Snack Smart: Watermelon

Article and Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY.

Petit Organics founder Michelle Marinis cools down hot mamas with 3 hydrating watermelon recipes.

Pregnant mommies in the summer are so beautiful: sandals, flowing maxi dresses and comfy bathing suits at the beach showcasing those adorable growing bellies. However, if your due date happens to fall in August, September or October you may be feeling like one (temperature) HOT mama this summer!

Keeping cool during the dog days of summer is not only more comfortable for you, but it is also critical from a health standpoint. Expecting mothers should stay thoroughly hydrated and be careful not to overheat. There are some obvious measures you can easily take in order to beat the heat — soak your feet in ice water, stay in the air conditioning whenever possible, and substitute your regular gym workout for a swim instead. But another measure that we often forget about is staying cool from the inside out. Incorporating certain foods into your diet will naturally keep you hydrated.

So what is this perfect food for keeping cool? I polled about 50 pregnant moms, and the number one food they crave during warm summer months is….watermelon! Watermelon is made of 99 percent water so it is a super satisfying snack for hot mamas everywhere. It is also packed with Vitamins A, B6 and C and is the fresh fruit or vegetable with the highest content of lycopene. Lycopene is a very special and powerful antioxidant that helps prevent heart disease, cancer and even sunburns. If you aren’t exactly doing back flips to dig into swiss chard, spinach or lima beans (which are all great sources of potassium), consider having watermelon instead. Potassium is critical in electrolyte maintenance for the human body, especially pregnant mothers who burn an extraordinary amount of calories each day.

Here are three watermelon recipes to keep you and your foodie-on-the-way cool and comfortable during these last few toasty summer weeks. Bon appetit to you and your bébés!

WATERMELON JUICE

Ingredients:
• 1 seedless organic watermelon (a small 5 – 6 pound watermelon works well)
• juice of 1 lime

Preparation:
1. Slice the watermelon in half and again into strips. Using a wooden spoon, scoop the flesh away from the rind and place in a blender. Discard the rind.
2. Blend the watermelon until completely pureed (approximately 1 minute).
3. Add the lime juice and blend another 5 seconds.
4. Pour into a glass and serve. Alternately, pour into a pitcher and place in fridge to chill. The juice will separate over time, so simply stir to combine prior to serving. The juice will last 3 days safely in your refrigerator.
Yields 5-6 servings.
Petit Pointer: Pour the juice into popsicle molds and voilà: watermelon ice pops!

FRESH WATERMELON & MINT SALAD

Ingredients:
· 1 medium (preferably seedless) watermelon, sliced into 1/2″ to 1″ cubes
· 8 fresh mint leaves, rolled and sliced into slivers
· 1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
· 1 small pinch of sea salt
· 1 turn of freshly cracked black pepper
· 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Preparation:
1. In a large bowl, mix the watermelon slices, mint slivers, extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper.
2. Roll in the feta cheese if desired.
3. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Yields 4 servings.
Petit Pointer: Let the salad sit overnight so the flavors meld. It makes a perfect lunch the next day!

WATERMELON & CHIA SEED SORBET

Ingredients:
· 4 cups watermelon juice (puree a small, seedless watermelon)
· Juice of 2 limes
· 4 teaspoons chia seeds
· 8 fresh mint leaves, finely minced
· Coconut nectar (optional)

Preparation:
1. In a large jug, add the watermelon puree, chia seeds, lime juice and mint. With the lid on, shake vigorously for about 20 seconds.
2. Place in your refrigerator to allow for the chia seeds to thicken to a jelly consistency (1 hour up to overnight).
3. Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container, close the lid and freeze for at least four hours.
4. Scoop into bowls and serve with coconut nectar drizzled on top (optional).
Yields 5 servings.
Petit Pointer: Sorbet will stay fresh in your freezer up to two weeks safely.

This article is by Michelle Marinis courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

Raised in Texas with a down home Southern upbringing, Michelle Muller-Marinis grew up with a passion for food and cooking. After moving to NYC and beginning a family of her own, Michelle realized the importance of fresh, healthy baby food – she discovered her little ones were always happiest with a spoonful of homemade food in their mouths!  She is the founder of Petit Organics and an NYC mom of three boys, Pearce, Rylan and Brandt. You can find Michelle on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Petit Organics on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

Tags: Nutrition