet note to your dish. On the other hand, if you are making something like sweet and sour soup, keep it as it will naturally add to the sweetness. It doesn’t need to cook very long, 3-5 minutes is enough because even the rind has a lot of liquid.

There are quite a few other ways to consume watermelon, like adding whole slices (skin, rind and flesh) to smoothies, or a summer favorite, make a watermelon salad (only using the flesh) with vegan feta cheese, balsamic vinegar and arugula.

Watermelon leather
If you bought a large watermelon and can’t eat it all in a few days, you may want to make fruit leather or jerky using a dehydrator or your oven’s lowest setting (135F) for 4-6 hours until done. You can also blend some watermelon slices with strawberries, mango, kiwi before dehydrating it. Get creative.

You can make watermelon ice cubes, shaved iced watermelon, sherbet or popsicles!
Now you have it, so have fun experimenting using the whole fruit!


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