Watermelon feta salad recipe

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With summer rolling around, you might be searching for some light and nutritious salads to add to your repertoire. If so, our colorful watermelon salad could be just the ticket! It’s bursting with refreshing and wholesome ingredients, plus is blissfully simple to make. We love serving it on sunny afternoons, with a pack of our crackers on the side for extra crunch. Healthy eating has never tasted this good!

Watermelon: a slice of summer with ancient origins

Many of us think of watermelon as a quintessential summer fruit thanks to its sweet, refreshing flavor and vibrant colors. Mark Twain enjoyed them so much he wrote that to taste watermelon was to know “what angels eat”. But what’s especially interesting about watermelons is that people have been tucking into them for literally thousands of years.

Archaeologists have discovered illustrations of watermelons on the walls of Egyptian tombs that are at least 4,000 years old.(1) The fruit likely originated in Africa, although early wild species would have had paler flesh and a more bitter flavor.(2) They were probably also more difficult to open due to having a thicker rind.

Over time, farmers domesticated watermelons and selectively bred sweeter, red-fleshed varieties like those we enjoy in watermelon salad today. And people are still creating new types of the fruit, such as the famously expensive square watermelons from Japan. These grow in special moulds that give them their shape. Shops commonly sell them as decorative items rather than edible ones.

When choosing your watermelon in the supermarket, try the following techniques to ensure you pick a ripe one. First, look for a fruit that gives a hollow sound when you tap it. It should feel sturdy but not too heavy. In addition, you ought to be able to smell the watermelon’s sweet fragrance through the rind – but not too strongly!

Because of their high nutritional value and juicy flavor, watermelons are a popular ingredient in all kinds of recipes. From watermelon salad to cakes, smoothies, and salsas, using the fruit adds a delightful burst of color and sweetness to drinks and dishes. Let’s discover more about how it can boost wellbeing before discussing the details of this recipe for watermelon salad.

The health benefits of watermelon

One of the most well-known health benefits of watermelon is how hydrating it is. The fruit is approximately 92% water, making it a fantastic option for quenching your thirst.(3) Staying hydrated is crucial for everything from our cognitive and athletic performance to the normal function of our organs. So this is one advantage of eating watermelon salad that can’t be overestimated.

Watermelons are also full of wellness-enhancing nutrients. These include vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. Moreover, the fruit is rich in potent plant compounds such as lycopene and the amino acid citrulline. Many of these act as antioxidants, protecting our cells against oxidative stress caused by free radicals.

Thanks to this impressive nutritional profile, tucking into a watermelon salad could help to protect the health of your heart. Research suggests that lycopene may improve cholesterol levels, while both it and citrulline can lower blood pressure.(4) This in turn reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Lycopene might additionally be useful in supporting eye health. Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it could help to prevent and inhibit age-related macular degeneration.(5) However, further study is required to clarify this. The fact that watermelon is high in beta-carotene compounds the fruit’s positive influence on the health of our eyes.

Interestingly, a watermelon salad might also help to improve exercise performance. Research shows that citrulline can reduce muscle soreness after working out and increase the body’s production of nitric oxide.(6) The latter helps dilate your blood vessels, boosting blood flow and delivering oxygen and nutrients to your muscles more effectively.

Finally, both vitamin A and C are important for keeping your skin healthy. Combined with the fruit’s high water content and antioxidant properties, this makes watermelon salad a great option for achieving a glowing, youthful complexion.

Our fresh and fruity watermelon salad recipe

As you can see, watermelon salad is a fantastic dish in terms of its potential benefits for your health. The best part is that it also tastes amazing. So now let’s talk about how to make it. You’ll be pleased to know that this watermelon feta salad recipe is quick and easy to prepare, regardless of your skills in the kitchen!

To begin, slice some cherry tomatoes and cut up your watermelon. Pop both ingredients into a serving bowl, then add the dried mint, black pepper, salt, and toasted sesame seeds. Feel free to use either white or black sesame seeds – both will bring a gorgeous nutty flavor and hint of texture to the dish. Top this off with the olive oil, plus a splash of lemon juice for a lively burst of citrus. Then give the mixture a good stir to distribute all the ingredients evenly throughout the bowl.

Once that’s done, you can move on to the toppings. Crumble your vegan feta cheese over the salad, then sprinkle on some fresh parsley leaves. We chose these so that you get a beautiful contrast of red, white, and green in your watermelon salad. After all, the first bite is with the eye!

The final step is to choose which of our many crackers you want to enjoy with this watermelon salad recipe. You can add them whole, snap them in half, or crumble them into pieces and scatter across the dish. Either way, they bring a welcome crunch to the meal that perfectly complements the softness of the feta and watermelon.

And that’s really all there is to it! We recommend tucking into your watermelon salad straight away, while the fruit is at its freshest.

Olive oil: the unsung hero of this watermelon salad

Olive oil is an ingredient that we often use in cooking, but tend not to give much thought to. However, our organic extra virgin olive oil brings a wealth of potential health benefits to this watermelon salad.

For instance, it’s rich in oleic acid and the antioxidant oleocanthal, both of which have potent anti-inflammatory properties.(7) Experts have linked chronic inflammation to a number of harmful conditions, including cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. That’s a powerful argument for adding olive oil to your watermelon salad!

