MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - May 30, 2011) - (Family Features) There's nothing quite like juicy, fresh watermelon to cool you off on a hot summer day.

Whether you want to give the kids a refreshing, healthy snack or wow guests with a watermelon showpiece at a backyard barbecue, these recipes serve up great taste and good nutrition all summer long.

For more tasty ways to make a summer splash, visit www.watermelon.org.

Did you know? Facts about watermelon
-- Watermelon has higher concentrations of lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable.
-- Watermelon is naturally low in saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol.
-- A 2-cup serving of watermelon is an excellent source of vitamins A and C and a good source of vitamin B-6.

How to choose a watermelon
-- Look for a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.
-- The watermelon should be heavy for its size.
-- The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.

Beach Bucket
1 watermelon -- can be seeded or seedless
Cutting board
Kitchen and paring knives
Green dry erase marker
Large bowl and spoon
Melon baller
Beach theme cookie cutters
Light-colored cake mix
Wash watermelon under cool running water and pat dry.

Placing watermelon on its side, cut off the bottom end 1/4 to 1/2 inch so it can stand flat on its end. Be careful not to cut too deep into the white part of the rind -- this would allow liquid to leak from bottom of carving.

Stand watermelon on cut end. With dry erase marker, draw a line about 1/3 of the way down from the top, around the whole watermelon.

Pick a point on the line and find the corresponding point on the exact opposite side of the watermelon. From those points measure 1 inch to the right and to the left. Connect those points by drawing two parallel lines across the top forming the shape of the handle.

Use paring knife to cut along lines, being careful to not break or crack handle. For best results, hold paring knife like a pen, but only cut half way into rind. Once you complete that first cut all the way around, go back and cut the rest of the way through the rind. Doing the cut in two steps will ensure a cleaner line and smoother cuts.

Carefully remove trimmed rind and flesh. Try to remove as much as possible in large portions that can later be sliced and used with the cookie cutters.

Scoop out remaining flesh from base, trying to leave as much flesh intact. Remove it in larger pieces that can be used for making watermelon balls or bite-sized chunks.

Take knife and carve a channel about 1 to 2 inches from top edge, creating rim of bucket.

Take the large removed pieces and trim off rind. From flesh, cut rectangles about 1/2 inch thick.

Using cookie cutters, cut shapes from watermelon. To create light colored shapes, use slices of honeydew melons, or cut decorative pieces from white part of watermelon rind. Set aside and drain on paper towel.

With remaining fruit, make either cubes or balls and drain. Toss with other cut fruit and berries and fill bucket.

Decorate top of bucket with cut watermelon shapes and new, clean toys and shovels. Use light colored cake mix to resemble sand.

Watermelon Beach Party
1 watermelon -- can be seeded or seedless
Cutting board
Kitchen and paring knives
Pencil or thin marker
Large bowl and spoon or ice cream scoop
Blue gelatin
Small plastic container
Small beach themed items
Gummy fish
Using an oblong seedless watermelon, cut a 1/4-inch slice off the bottom to provide a stable base.

Draw lines in a wave design with a sharp pencil or thin marker approximately one half of the way up and all the way around the watermelon.

Scoop out the flesh with an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, and reserve for salad.

Chill gelatin in a small plastic container to make a pool of "water" and place in the watermelon bowl. Fill in around the "water" with fruit salad cut into fun shapes and balls.

Arrange toys toward the edge of the watermelon bowl. Garnish sides with drink umbrellas and plastic palm tree swizzle sticks, and add gummy fish to complete the scene.

Watermelon Raspberry Lemonade
Makes 4 servings
6 cups watermelon cubes
(seeds removed)
1/4 cup raspberries
1 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
Place watermelon, raspberries and water in container of electric blender, cover and blend until smooth. Strain through fine mesh strainer into pitcher. Stir in sugar and lemon juice until sugar dissolves. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

Watermelon Popsicles
Chunks of fresh fruit -- try grapes, strawberries, or
kiwi fruit
Puree watermelon and pour into popsicle molds. Drop in chunks of fresh fruit, insert caps and place in freezer. Serve when frozen.

Contact Information:

Wendy MacDonald
1-888-824-3337 ext. 235