HOW TO MAKE: WATERMELON RICE KRISPIE TREATS!

March 30th, 2016 by The Watermelon Guy

Image courtesy of YouTube.com/Yoyomax12

Image courtesy of YouTube.com/Yoyomax12

I’m not much of a baker, unless you consider making tiny, quarter-sized cookies in my daughter’s Easy-Bake Oven “baking.” My wife, on the other hand, is the baker in our family (I do a lot of the other cooking, though!). She loves to bake cakes, pies, tarts and tortes (don’t ask me the difference between tarts and tortes).

And, like the supporting husband I am, I sample every one of her creations with a smile and (mostly) honest feedback.

So, you can imagine my excitement when I found a pseudo-baking recipe that I could actually do without setting off the smoke alarm. The Watermelon Rice Krispie Treats above are so realistic, you might think you’re actually eating a slice of watermelon. The best part? It’s so easy that almost anyone can do it. I’m proof of that.

Check out the video below and the recipe in the video description to find out how to make your own Watermelon Rice Krispie Treats. And, yes, those seeds are chocolate chips which means, perhaps for the first time ever, you might want extra “seeds” in your watermelon.

UP NEXT: Our April Prize!

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NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION UPDATE: WEAK PAPER AIRPLANES AND VERY STRONG WATERMELON

March 25th, 2016 by The Watermelon Guy

Nine months. That’s how long I have to accomplish my New Year’s resolution of breaking a Guinness World Record for something — anything — related to watermelon.

I’d like to be brave and attempt on the current watermelon records for smashing watermelons with my head or crushing them with my thighs, but my first world record attempt will be something a little less physically demanding. In fact, the biggest risk with this feat is getting a paper cut.

That’s because my first Guinness attempt will be the record for the “Most Paper Airplanes Thrown into Watermelons in One Minute.” According to the Guinness website, the official tally is 12, and it’s a record held by Junguk Lee of South Korea.IMG_8133

Twelve. That’s it! Yes, I can see that framed Guinness World Record Holder certificate hanging on my living room wall now. I can also see my wife telling me to move it to the wall behind the door in the guest room.

The first thing I needed to do was make some paper airplanes. I also knew the airplanes had to have firm, pointy noses to allow them to pierce the hard rind of the watermelon. No problem! Ten minutes later, I had six pointy-nosed airplanes. They looked more like watermelon-piercing fighter jets if you asked me. I poked the tip of one against my finger. Pointy. Very pointy. This was going to be easier than I thought.

I stood about four feet away from my watermelon, wound up with my paper creation, and let ‘er rip like a 95-mile-per-hour fastball. The first airplane sailed a full 12 inches above the watermelon.

Okay. No big deal. I’m just getting warmed up.

I reared back with airplane number two and flung it forward with even more force than the first. It glanced off the side of the watermelon and careened towards our cat, who promptly pounced on it and claimed the aircraft for his own.

Maybe I was standing too close. I took a step back and hurled another plane toward the round, green target. Bull’s-eye!

Airplane number three landed smack dab in the center of the watermelon. Unfortunately, the flight also crumpled the nose of the airplane and left it lying in a sad little heap on the countertop. The watermelon, on the other hand, showed no signs of damage.

So, maybe this wouldn’t be as easy as I had thought. I needed to work on my throwing accuracy, and I definitely needed to work on creating sturdier airplanes. The latter point was driven home after a closer reading of the record on the Guinness website. Turns out, Mr. Lee of South Korea prepared over 50 paper airplanes for his record-setting attempt, and EACH airplane took six minutes to create.

Yep, lots of work and lots of practice lies ahead over the next 30 days. Stay tuned for my official world record attempt next month to see if all that practice pays off.

UP NEXT: SWEET WATERMELON TREATS

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SECOND SLICE: AN INSIDE LOOK AT JAPAN’S LEGENDARY $200 SQUARE WATERMELON

March 22nd, 2016 by The Watermelon Guy

Gifting fruit isn’t necessarily traditional in the United States, but in different parts of the world, giving fruit is customary. This entry from 2014 explains how giving fruit — especially unusually-shaped fruit — is popular in Japan and should probably become a custom here in the United States!

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Did you know that in Japan it’s customary for people to give fruit as a gift? It’s not uncommon for someone to present a neighbor with a simple orange or a small bunch of grapes. Yep, fruit is pretty much revered in Japan. Well, maybe not revered, but they do take fruit pretty seriously, and that’s a good thing.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

They’ve even got high-end “fruit emporiums” where people can buy expensive, perfectly shaped fruits to give as gifts at special occasions like weddings, business meetings and hospital visits.

