Watermelon Salsa with Mint
by Sheila Kealey
This salsa tastes like summer. Watermelon, mint, and lime combine for a colourful and refreshing dish that is perfect for summer BBQ’s. Serve with pita crisps, tortilla chips, or as topping for grilled chicken or fish.
Watermelon’s vivid pink hue signals the presence of lycopene, a carotenoid with potential disease-fighting properties. More recent research suggests that a compound in watermelons might improve your athletic prowess. Watermelon contains the compound L-citrulline: a recent study suggests that L-citrulline can improve oxygen uptake and high intensity exercise performance in recreational athletes, in a manner similar to the nitrates in beet juice. The research is very preliminary, but there are many good reasons to consume watermelon! Beyond the refreshing taste, it is rich in vitamins A and C and potassium, and other studies have found health benefits. For example, recent research has shown that L-citrulline or watermelon might help relieve sore muscles, and help lower blood pressure.
- 3 cups watermelon, cut into small pieces
- 1 cucumber, cut into small pieces (about 1.5 cups, no need to peel if the skin is thin)
- ½ cup chopped green onion
- ¼ cup chopped mint
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional, or to taste)
- Zest and juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup lime juice)
- 1 tsp. maple syrup or honey
- ¼ tsp. ground pepper
- 1/4 tsp. salt or to taste
- Combine the watermelon, cucumber, green onion, mint, and jalapeño.
- In a small cup or jar, combine the lime juice and zest, honey, pepper, and salt.
- Before serving, combine the dressing with the chopped vegetables. (The salsa is best served fresh, because as it sits, too much liquid is drawn from the watermelon and cucumber).
Nutrition Per ½-cup Serving
- 28 calories
- .6 g protein
- 6.5 g carbohydrate
- .3 g fat
- .9 g fiber
- 68 mg sodium
- 110 mg potassium
Sheila Kealey is a health promotion consultant, writer, and athlete passionate about encouraging lifestyle habits that promote good health. She has a Masters’ degree in Public Health and has collaborated on many research studies related to diet and health. Sheila cross country ski races with XC Ottawa, and also competes in triathlons and running races (5k’s are her favourite, but she has gone the distance once, running a 2:57 marathon). Sheila loves developing healthy recipes, and sharing advice on nutrition, physical activity, sports science, and tasty nourishing foods on twitter and her website.