Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Weird Recipe Wednesday: Watermelon Cucumber Cooler with Mint and Lime

Weird Recipe Wednesday: Because some recipes are so weird I just HAVE to try them.  My curiosity always gets the better of me.

The weird factor this week comes not in the recipe, but in the sad story of a watermelon.  I'm not even sure I can call it a watermelon.  I love a good watermelon, sweet, crisp, cold, juicy and thirst quenching on a hot summer day.  Or so you hope.

I bought the first watermelon of the season last week and it met every expectation.  In fact it was so good I ate it all before I got a chance to try out any recipes.  As much as I like to whip up a recipe, I love pure and simple fruits and vegetables in their natural form. Sometimes you just can't mess with it; nature already has it perfected.   

Since I inhaled the first one I bought a second. But when I went to slice it was dry inside. Weird. Instead of sweet juicy water and bright pink flesh I found large cracks of pale pink. Ironically I even remembered to put a paper towel under the cutting board.  A good watermelon leaves enough liquid for a soppy mess that takes 4 or 5 paper towels to soak up.  Not this time, even the first paper towel was barely damp.  Okay, it wasn't completely dry and it still tasted good, but it was kind of a let down after the first one. I tried to get a picture of how dry it was, but couldn't really capture it with a camera. You can sort of see what I'm talking about around the seeds in these pictures.  

Dry and disappointing, but less tempting to inhale and perfect to throw in the blender for a flavor boost.  When life gives you dry watermelons make watermelon cucumber coolers with mint and lime (duh). You will not be disappointed. This cooler was the perfect fix for the poor melon, but I'm sure it will be just as refreshing with nice juicy watermelon too.

The flavor was incredible, especially considering the watermelon I started out with.  Fresh lime juice added a burst of bright citrus to enhance that sweet juicy watermelon flavor.  Sweet and fruity was balanced by subtle cucumber notes and a hint of cool, refreshing mint.

The recipe below is the version I came up with this time around.  You may need less sweetener depending on how sweet your watermelon is.  I thought this hit the spot, but seeing as I rarely try the same thing twice I scribbled down a few changes for next time.  I'd add more cucumber and leave the skin on (less work, less waste, more nutrition).  One to three more mint leaves would  be refreshing and one might as well use a little the zest from the lime.  This recipe is flexible depending on personal preferences so start on the low end of the measurements and add until you get the flavor your craving.  I'm also planning to swap the mint with basil at one point or another.  Ahhhh, summer.

Watermelon Cucumber Cooler with Mint and Lime
inspired by Laura Friendly

3/4 cup peeled diced cucumber
1 Tbsp agave nectar
juice of one lime
4 fresh mint leaves
1/8 tsp salt
4 cups cubed seedless watermelon, chilled
1 cup ice cubes

* Add all ingredients to blender in order listed.  Blend on high speed until smooth.  Depending on the size of your blender you may need to add any remaining watermelon and ice and blend again.  Serve immediately.     

Food for Thought: "If you can't figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose." -Bishop T.D. Jakes

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