August 14, 2021

Are you looking for new ideas for your Labor Day celebration? Summer may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still heat up the grill. When planning your Labor Day picnic menu, make sure to include watermelon. Packed with flavor and nutrients, watermelon is also great on the grill.

As the name implies, watermelon is 92% water. This makes it a great choice for summer because it will help you stay hydrated. Watermelon is also low in calories, fat, sodium and cholesterol. In addition to helping boost your daily fluid intake, watermelon is rich in nutrients, including vitamins A and C.

When selecting a whole watermelon, look for one that is firm and free from bruises, cuts or dents. When you lift it up, it should seem heavy for its size. Remember that most of the watermelon’s weight is water. When storing watermelon, the first rule is to store it at the same temperature at the time of purchase. A whole watermelon purchased at room temperature can be stored that way for 7-10 days. Once cut, wrap watermelon well and store in the refrigerator.

Watermelon is great on its own, but it also lends itself well to a variety of recipes. And while you have the grill fired up for your Labor Day picnic, try the recipe below featuring grilled watermelon. It’s a spicy and refreshing treat that just seems to scream “summer.”

For more simple summer recipes and help with meal planning, connect with your local Hy-Vee dietitian on our new virtual nutrition services platform. Go to > Health & Pharmacy tab > Dietitians and schedule a complimentary Discovery Session to learn more about how we can help make your life easier, healthier and happier!

Grilled Watermelon with Minted Salsa Bites
Serves 12

All You Need:
2 cups diced strawberries
2 kiwi, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped*
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 (3-lb) seedless watermelon
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1/3 cup Hy-Vee Select traditional feta cheese crumbles

All you do:

  1. For salsa, in a bowl combine strawberries, kiwi, red onion, jalapeno pepper, mint and lime juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Preheat grill to direct heat over medium-high heat.
  3. Cut watermelon into one-inch-thick slices; discard ends. Place watermelon slices on grill rack. Grill about 2 minutes or until watermelon is lightly seared, turning once halfway through grilling.
  4. Remove watermelon slices from grill. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut each slice into six wedges. Transfer wedges to a serving platter; top with salsa and cheese.

*Note: Jalapeno peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes. When working with jalapeno peppers, wear hand protection. Source: The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.