One In a Melon

Knock knock. Who’s there? A ripe, juicy watermelon. Watermelons are a staple in most households during the summer months. Enjoying my third trimester of pregnancy in the summer has been a bit of a challenge at times, but a few slices of cold watermelon always hits the spot and cools me off. It’s actually one of the very few cravings I’ve had…weird, I know. Who craves healthy foods when they’re pregnant??

Choosing a ripe melon can be hit or miss. Most people thump on them to check their ripeness, but what exactly are they listening for? I personally don’t use the sound test. There are mixed theories on the sounds a ripe watermelon makes, but most bank on those that make a hollow sound when you thump on them with your knuckles. It takes quite a bit of practice to tell the difference between ripe and unripe watermelons, so here are some sure fire tips I use instead to bring home a winner.

  1. Pick a few watermelons that are about the same size. Choose the heaviest one. This indicates its juiciness. The heavier the watermelon, the juicier it will be.
  2. Look for the field spot. The field spot is the patch of white or yellow that develops as the watermelon sits on the field and ripens. A ripe watermelon will have a large, creamy yellow spot. The deeper the color, the longer it spent time on the vine ripening. Avoid small, non-existent, or white field spots. These are found on melons that were picked too early. Watermelons won’t continue to ripen once they’re picked like other fruits such as bananas, which contain ethylene.

3. Choose a dark green watermelon with a dull rind. A shiny rind is underripe.

4. Squeeze the sides of the watermelon. You’re looking for a little bit of “give” here. The rind shouldn’t be soft, but it shouldn’t be rock hard either.

 

Get to the grocery store and give these tips a try, then enjoy you some deliciousness!

(3)

No Use Crying Over Chopped Onions

It happens to all of us. You’re making dinner, using a recipe that calls for onions. You grab an onion from your pantry or countertop and tears uncontrollably start running down your face the minute you cut into it. Well, cry no more!

FullSizeRender-3

To help understand the science behind your tears, I’m going to geek out a tiny bit. Onions contain naturally occurring sulfur compounds. When you cut into an onion, you break the cells within the onion, releasing enzymes. These enzymes react with the  sulfur compounds, which start drifting up towards your eyes. When our eyes are exposed to irritants such as dust, pollen, or in this case, sulfur gas, the brain triggers the production of tears to wash away the irritant. The combination of water from your tears and sulfur gas form sulfuric acid, which is the reason for the burning sensation and your mascara running down your face.

To keep from crying, my go to method is to refrigerate onions for an hour before cutting them. The colder temperature helps to slow the enzyme-sulfur reactions and changes the chemistry in the onion. Give it a try! No tears, I promise.

phonto

P.S. Proper long term storage for unpeeled onions is in a cool, dark, well ventilated place. Onions should not be stored in the fridge for a prolonged period of time since the increased humidity will actually cause them to spoil faster.

(163)