Today is National Watermelon Day, and the date couldn’t be more timely. Watermelon hits its prime in August with the sweetest red, juicy flesh. You can of course pick up a watermelon and simply cut it into wedges for a potluck, barbecue or to nosh on as a refreshing afternoon treat. But why not adventure some easy dairy-free watermelon recipes? Below I have a fantastic collection of three dozen recipes, most of which are quite easy. I’ve also included tips for selecting the best watermelons, the latest nutrition notes on watermelon, and some fun, creative serving ideas.
What’s New in the Healthy World of Watermelon?
Thanks to recent research studies on high-lycopene foods, watermelon now battles the mighty tomato for champion of this super phytonutrient. Lycopene has long been prized as valuable for cardiovascular health, but scientists are now viewing it as a strong contender for bone health, too.
Watermelon has a high citrulline content, which is a precursor to an amino acid that helps to improve cardiovascular health. Some studies have also shown that the conversion of citrulline may help to prevent excess accumulation of fat.
There’s no need to cast those watermelon wedges once you’ve devoured the bright red flesh. Even the pale pink layer has shown to be a nutritional standout for phenolic antioxidants, flavonoids, lycopene, and vitamin C. Our dairy-free watermelon recipes below show how to use not only that pale pink power but the rind, too!
Nonetheless, recent studies have shown that fully ripened watermelons do pack a more nutrient-dense punch throughout than their under-ripe beginnings. The biggest jump in lycopene (and other antioxidants) seems to occur when the watermelon flesh turns from white-pink to pink, but it becomes even more concentrated when that juicy red color appears.
How to Pick a Watermelon
According to the National Watermelon Promotion Board, choosing the best watermelon for our dairy-free watermelon recipes is as easy as 1-2-3:
First, look the watermelon over. Ensure that it is firm, symmetrical watermelon and free of bruises, cuts or dents.
Second, lift it up to check for some heft. Most of the weight in a ripe watermelon (92 percent) is water, so it should feel heavier than it looks.
Third, turn it over and look for a creamy yellow spot. This is where it sat on the ground and finished ripening in the sun. If there isn’t a spot, it was picked before its peak.
Watermelon Carving Fun
These are some super fun and creative watermelon serving ideas for big barbecues and birthday parties.
Dairy-Free Watermelon Recipes: Cool Sips
- Superfood Red Raspberry Smoothie
- Watermelon Margaritas
- Red Hot Blood Cleanser Watermelon Smoothie
- Watermelon Lemonade
- Zapper Watermelon Smoothie or Juice
- Strawberry Watermelon Soul Smoothie
- Veggie De-Bloat Watermelon Smoothie or Juice
- Watermelon Basil Cooler
- Refreshing Watermelon Punch
- Skinny Watermelon Mojito
Dairy-Free Watermelon Recipes: Sensational Sweets
- Fresh & Fruity Watermelon Cake
- Whimsical Watermelon Popsicles
- No Added Sugar Watermelon Pops
- Watermelon Sherbet
- Vegan Watermelon Lime Ice Cream
- Watermelon Pudding
- Vegan Watermelon Jellies
- Watermelon Pitaya Vegan Ice Cream
Dairy-Free Watermelon Recipes: Salads & Salsas
- Tropical Watermelon Salsa
- Watermelon Raspberry Spinach Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
- Fire & Ice Watermelon Salsa
- Watermelon Waldorf Salad
- Cucumber Watermelon Salad
- Strawberry Mint Watermelon Salsa
- Susan’s Summertime Salsa
- Watermelon and Olive Salad
- Watermelon Pico de Gallo
More Dairy-Free Watermelon Recipes
- Jasmine Watermelon Gazpacho (optionally with crab)
- Baja Fish Tacos with Spicy Watermelon Guacamole
- Watermelon Rind Pickles
- Watermelon Pancake Sandwiches
- Thai Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Watermelon Avocado Salsa
- Watermelon Jerky
- Cool Cucumber Melon Soup
- Patriotic Watermelon Wands
- Watermelon Rind Soup
- Watermelon Bites with Prosciutto, Olives and Basil