6 Brilliant Uses for Watermelon

Watermelon has earned its status as VIP (ahem, Very Important Produce) when it comes to being the taste of summer. On August 3, we celebrate this beloved berry (yes, it’s a berry) with National Watermelon Day, an occasion to honor the fruit that Mark Twain described with the words, “When one has tasted watermelon, he knows what the angels eat.” We can’t say we disagree.

But apart from being a poolside snack, watermelon can be used for all sorts of things. From face masks to salsa recipes, here are all the ways you can incorporate the quintessential fruit of the summer into your life:

Grilled watermelon/feta skewers

Sorry, dad, but can you move the hamburgers and hotdogs? Because when it comes to grilling, these skewers—charred morsels of fresh, salty cheese and sweet, tangy fruit—are the best of the BBQ. These apps are flavored with the pepperiness of arugula and basil, plus a splash of balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil, for a medley of color and goodness that is guaranteed to impress.
Ingredients: Watermelon plus arugula, balsamic vinegar, basil, coarse salt, extra-virgin olive oil, feta cheese and fresh pepper
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Tequila-soaked watermelon wedges

Martha Stewart presents a munchable “mocktail” as inspired by the flavors of Mexico. But we have a couple of revisions: First, burning the alcohol and heating the tequila/triple sec? Nah. Second, we recommend cubes rather than wedges. This fiesta isn’t a “one tequila, two tequila, three tequila—floor” situation, so bites are best when it comes to this non-college version of “drunkenmelon” that’s dressed with coarse salt and lime.
Ingredients: Watermelon plus coarse salt, lime, sugar, tequila and triple sec.
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Watermelon Salsa

Dips are loved all year, but when it’s super-hot outside, eating a sizzling dish doesn’t sound appetizing. Instead, try a different take and make this (absolutely delicious) watermelon salsa. It’s not only easy to make, but if you let it marinate in the herbs and spices overnight, you’ll get a zesty flavor that pairs nicely with any type of tortilla chip.
Ingredients: Watermelon, lime, sweet onions, jalapeno, cilantro and basil
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Watermelon bellinis

Bolden your bellini with the simplest of swaps: watermelon purée instead of peach purée. Remember to “pour one out” to the birth of the cocktail, which was invented in Venice, Italy, in the 1930s or 1940s, and pop a bottle of prosecco (not Champagne). Garnish the glass with a combo of coarse salt/lime plus a wedge of watermelon and—presto!—a new-world concoction with old-world credibility.
Ingredients: Watermelon plus coarse salt, lime, prosecco and sugar
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Watermelon face masks

The wonder of watermelon doesn’t stop with your stomach. This fruit is enriched with a wealth of nutrients, including vitamins A, B and C as well as calcium, magnesium and potassium—which combine to create a cocktail of benefits, from the acne-addressing to the collagen-boosting. Extract the pulp (minus the seeds) and mix with a variety of bases for formulas, like these:

For acne-prone skin: Smash the watermelon with a banana, which treats acne while addressing the associated problems (discoloration, oil, etc.). Then, add a couple of drops of tea-tree oil, a trick that has been used for centuries when it comes to skin conditions like acne.
For dry skin: Create a mixture with the watermelon and yogurt for a probiotic-rich paste that promises to moisturize and more. Then, add a couple of drops of lavender oil to boost the power of this potion.
Ingredients: Watermelon plus banana and tea-tree oil and/or lavender oil and yogurt
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Watermelon ice cubes

News to the spas of the world: Citrus-infused water is cool, but watermelon-infused water is cooler. Watermelon is a fruit that boasts a range of talents. It can flavor your drink and function as an ice cube. What could be more refreshing? There is one ingredient, because one ingredient is enough when it’s as perfect and pure as watermelon.
Ingredients: Watermelon
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Elizabeth Quinn Brown is a writer based in the East Village who accessorizes her (pilates) spandex with wedges. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.