My favorite fruit, especially during the Month of Fasting, is really a vegetable, which is actually the fruit of a vine-like flowering plant originally from southern Africa. It belongs to the scientific genus and species of plant, called Citrullis Lanatus, and is related to cucumber, squash, and pumpkin.
It is, of course, the magnificent watermelon.
Between 600–1,200 different varieties of it exist worldwide, and they can range in weight from less than one to more than 90 kilograms (200 lb).
The Moors brought it to Europe in the 13th century, and it is believed that African slaves helped introduce it to the US in the 17th century. China is the world’s single largest producer of these delectable water balls today.
The flesh can be red, orange, yellow or white, but it is not the only thing that is worth mentioning or eating. The pale rind and the seeds are also extremely nutritious. The long list of healthy or beneficial effects of watermelon are mainly derived from its unique nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds.
These include significant amounts of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, fiber (rind), protein (seeds), and a very large amount of potassium. Furthermore, they contain vitamin A, vitamin B6, niacin, thiamin, and a wide variety of carotenoids and phytonutrients, including lycopene (bright red carotenoid pigment linked to cancer prevention).
All of these components contribute to the health and protection of the kidneys, heart, blood vessels, immune system, reproductive organs, endocrine and digestive system, eyes, skin, or pretty much everything.
Being 92% water and 8% fruit sugar and electrolytes, it is one of the best ways to fuel up the cells, especially before and after fasting.
You can slice or chop it up however you prefer, but I’ve found that blending rinded, seeded watermelon slices in a high-speed blender is the best way to get all the good stuff in one place, hassle-free.
For extra goodness, detox and that loving feeling, I’ve added some lime, mint leaves and alfalfa sprouts.
Here it is:
(Use organic produce if possible)
– 1/4 of a regular size watermelon (cca 1 kg)
– 1 lime (peeled)
– 1 cup of alfalfa sprouts (or any other type of sprouts)
– a couple of fresh mint leaves
Toss the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately and enjoy with love for Sehoor and Iftar alike.
P.S. Here is an example of how you can plate watermelon, peach and strawberry salad using cookie cutters and some beautiful garnish (mint, basil and edible flowers).