One store sells apples for $21 each, strawberries for $69 a dozen and cherries for $159 per box, but the star product is the legendary square watermelon, which carries a price tag of more than $200. I’ve talked in the past about how the square watermelon are made — essentially, the watermelons are grown inside a special, square-shaped box — but the video below offers a closer look.

The most incredible insight from the video: The super-expensive watermelons aren’t intended for eating because most of them aren’t even edible! That’s because they’re harvested before they’re fully ripe. Instead, most proud owners of square watermelon simply keep them as a decorative accessory (they can be displayed for up to a year).

I don’t know about you, but there’s no way I’d be able to “display” a watermelon for a year in my house. The longest I’ve ever kept a watermelon on my countertop was 37 and a half hours before I cut that sucker open and devoured it.

UP NEXT: MY FIRST OFFICIAL WATERMELON WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT

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SAINT PATRICK’S DAY RECIPE: SUPER GREEN DETOX SMOOTHIE

March 17th, 2016 by The Watermelon Guy

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya! That was my less-than-impressive Irish accent in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. March 17 is a day draped in green (including the beer), that honors the “Apostle of Ireland,” Saint Patrick, who is highly revered in Irish culture.

On that day, you might choose to put down that green beer and swap it for a nice, tall glass of this Super Green Detox Smoothie. (Want to take this drink to the next level? Hollow out your mini watermelon and make it into a smoothie bowl!)

What makes this smoothie so incredibly healthy is the combination of greens and a popular Korean chili paste called Gochujang. This savory and spicy Korean condiment is packed with a number of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, C and carotene. It’s the perfect way to go green in the St. Patty’s Day spirit.

SUPER GREEN DETOX SMOOTHIE 

Image courtesy of watermelon.org

Image courtesy of watermelon.org

INGREDIENTS

3 cups watermelon cubes

¼ cup parsley

2 cups packed kale

2 teaspoons green tea powder

2 teaspoons gochujang paste (optional)

3 tablespoons pineapple juice concentrate

6 limes (juice from the fresh squeezed limes)

½ peeled and pitted avocado

DIRECTIONS

Place all ingredients in a blender, such as a Vitamix, with watermelon on the bottom. Start blending slowly until the watermelon is liquefied, then increase speed. Blend for one to two minutes.

NUTRITION

Serving size: 1 medium cup

Calories per serving: 160

Fat per serving: 5.5g

Saturated fat per serving: 1g

Fiber per serving: 4.6g

Protein per serving: 8% of daily serving

Carbs per serving: 61% of daily serving

UP NEXT: WOULD YOU BUY THIS $200 WATERMELON?

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ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, CARVE!

March 14th, 2016 by The Watermelon Guy

We’re just over a month into the 2016 Watermelon Carving Contest and the competition is already heating up. This year, we wanted to give carvers plenty of time to create their amazing masterpieces, which is why you’re hearing about this now and not in June or July like years past. 2

We also made it mandatory that carvers must submit a photograph of their carving AND a photograph of them with their carving. (Hey, at least now you have a use for that Selfie Stick you got for Christmas.) You can create your watermelon masterpiece anytime between now and August 3 (when the contest entry period ends).

This year’s contest features a few new categories, with entries and prizes in each category divided into “Beginner” and “Experienced” groups of contestants:

  • Pop culture
  • Basket
  • Event/occasion
  • Elegant
  • Etched carvings

 

Did I mention how sweet the prizes are? Category leaders have the chance to take home $100, and of course there’s the $250 “Judge’s Choice” prize and a $250 “People’s Choice” prize. So, what are you waiting for? Get carving and don’t forget those selfies!

UP NEXT: GO GREEN FOR ST. PATTY’S DAY

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RECIPE: SKINNY FISH TACOS WITH WATERMELON AND RADISH SLAW

March 11th, 2016 by The Watermelon Guy

During my 2015 New Year’s resolution of trying new and different watermelon recipes, I learned a lot about my taste buds and my culinary preferences. As a former competitive eater, it’s no secret that I love to eat, but I’m a little picky when it comes to what I actually consumer during a “normal” meal.

Last year, I made a point to find recipes that I wouldn’t try otherwise. Like this one for Skinny Fish Tacos. These tacos taste so good, you will totally forget that they’re “skinny,” which often means that the best ingredients are missing or short-changed with low-fat options.

