The next time you go scouring for a seedless watermelon or pay extra money for one, think about what you’re throwing away. The next time you spit out the seeds in the watermelon and dispose of them altogether, stop and consider what you’re doing. If you don’t already know it, in 2017 the watermelon seed – long debated for its edibility – has been designated a super food. Not only are watermelon seeds delicious when eaten the right way, they are chock-full of nutrients.
“Watermelon seeds are rich in good fats like Omega-3 fatty acids,” points out Neelanjana Singh, a consultant nutritionist with Heinz Nutri Life Clinic, Delhi. “They are also rich in micro-nutrients like selenium, magnesium and zinc, and that is so essential because most Indians suffer from a deficiency of micro-nutrients. The seeds are small in size but they are so nutrient-dense, as well as rich in fibre and protein too, that they are just like nuts. That to me, is my definition of a super food, a food substance that is so nutrient-dense.”
The Perfect Snack
Watermelon seeds are delicious when toasted and eaten like pumpkin seeds. In fact, they are like lower calorie substitutes for nuts when it comes to snacking. Here’s an easy way to turn those wasted watermelon seeds into a delicious and healthy snack.
Roasted Watermelon Seeds
Olive oil or melted ghee or any other oil
1 tbsp butter, cut into tiny little pieces (optional)
Other spices as desired: ground pepper, cumin, cayenne, paprika, herb blends
Rinse watermelon seeds and soak for two hours in salted water. Drain, pat dry, and remove as much of the leftover watermelon goo as you can. Place seeds in a large oven-proof glass (or heavy metal) baking dish. Drizzle with oil and stir to coat thoroughly, before sprinkling them with salt, spices, herbs and tiny pieces of butter (only if you’ve chosen to use butter). Place in oven and bake for about 40 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit, then bump it up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes until crisp and darker brown (this may vary depending on your oven and the size of the seeds). Remove from oven and let them cool, transferring to paper towel or a rag to absorb excess oil. They will become more crisp as they cool.
Recipe Courtesy: Christen Senka
Eat Your Way To A Healthier You
Your body requires amino acids, but there are some essential ones such as arginine and lysine which the body cannot produce on its own, and these have to be provided by food sources. Watermelon seeds contain some of these essential amino acids such as tryptophan and glutamic acids. Lysine helps in calcium absorption to facilitate formation of collagen and connective tissues in the body, whereas arginine improves the body’s metabolism, cardiovascular system and sexual health.
Couscous with Browned Garlic, Watermelon Seeds and Raisins
1/3 cup couscous, uncooked
¾ cup water
4 finely sliced garlic cloves
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tbsp olive oil
½ chopped tomato
Salt to taste
A squeeze of lemon juice
Some chopped coriander
A handful of watermelon seeds
Heat up the water with salt until it comes to a simmer. In another pan heat up the olive oil. Fry the sliced garlic until it turns golden-brown. Add in the chili flakes, couscous and raisins, then mix them together. Pour water over this and close the lid tight. Leave untouched for 15 minutes. In the meantime, heat up a dry pan and toast the watermelon seeds for five seconds. Once the couscous is done, fluff it with a fork and add the chopped tomatoes and watermelon seeds. Serve it with a squeeze of lemon, some more watermelon seeds, and lots of chopped coriander.
Recipe and Photograph Courtesy: Caramel Wings
At the beginning of the 20th century, a group of American scientists discovered that watermelon seeds are efficient in the treatment of kidney diseases and urinary infections. Per their results, watermelon seed tea is an excellent diuretic and it’s recommended for patients who need to eliminate any stones in the kidneys and urinary tract. Your best bet is to drink a big glass of watermelon tea for two days every week and watch your problems dissipate. Drink your first cup of watermelon tea on an empty stomach in the morning and then subsequent cups about half an hour after each meal for two days.
Watermelon Seed Tea
40gm watermelon seeds (try to use organic watermelon)
1 litre of water
150gm watermelon, cut into pieces
Boil a litre of water. While it comes to a boil, use a mortar and pestle to grind the watermelon seeds into a fine pulp to make it easier to cook. Add the ground mixture to the boiling water, and allow it to cook for half an hour. Remove from the heat and let the decoction steep for another hour as it cools. Strain off the liquid and reserve your medicinal water. Process the sliced watermelon and tea in the blender. Store this mixture in the refrigerator, preferably in a glass bottle.
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