Science also credits olive oil as one of the reasons why the Mediterranean diet is so good for heart health. Research shows that it helps to improve cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure, thereby lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.(8) Furthermore, consumption of olive oil could work to lessen the chances of having a stroke.(9)

Moreover, evidence indicates that olive oil may cut your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. This is through its beneficial effects on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.(10) Test-tube studies even suggest compounds in olive oil could help fight cancer, although we need further research to clarify this.(11)

Excitingly, drizzling olive oil on your watermelon salad might additionally assist in improving the health of your brain. Studies have found that it may boost cognitive function and protect against neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.(12) However, further investigation is necessary to confirm these findings.

Finally, it’s worth noting that although olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, it’s not associated with weight gain.(13) We have a comprehensive article on the difference between good fats and bad fats if you want more information. However, here it’s sufficient to say that the fats in olive oil are in the first group!

The sensational power of our watermelon salad seasonings

We choose every ingredient in our recipes carefully, right down to the seasonings. In addition to tasting good, we want them to provide you with the optimum health benefits. And the herbs and spices in this watermelon salad recipe are no different.

Black pepper is a prime example. Studies show that it boasts potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, mainly thanks to its active ingredient piperine.(14) The spice could additionally help to lower cholesterol levels and improve blood sugar metabolism.

Likewise, we opted to make our watermelon salad with mint because of its antioxidant properties and positive influence on digestion. Plus, of course, its refreshing taste pairs perfectly with the fruit! Studies suggest the herb can work to relieve indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome.(15) However, it’s worth noting that scientists have conducted most research with peppermint oil rather than leaves.

Turning to the sesame seeds, these may be small, but they definitely pack a punch when it comes to nutrition. For instance, research shows they can help protect the health of your heart by lowering cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure.(16) Moreover, the seeds are an excellent source of several key B vitamins, plus minerals like copper, magnesium, and iron. These are crucial for numerous bodily functions, from producing red blood cells to supporting the immune system.

Last but not least, parsley is a fantastic source of vitamins A, C, and especially K. The latter is vital for blood clotting and building strong bones. In addition, the herb is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that support healthy vision. All of which means there are plenty of reasons to be generous with your seasonings when making a watermelon salad!

Crackers and salad: the perfect pairing

While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying your watermelon salad on its own, serving it with crackers is a wonderful way to elevate the dish to new heights. From warm, spicy Indian buckwheat crackers to earthy lion’s mane mushroom crackers, each brings a unique twist to the meal. Not to mention, they’re all rich in key vitamins and minerals such as thiamine, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc.

We craft our snacks using activated nuts and seeds, so that their nutrients are easier for you to digest. From buckwheat to sunflower seeds, our farmers grow our ingredients sustainably and hand-pick them to ensure the highest quality.

Our team creates all our crackers by hand in small batches. We make many of the recipes using a raw process, meaning we don’t expose the ingredients to temperatures above 42ºC. To minimize our impact on the planet, we ship them out to you in environmentally friendly packaging.

This watermelon salad recipe is far from the only one you can enjoy our crackers with. They also add a satisfying crunch to soups and stews, plus are perfect for scooping up dips and sauces. All our crackers are low or low-medium GI, which means they provide a steady flow of energy throughout the day. That makes them an ideal healthy snack for work and outdoor adventures, too. Where will you take yours?

Top tips for taking your watermelon salad to the next level

One thing we love about this watermelon salad is the wealth of opportunities you have to customize it. This helps to ensure that you never get tired of the recipe. For instance, you can mix things up by swapping the sesame seeds for pumpkin, hemp, or sunflower seeds. Alternatively, sprinkle on some pine nuts for more of a crunch.

If you want a different dressing with your watermelon salad balsamic vinegar is a superb choice. Another idea is to boost the citrus flavor by including lime or yuzu in addition to the lemon juice.

In fact, there are countless other ingredients you can add to put your own spin on this dish. Watermelon cucumber feta salad is always a popular option, or you could chop some red onion for a little spice. Meanwhile, avocado can bring a bit of extra creaminess to the bowl. For a greater color contrast, you could add black olives, mango, or sweetcorn.

For those after a more substantial meal, you might like to include a grain in your watermelon salad. Couscous, quinoa and amaranth are all fabulous wellness-boosting choices.

Ultimately, you’re only limited by your imagination here – so have fun and get creative with this watermelon salad! Who said eating healthily has to be boring?

  • ½  cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • ½  cup watermelon, roughly cut
  • ⅛ tsp dried mint
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • Juice from ¼ lemon
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsp Erbology Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup vegan ‘feta’ cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tsp parsley leaves
  • 1 pack of Erbology Crackers

  • Serv. size: 235 g
  • Serv. size text: 240 g
  • Servings: 18 g
  • Cholesterol: 14 mg
  • Fiber: 8 g

  1. In a serving bowl, add tomatoes, watermelon, spices, sesame seeds, lemon juice, salt and olive oil. Give it a good mix.
  2. Top the salad with crumbled vegan feta cheese and parsley leaves. Enjoy with the delicious Erbology crackers!

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