The other day I was at the grocery store and noticed the first big bin of watermelons of the season! These were the medium to small sized seedless watermelons, usually easier to handle and super sweet. Instead of cutting it up as a snack, which is also a great idea, I thought that I could make some refreshing recipes with the watermelon juice.
Since I had recently also made some orange simple syrup for margaritas, that became the first idea, Fresh Watermelon Margaritas. I thought the same basic ingredients would also be great frozen, so next up was Refreshing Watermelon Granita. This is a great dessert and also fun to make! Finally, we had some shiny new popsicle molds at our house that were begging to be used, so presto, the Watermelon Lime Popsicles were born.
One thing that really stood out for me for all three recipes was how flavorful they were! Making the fresh juice really makes a difference in the final product. All three recipes rely on the watermelon juice as the star, but the orange simple syrup and fresh lime juice make a great supporting cast too. Now for the important part!
How to Make Watermelon Juice:
Making a pitcher of watermelon juice is easier than you think, and is both beautiful and delicious. Honestly, your family and friends would probably love to just drink it plain! But they will be even more impressed with a watermelon lime popsicle, so let’s get started.
You’ll want to cut the ends off of the watermelon to give yourself a flat, safe surface to work with (less chance of your knife slipping). Set the watermelon on a large cutting board on one of its flat surfaces, then use your sharp knife to cut the rind off from top to bottom, turning the melon and continuing to cut the rind until it’s all off. (BTW – The same technique works for cutting up any type of melon.) Now it will be easy to make big slices of watermelon. From the slices, you can cut large chunks that will fit in your blender. You’re going to be straining the juice, so don’t worry about the seeds at this point.
Working in batches, blend the watermelon chunks and then strain through a fine mesh strainer into a large pitcher. This will remove any fiberous materials and seeds from your juice (yes – seedless watermelons have seeds! I can’t explain it).
Now you have beautiful, bright red watermelon juice! The watermelon juice will keep for a few days in the refrigerator. It does have the tendency to separate, so make sure you stir it well before using in a recipe or drinking. So go and buy a watermelon today. You will end up with plenty of juice to make lots of popsicles, in addition to granita and watermelon margaritas!