Snow Capped Watermelon Mountains
Contributed by: News Canada
The healthy gift of watermelon
(NC) - We may see watermelon as a sweet treat for kids on a hot day but in some European and Asian cultures it's customary to gift this versatile cucurbit (cucumber, melon, pumpkin, gourd family) to a gracious host or ill friend.
It seems there is more to this custom than just a simple snack. In addition to acting as an ideal hydrator - it's 92 per cent water - watermelon is great as a quick source of energy and is packed with nutrients including the antioxidant lycopene, thiamin, vitamins A, C and B6, panothenic acid, magnesium and potassium. Perfect for summer sports, cut cubes of watermelon and serve as a refreshing 'pick me up' during rest breaks.
Recent studies on the health benefits of watermelon are even more encouraging. Scientists with the Agricultural Research Service in Lane, Oklahoma have confirmed that watermelon is an excellent source of the amino acid citrulline. Citrulline is used by the human body to create arginine - another important amino acid - which plays a key role in cell division, wound healing and the removal of ammonia. Watermelon is one of the few foods that contain such high levels of citrulline, which is not only abundant but also readily usable by the body. A low-calorie food that's naturally sweet, watermelon is the ideal healthy treat.
Healthful qualities aside, the possibilities for enjoying watermelon are endless. They can be used in a variety of sweet or savoury recipes or simply eaten out of hand. More about the benefits of watermelon plus recipes, kids craft ideas and carving suggestions can be found online at www.watermelon.org. These delightfully tasty "mountains" make the perfect summer afternoon activity for children of all ages. They are fun to make and even more fun to eat.
- 12 3 to 4-inch (7.5 to 10 cm) tall pieces of seedless watermelon, cut into pyramid shapes 12
- 1 cup 35% whipping cream 250 mL
- 1 tbsp icing sugar 15 mL
- 8 oz white chocolate, shaved 250 g
- 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut 175 mL
Arrange 3 pyramids each on 4 serving plates. Whip cream in a bowl with electric mixer on high adding icing sugar to taste, until soft peaks form and top each pyramid. Decorate with white chocolate and shredded coconut.
To create watermelon pyramids from a picnic sized watermelon, cut three 4-inch rounds, lay flat and remove rind, cutting to make a square. Cut square diagonally from corner to corner producing 4 triangles that can be set on end to form pyramids. Repeat with the other 4-inch slices rendering 12 total.
Serving Size: Makes 4 Servings