Image courtesy of watermelon.org

Image courtesy of watermelon.org

But there’s no short-changing with this recipe. The result is a taco that’s as good as any regular one, only these tacos are “skinny,” which means you can eat more than one without feeling guilty. Topped with a creamy watermelon and radish slaw, you won’t be able to resist them.

SKINNY FISH TACOS WITH WATERMELON AND RADISH SLAW

INGREDIENTS

1 pound tilapia

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon honey

1 garlic clove, grated

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Dash salt and pepper (to taste)

FOR THE SLAW:

1/3 cup Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon light mayonnaise

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 cup shredded cabbage

1 cup DANDY® Ready-to-Eat Radish Ministicks

3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

1 cup seedless watermelon, diced small

Dash salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Place fish in a freezer bag with olive oil, 3 tablespoons lime juice, honey, garlic, chili powder, cumin and cayenne pepper. Close bag and coat fish completely. Marinate for 15-20 minutes at room temperature.

Place fish on a broiler pan and lightly season with salt and pepper. Place fish under broiler for 5 minutes. Turn fish over and cook for an additional 2-5 minutes or until it easily flakes. Remove fish. Wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and place in oven, which has been turned off, to warm.

Meanwhile, add Greek yogurt, mayonnaise and lime juice to a bowl. Stir until combined. Add cabbage, radishes and cilantro. Toss lightly. Add watermelon and salt to taste. Toss lightly.

Remove tortillas from oven. Place pieces of fish on two tortillas. Top with slaw. Garnish with extra cilantro. Serve warm.

UP NEXT: 2016 CARVING CONTEST REMINDER

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LIGHTS, CAMERA, WATERMELON: SMOOTH MOVE, FRUIT NINJA!

March 9th, 2016 by The Watermelon Guy

This month on “Lights, Camera, Watermelon,” we’re all about making life a little easier with not one, but two different videos.

I came across this life hack video which shows you how to turn a watermelon into a watermelon smoothie with just a wire coat hanger and a drill. You may recognize this video from a 2013 post when I first discovered this. Ever since then, this trick has been making my life easier and easier. If I can whip up a whole pitcher of watermelon smoothies in less than two minutes without even busting out the blender, you can bet your melon I’ll give it a shot.

If you’re like me and hate washing dishes, you’ll love this hack. You’ll also like this video if you like to impress your friends and family with super-cool tricks. Forget the knife; just karate-chop your way to your next snack!

UP NEXT: SKINNY FISH TACOS

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NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION UPDATE: WHICH OF THESE RECORDS SHOULD I ATTEMPT FIRST?

March 4th, 2016 by The Watermelon Guy

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Image courtesy of GuinnessWorldRecords.com

Break a Guinness World Record. That’s my 2016 New Year’s resolution, and it’s definitely a lofty goal. To be specific, my objective will be to break a Guinness World Record related to watermelon. Still lofty, but way more fun than attempting a record for, say, the most spoons balanced on your face (the record is 31, in case you were wondering).

Here’s how my journey will work: I’ll likely attempt several records this year and will walk you through a discussion of a particular record and one of my practice sessions. After that blog entry, I’ll practice some more and then write about my official world record attempt before moving on to another watermelon record.

For my inaugural record attempt; however, I’d like to get all of you involved by letting YOU choose which of the official Guinness World Records below should be first on my to-do list. Leave a comment with which one I should attempt first, and I’ll get to work next week by training for my brush with watermelon world record immortality.

  1. MOST PAPER AIRCRAFT THROWN INTO WATERMELONS IN ONE MINUTE – This record is exactly what it sounds like — just throwing pointy paper airplanes and getting them to stick in watermelon. The current record is 12, held by Junguk Lee of South Korea. I haven’t made a paper airplane in about 15 years, but I think I can make a serious attempt at this one.
  2. MOST WATERMELONS CRUSHED WITH THE HEAD IN ONE MINUTE – I get a splitting headache just thinking about this record attempt. (And I get downright terrified when I watch this video.) But, if I must attempt it, I will. By the way, the record is 43 watermelons smashed. It was set by a thick-skulled gentleman named Tafzi Ahmed of Germany.
  3. MOST WATERMELONS CHOPPED ON THE STOMACH IN ONE MINUTE – First of all, I’m not sure what Guinness means by “chopped” (they’ll provide specific guidance for all official attempts). Do I have to hold a watermelon on my stomach and let someone chop it with a knife? If so, please don’t vote for this one. If it means someone will be karate-chopping the watermelon with a hand, that’s a little better, I suppose. The record — whatever the chopping method may be — is 48, set by Bipin Larkin and Ashrita Furman in Jamaica, New York.
  4. FASTEST TIME TO CRUSH THREE WATERMELONS WITH THE THIGHS – What’s with all the watermelon violence in these records? Impaled with paper airplanes, smashed with heads, chopped with who-knows-what, and now crushed with thighs. Thigh strength isn’t my strong suit, but if you’d like me to take a shot at breaking Ukrainian Olga Liashchuk’s record of 14.65 seconds, I’ll do it.

