Preparing Fresh Watermelon is Easy

Do you get sticker shock when buying prepackaged fruit at the grocery store? Well, you can cut your cost substantially and still enjoy fresh watermelon, honeydew or cantaloupe using this quick and easy method of preparation.

Begin by washing the exterior of the melon thoroughly using a vegetable scrub brush. Dry it off and place it on a cutting board.

Fresh Watermelon 001Credit: PegCole17

Set out a large container or bowl to hold the cubed pieces. I like to put a couple of grocery store bags inside one another in the sink and use them for the rinds. If you fold the top of the bags down, it helps keep these open for faster disposal. Later, I chop up the rinds into smaller pieces and add them to my compost bin.

Once you've washed and dried the fruit, place it on its flattest side. That's usually the side that stayed on the ground when it was growing.  Choosing a long, serrated knife, cut the melon in half lengthwise all the way down the longest edge.

Fresh Watermelon 002Credit: PegCole17

Place one half of the melon fruit side down on the cutting board and set aside the other half.

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Now make cuts across the fruit beginning at one end and continue cutting crosswise cuts every one to one and a half inches.

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Continue making cross cuts from one end to the opposite end.

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Taking one wedge, which will resemble a half moon, place it on the cutting board flat side down and insert a pointed knife between the rind and the pink flesh of the fruit, separating the fruit completely from the rind.

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Once the fruit is free from the rind, toss the rind into the plastic bag you've put into the nearby sink. Now cut this section across lengthwise in one inch strips.

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Now, cut it again crosswise to form squares of fruit about one inch square.  There will be some rounded pieces on the edges.

Watermelon 007Credit: PegCole17

Using a flat spatula, scoop the finished cubes into the waiting container or bowl.

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Continue separating the fruit from the rind on the remaining slices. After you've finished the first half of the watermelon, you can wrap the other half with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator or continue with this method and cut the rest of it using the same method and be done with it. I prefer to cut the entire thing at once to avoid having to clean up a second time.

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I've found out that a whole watermelon will sit in my refrigerator for days and no one bothers to cut it. After I've prepared the fruit and stored it in a covered container, my family heads for it without hesitation.

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The fruit is ready-to-eat and a healthy nutritious snack that I'm happy to see disappear.