One of the finest summer fruits, the watermelon, is often overlooked in this department. Its high water content makes it less-than-ideal for baking, sure, but why not embrace its sweet, refreshing flavor raw? Fresh watermelon meshes perfectly with creamy toppings and other fruits, and we're all in favor of a dessert that doesn't require turning the oven on. Here to make watermelon the main event on your dessert table this Fourth of July is watermelon pizza.
Food blogger, recipe developer, and content-creator Yumna Jawad of Feel Good Foodie has truly outdone herself with her healthy recipe for no-bake watermelon pizza. Before you make any assumptions about the term 'pizza,' Jawad is here to reassure you this is not the mashup it sounds like; rather, it just refers to how the watermelon is presented and served. “Don’t worry, it’s not like a pineapple pizza, where you put the fruit on pizza. It’s just a huge round slice of watermelon sliced like a pizza,” Jawad says.
Jawad’s recipe calls for a handful of fresh and in-season ingredients, like watermelon (of course), blueberries, strawberries, and mint. She also tops the fruit with whipped ricotta, shredded coconut, and crushed pistachios. Every single one of these components has plenty of health benefits to offer, too, especially when it comes to nutrients that benefit your gut microbiome. Watermelon helps you stay hydrated (hello, happy digestive system) and contains 21 percent of your daily dose of vitamin C in a single one-cup serving. It also contains antioxidants and lycopene, which has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Shredded coconut, blueberries, strawberries, and pistachios all contain an impressive amount of heart-healthy fiber, a nutrient most Americans aren't eating enough of, in addition to vitamins K, A, and C, antioxidants, manganese, and more.
TL; DR: this is one of the most nutrient-rich desserts you'll find.
What's more, it takes all of 15 minutes to make. More time to catch up with loved ones and hang by the bonfire, right? "To start, get a juicy large watermelon, and cut it in half," Jawad says. "Then cut an even round slice about 1-inch thick. Use the rest of the watermelon as you wish. You’ll only need this round slice."
Next comes the whipped topping, which is a combination of ricotta, cream cheese, and a hint of honey. "And that mixture will go right on top of the round slice of watermelon along with a nice sprinkling of shredded coconut," she adds. Finally, finish it off with a shower of toppings. "I love adding more fresh fruit on top, like strawberries and blueberries. You can also add mint leaves, cacao nibs, and nuts if you’d like!" Jawad emphasizes that the pizza is highly customizable, so feel free to zhuzh as you wish.
"However you top it, this watermelon pizza recipe is such a refreshing snack for summer get togethers," she says. BTW, to make this recipe vegan, Jawad adds that you can mix coconut cream with shredded coconut as the base in place of the ricotta and cream cheese.
Watermelon pizza recipe
Prep time: 15 minutes
1 large round watermelon slice about 1 inch thick, cut from the center of the melon
1/2 cup ricotta
1/4 cup whipped cream cheese
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon shredded coconut
Fresh mint, to taste
How to assemble the watermelon pizza:
- In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, cream cheese and honey together until combined, smooth, and spreadable.
- Spread the ricotta mixture over the watermelon and sprinkle the shredded coconut.
- Cut the watermelon into 8 equal slices.
- Top the slices of watermelon with shredded coconut, strawberries, blueberries, crushed pistachios and fresh mint.
Recipe and pictures excerpted from Yumna Jawad’s Feel Good Foodie.
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