As we enter the cold, cruel doldrums of winter, we watermelon lovers must come up with increasingly creative ways to indulge in our favorite fruit. I’ve never subscribed to the idea of watermelon “seasons” – i.e. only eating watermelon in the summer. A big, cold slice of watermelon is definitely a summertime activity, but my love of watermelon never dies, which is why I offer this list of five ways to enjoy watermelon during the winter.

1. DRINKS – If you don’t feel like eating watermelon, you can always drink watermelon, which is what I do from time to time in the summer and winter. I like watermelon smoothies, either in the morning or any other time of day. Try the Watermelon Strawberry Shake and feel free to experiment with the recipe by adding other fruits and ingredients.

2. CUBES – I eat cubed watermelon all year round, but if you’re struggling for alternatives to the wedge, you can’t go wrong with cubes. Keep a bowl of them in your fridge and dish up a bowl to accompany lunch or just grab a few bites when the urge hits you.

3. SALADS – Salads never go out of season, and watermelon is great in salads, so why not combine the two? The National Watermelon Promotion Board website has literally dozens of recipes for salads with watermelon as an ingredient. My personal favorites: the Blue Watermelon Walnut Salad and the Watermelon and Pear Salad. Or just put some of the aforementioned cubes on your regular salad and dig in!

4. DRINKS (AFTER HOURS) – An adult beverage now and then is a nice way to warm up on a cold winter night. I prefer beer myself (thankfully there is a watermelon beer), but a cocktail is good too. I recommend the Watermelon Candy Cane Cocktail or, for a taste of the tropics in January, the Watermelon Coconut Margarita.

5. SANDWICHES – Seriously, you can put a slice of watermelon on just about any cold sandwich and it instantly becomes juicier and tastier. It’s a lot like a tomato that way. Don’t believe me? Go ahead and try it for yourself. And don’t stop with cold sandwiches. Feel free to put a slice of watermelon on a burger too!

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