Stop Throwing Out Your Watermelon Rinds

As temperatures get higher, days get longer, and more and more grills appear in the suburban wild, the rate at which you can also see watermelons goes up exponentially. As sure as the sun rises in the east and sets only when the fireflies come out to play, colorful, triangle-tipped watermelon slices are everywhere during the summer. Having to throw out the watermelon rinds is always such a shame, but in fact there are quite a few tasty, nutritious things to do with those leftover rinds.

According to PELA, the rinds of watermelons can make for wonderful compost, and because of their high water content they break down relatively quickly. Cutting the rinds up and tossing them onto your compost pile is a quick and easy way to get some supercharged fertilizer, but the real money is in the nutrition that the watermelon rinds can provide. There are a whole bunch of health benefits to eating watermelon rinds, per Livestrong, so the tricky part is deciding the best way to prepare them.

Watermelon rinds have plenty of nutrients

According to Healthline, watermelon rinds are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. They are also high in fiber, which aids in digestion and subsequently helps regulate blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels. Eating watermelon rinds has also been shown to reduce blood pressure due to their higher levels of citrulline. Citrulline supplements have been linked to heart health and improved circulation, per Country Living.

Although you can technically eat the watermelon rind as-is, there are other ways of preparing it that may make it a bit more palatable. For instance a favorite of many in the southern United States, per Country Living, is homemade pickled watermelon rinds. These pickles taste wonderfully fresh, are easy to make, and pair nicely with most finger food, making for a unique addition to the next charcuterie board you make. The rinds can also be juiced or blended to give your summer drinks some subtle watermelon flavors. So this summer, remember to keep those rinds and put them to good use.