For those who have never eaten a yellow watermelon, it may sound like a made-up fruit, but this unusually colored watermelon variety is very real, and packs quite a nutritious punch!
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What is Yellow Watermelon?
Yellow watermelon is just the same as any other watermelon, except that it is yellow and not red. It is a natural variety of watermelon that has experienced a genetic mutation in which it does not produce any (or very low levels of) lycopene. Lycopene is the compound that gives color to many popular fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes and normal watermelon. These yellow varieties of watermelon are actually the original form of watermelon and were first cultivated in Africa. It wasn’t until these fruits were made into more popular commercial fruits that they were bred for higher lycopene content.
The taste of a yellow watermelon is slightly sweeter than its red cousin, and almost has touches of honey or apricot in the delicious flesh of the fruit. The rind of these watermelon goes deeper into the fruit, but the uniquely colored and flavorful flesh makes it worthwhile.
Nutritional Value of Yellow Watermelon
Yellow watermelons contain many of the same nutritional properties as normal red watermelon, with some notable differences. These specialized watermelons contain high levels of vitamin A and vitamin C – 18% and 21% of your daily requirement, respectively, in each cup of this fruit. There are less than 50 calories in a one-cup serving, as well as moderate amounts of potassium and sodium. While red watermelon is high in lycopene, yellow-colored watermelons are high in beta-carotene, another very powerful antioxidant.
Applications of Yellow Watermelon
There are many uses for yellow watermelon, largely the same uses as red watermelon. The consistency is the same, as is the summary nature of this fruit, making it a popular addition to fruit salads and in fruit smoothies. You can also juice yellow watermelon for a nutrient-dense and powerfully sweet beverage. They are good to eat raw, or as the base for a light, refreshing salad. You can also cut these watermelons up and serve slices at your next summer party!
Storage of Yellow Watermelon
If you plan to use these fruits later and want to keep yellow watermelon for a longer period of time, it is important to know the proper way to store them.
- If you are storing an uncut yellow watermelon, they can be stored on the counter for 2 weeks before they begin to go bad.
- Regularly turning the watermelon will prolong the shelf life.
- You can also store the watermelon in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks before cutting it.
- After cutting a part of the watermelon off, however, be sure to cover the exposed side with a plastic of some kind (a hairnet works very well for this purpose).
Before cutting this type of watermelon, be sure to wash the rind thoroughly, as they are prone to retain some residues of plant chemicals and pesticides. Sliced yellow watermelon can also be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, but will begin to lose some sweetness and juiciness after that point.
Difference Between Red & Yellow Watermelon
The primary difference between red and yellow watermelon, as mentioned above, is the difference in chemical compounds. The pigment compounds found in red watermelons is lycopene, whereas yellow watermelons contain beta-carotene, the same chemical that gives color to carrots. Aside from these basic chemical differences, yellow watermelons also have a sweeter taste and a thicker rind than red watermelons. Both of these varieties are very good for boosting your antioxidant levels and can be used in many of the same ways.