It’s Summertime…aka it is HOT outside. And living in Columbia, SC, it’s usually 90+ degrees out, every.single.day. So naturally, I want something cool and refreshing to eat. In comes watermelon, a super hydrating, delicious melon to include in your repertoire all summer long. Hence the name, watermelon is made up of about 92% water, the reason why it is so low in calories and extremely hydrating during the summer! The perfect thing to snack on too as you can eat a lot volume-wise for very few calories. One cup of diced watermelon contains only about 45 calories so eat up! 🙂
The Health Buzz:
Blueberries are one of my FAVORITE fruits for many reasons, one being they are FULL of antioxidants! Antioxidants help neutralize, or fight off, excess free-radicals in your body (aka too many free radicals in the body can cause oxidative damage…think damaged, broken cells, which can cause accelerated aging, inflammation, cancer, other diseases, etc). So these antioxidants are powerful fighters than help get rid of this oxidative stress on our bodies! They can help strengthen your immune system, attribute to anti-aging, help prevent muscle and tissue degeneration, and fight disease. Blueberries are also low in calories, high in fiber, and high in nutrients! (Not to mention they taste amazing) They contain small amounts of vitamin C, manganese, vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, etc! Add blueberries to yogurt, cereal, oatmeals, smoothies, desserts, etc. for your daily dose of powerful antioxidants and nutrients.
As mentioned previously, watermelon is made up of, you guessed it, water! The other small percentage is natural sugars, hence it’s naturally sweet taste. Watermelon is very hydrating, which is important during these summer months as well as during exercise. Extra sweat = increased need for water, so why not eat some of your water too! It’s a delicious way to stay hydrated. Watermelon also contains Potassium, Vitamin A and Vitamin C, is great for your skin with both the Vitamin C and water components. Think of it as not only nutrition for your overall body, but nutrition for your skin as well!
Feta is a delicious Greek-born cheese, that is a good source of protein and adds the perfect oomph to this dish. Feta also contains Riboflavin, B vitamins (important for the brain!), and Calcium. Yes, cheese does contain saturated fat, but the amount used in this dish is the perfect amount – just a touch to get that bold, delicious flavor.
Ahhh mint. Such a refreshing herb. It has been used for years and years as a medicinal herb to help aid in digestion and healing. Mint is low in calories, and gives a wonderful flavor without the addition of sodium to dishes, helpful for those with cardiovascular disease (as with most herbs and spices). Herb contains essential oils, fiber, vitamins, and minerals essential for a healthy body. Mint has also been studied for its anti-spasmodic properties, relaxing the muscles of the GI tract, which can help those with Irritable Bowel Sydrome (IBS), soothin inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.
This salad doesn’t keep too well, so I’d suggest making just enough to serve, and then storing each ingredient separately so they stay fresh (and the cheese doesn’t get soggy…ugh!). Since there are only 4 ingredients, it’s simple to throw together! Store chopped watermelon in an air-tight container, keep feta cheese in its original packaging, store blueberries in the freezer (they are best cold!), and store the mint in its original packaging or an airtight Ziploc bag. Easy peasy!
I made this dish as a side during Brendan and I’s super hot, super humid housewarming backyard BBQ and it was a hit! We paired it with grilled burgers/hotdogs and corn on the cob (+ Mom’s incredible gluten free red velvet cake for an early birthday treat…what an indulgence!) This watermelon salad was sooo refreshing during a hot backyard evening.Print
- 1 large chilled watermelon, sliced and diced into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup fresh organic mint, chopped
- 2.5 cups blueberries
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (more of less depending on your preference)
- 2–3 TBSP olive oil
- 2–3 TBSP lime juice
- dash of sea salt
- Chop watermelon into bite-sized pieces.
- Finely chop mint.
- Add 1/4 of the watermelon to a large bowl, then add 1/4 of the blueberries, 1/4 of the chopped mint, and 1/4 of the crumbled feta (this makes it easier to mix ingredients rather than tossing). Repeat with all ingredients until combined.
- Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice. Add a dash of sea salt.
Add this dish to any summer cookout – it’ll be sure to cool you down and please your taste buds!