Watermelon is one of my favorite summer fruits to indulge in. I mean, who doesn’t love a sweet, juicy slice of watermelon on a hot day? It’s perfect for eating on its own, mixing into a cocktail, or throwing in a fruit salad. One piece of the fruit, however, always ends up in the trash — the watermelon rind — but maybe it shouldn’t.
I’m the type of person who doesn’t like to waste food. So there’s always this silent guilt when I throw away the rind of my watermelon. I know it’s not a typical practice to eat this hard and sour bit, but out of curiosity I decided to investigate whether or not it’s actually edible — and to my surprise, it is!
According to Healthline, the rind (the white part, not the skin) is packed with some serious health-boosting nutrients. It is particularly concentrated in an amino acid called citrulline, which has shown to improve the delivery of oxygen to your cells and muscles, potentially helping to enhance athletic performance. Some research also indicates that citrulline could boost your heart health by helping to reduce blood pressure, especially in those with hypertension. And on top of all that, watermelon rind is also rich in dietary fiber, a nutrient that improves digestive health, helping to improve conditions like constipation and symptoms of IBS.
How to Eat Watermelon Rind
Unlike the rest of the watermelon, you shouldn’t eat watermelon rind raw as-is. It’s actually a great food to add in to certain recipes!
Watermelon.org offers some great, simple ways to utilize your rind and get the most out of its health benefits. Check out how to pickle them, throw them into smoothies, and even cook them up into a delicious stir fry, here!
Outside of these suggestions, you can make watermelon rind into a jam (a quick google search will give you loads of recipes to try), or even chop your rind up as you would any other gourd and add them to soup, stew, and even curry recipes. They have a mild, sweet flavor, and can add a dose of fun to your favorite meals!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.