Today we want to explore watermelon. This is a seasonal fruit we are finding in our grocery stores this time of year. Most people just buy it, slice it, and eat it. But let’s see what else we can do with it. There is actually a website devoted to it: www.watermelon.org. The Victor crew came across some interesting Pinterest images of some things you can do with watermelon. You can find anything from watermelon lemonade to a watermelon cake. Some people make different melons into balls (or other shapes) and put it back into the hollowed out watermelon rind.
Maybe you’ve received emails or seen some elaborate carvings made from watermelon. The carvings on the watermelon site are more simple. There are many more elaborate carvings using the watermelon as a blank canvas.
What kind of nutrition does watermelon have? We searched for it and found the FDA Nutrition Facts label. There really isn’t a whole lot to it. Two cups of watermelon cubes are only 80 calories. Doing a quick calculation, 77 of the calories come from the 20 grams of sugar. There is also 1 gram fiber, 270 mg of Potassium, 1 gram protein, 30% of daily Vitamin A, 25% of daily Vitamin C, 2% calcium, and 4% iron. Even though there is not a whole lot there, you get something that is filling and satisfying.
To find the perfect watermelon, look for one that is free of bruises, cuts, or dents. Pick it up … it should be heavy. 92% of its weight is water. The underside should have a creamy yellow spot from ripening.
p.s. Why the three Watermelons in the title? It is said if you are in a choir and forget the words, say watermelon over and over again to yourself (lip sync) and no one will be the wiser!
Something most likely all have in either our pantry or refrigerator is onions. Onions can come fresh, dried into flakes, dried and ground into powder on its own or with salt. So what about nutrition? Onions are about 44 calories for a medium 2-1/2″ bulb. There really isn’t much nutrition to them. That 44-calorie bulb has no fat, about 4mg sodium, 161mg potassium, 10g carbohytrates, 4.7g sugar and 1.2g protein. It contains 13% of your daily vitamin C. Onions were mentioned in the Old Testament in Numbers 11:5, so they’ve been around for quite a while.
There are different types of onions used a little differently. These are the most common you will see at your grocers:
Yellow – You might see yellow or brown onions most commonly. They are considered for everyday use and are the most familiar. They caramelize very well.
Red – Red onions are used when you want to add color to your dish. They can also be grilled.
White – These are traditionally used in Mexican dishes.
They should be stored at room temperature in a cool, dark, dry area. They last up to three or four weeks. Sweet onions can be stored in the refrigerator but they may draw some moisture from other produce. Use cut onions within a few days.
Onions, even though they have little nutrition, can add a lot of flavor to your diet without adding many calories.
Recently, the Victor crew found that Consumer Reports analyzed some brands of Greek style yogurt. They found that the Whole Foods brand 365 Everyday Value fat free plain Greek yogurt has 11 grams of sugar. That’s more than 5 times the 2 grams that the label says it has. Most of the 27 yogurts tested listed 5-10 grams of sugar. Now 11 grams of sugar might not sound like a lot of sugar but the recommendation for female women is only 25 grams a day, that is almost half the daily allowance. It becomes even more crucial if you are a diabetic and need to keep the amount of sugar within certain limits.
We are told to read labels carefully to know what we are consuming, but how can we trust that the labels are correct? Unfortunately, we cannot depend on them totally.
By the way, Fage Total 2% Fat Greek Yogurt was rated the top plain yogurt in flavor.
Healthy eating and exercise can lead to a healthier heart. The Victor crew found some tips from Health.com to help prevent heart attacks, like avoiding unhealthy food and eating foods rich in nutrients, fiber, and healthy fats.
- Salmon and other fatty fish (like sardines and mackerel) – they contain omega-3 fatty acids
- Oatmeal (and other whole grains) – high in soluble fiber
- Blueberries – antioxidants, flavonoids
- Dark chocolate (yum!) – flavonoids (make sure it’s 60-70% cocoa)
- Citrus fruits – flavonoids, vitamin C
- Soy – protein without unhealthy fats and cholesterol
- Potatoes (not fried) – potassium
- Tomatoes – potassium, antioxidants
- Nuts – fiber, vitamin E
- Legumes – protein without unhealthy fats
- Extra-virgin olive oil – monosaturated fats
- Red wine – (only one per day) resveratrol (you can also get this from peanut butter and grapes)
- Green tea – antioxidants
- Broccoli, spinach, kale – antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals
- Flax or chia seeds – omega-3 fatty acids
- Avocado – monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, potassium
- Pomegranate – antioxidants
~ Steve Victor
The Victor crew found an article about 7 foods a nutritionist wouldn’t eat … and why you shouldn’t either. In this slide show they list:
- Rice cakes (they have a high glycemic index)
- Fat-free salad dressing (in removing the fat, they’ve added sugars and emulsifiers)
- Seitan (vegetarian meat substitute made entirely of wheat gluten – may cause new allergies)
- Shark (although high in omega-3, the mercury levels are exceedingly high)
- Refined and re-fortified grains (pastas, cereals, etc. – the good fiber and nutrients are removed and replaced with synthetic versions)
- Sugar-sweetened beverages (too much sugar means too many empty calories)
- Grits (leftover pieces from processing corn, these bland grains need large amounts of butter or heavy cream to give them flavor)
~ The Victor crew