UP NEXT: MARCH PRIZE

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RECIPE: STACKED JICAMA CHICKEN SALAD

February 22nd, 2016 by The Watermelon Guy

With all my talk about a New Year’s resolution, I inspired my wife to start her own resolution for 2016. Although hers isn’t nearly as extreme as mine (she wants to get healthier, just like I do), I’ve pledged to help her stick to her goal all year long, starting with this healthy and delicious recipe for Stacked Jicama Chicken Salad.

And, by the way, this recipe is proof that eating healthy can also taste amazing. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and try this recipe. I did, and you can bet your last wedge I’ll be cooking it up a few more times in 2016.

If you’re not indigenous to Peru or Ecuador (I’m not, either), you may not be familiar with the jicama. Pronounced hee-ka-mah, this bean is common in subtropical, warm climates. It’s usually enjoyed in salads, fruit bars and soups. High in antioxidants and dietary fiber, the jicama is part of what makes this recipe so good and so nutritious.

STACKED JICAMA CHICKEN SALAD 2

INGREDIENTS

1 pound skinned, boned chicken breasts, shredded

1 cup instant brown rice

1/3 cup mayonnaise

¼ cup chutney

2 teaspoons curry

1/3 cup diced or sliced celery

2 tablespoons diced red onion

¼ cup raisins or craisins

2 2/3 cups thin strips of watermelon (no longer than 2 ½ inches)

1 cup thin strips of peeled jicama (no longer than 2 ½ inches, match-stick size)

4 tablespoons chopped cashews

1 handful shredded romaine lettuce

4 pint-sized, wide-mouth mason jars

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place chicken breasts in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until cooked through, approximately 15 minutes, depending on thickness of meat. Remove from water and let cool. Dice.
  2. Cook rice according to directions on box. Refrigerate to cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, blend mayonnaise, chutney and curry until thoroughly blended. Add chicken, celery, onion and raisins. Blend and refrigerate.
  4. Divide rice and chicken mixture into 4 equal batches. Starting with the rice, layer approximately ¼ cup of rice followed by 1/3 cup watermelon, ¼ cup jicama, 1/3 cup of chicken. Repeat and top with 1 tablespoon of chopped cashews and shredded romaine. Serve or screw a lid onto jar and refrigerate.

UP NEXT: MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION UPDATE!

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ASK THE EXPERTS: IS IT POSSIBLE TO LOVE WATERMELON TOO MUCH?

February 14th, 2016 by The Watermelon Guy

VICTORIA S. ASKS: I’m a huge watermelon fan. Seriously, I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and I have!). But my question is, is it possible to love watermelon too much?

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Image courtesy of SurprisedFarmer.com

Great question, Victoria. If anyone knows a thing or two about loving watermelon “too much,” it’s someone called “The Watermelon Guy.”

Ever since I could spit my first watermelon seed, I knew I would be a lifer in the watermelon lovers club. (By the way, the watermelon lovers club isn’t an actual thing, but if I had my way, it would be!) It sounds silly, but one of the reasons I’ve been eating watermelon so long (and so often) is for the nutritious advantages it packs.

Don’t get me wrong: I also love watermelon because it tastes like a little slice of heaven. Then again, I also think chicken nuggets are delicious, but I don’t eat those all the time.

But is there such thing as too much watermelon? We asked our nutritionist, Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD, this same question. As she discusses weight management and healthy habits, she says that colorful fruits and vegetables are your best friends. “They are rich in fiber and water, which help fill you up without filling you out,” she says.

When it comes to watermelon, the nutritional benefits are plenty. It’s high in vitamins A and C, it’s 92 percent water, and it’s a key source of potassium. Watermelon also has no fat, cholesterol or sodium, and it’s just 80 calories per serving. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.

So, to answer your question: no, there’s no such thing as loving watermelon too much. However, I will echo some of Elizabeth’s advice and remind you to maintain a balanced diet consisting of many different foods. My biggest fear is that I’ll eat too much watermelon and eventually get tired of it. It hasn’t happened yet (and likely never will), but why take that chance?

UP NEXT: STACKED JICAMA CHICKEN SALAD

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