Friday, July 20, 2012


Dried Watermelon, Cantaloupe and other Melons make great healthy homemade snacks

Melon chip jerky can be made in a food dehydrator to produce an excellent hiking snack or TV snack food.

Dried melon chips concentrate the flavors and sugars to convert the melon into an interesting and different type of food. Dried watermelon sounds like a contradiction, but it is surprisingly good. Of course I will always eat some melon as a fresh, cold, wet, and sometimes messy food. On the other hand, I don't see too many people bringing fresh watermelon on hikng trips. Dried watermelon and cantaloupe chips will be frequently packed items in my hiking lunches. Dried melon slices also provide healthy low fat, low salt snack foods that will fit into many diet plans. These neat and tidy finger foods are also convenient for use as TV snacks, party appetizers and hors d'oeuvres.

cutting watermelon slices
Cutting thin slices of watermelon.

fresh watermelon slices in food dehydrator
Remove the rind and place watermelon slices on dryer trays.

dried watermelon slices in food dehydrator
After drying store the watermelon chips in airtight containers.

Eating more watermelon is part of a colorful healthy diet

For many years I avoided watermelon thinking it was just a sugary junk food. Recent publicity on eating a colorful diet for better health stimulated me to investigate the nutritional value of watermelon.

What Color is Your Food? Taste a rainbow of fruits and vegetables for better health - North Dakota State University The site describes healthy reasons to eat a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables: Red, Orange/yellow, Green, Blue/purple, and White fruits and vegetables.

What Color Is Your Diet? Review - "The idea is that colors don't just make food pretty. They are there because specific nutrients have specific colors. Each color group represents a family of nutritional compounds and the deeper, the more nutritious. ... Experts agree that a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables should be part of everyone's diet. Produce are naturally low fat, high in fiber, and the natural chemicals that are responsible for the brilliant colors are disease-fighting nutrients that can protect against chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and more"

Watermelon Nutrition Facts and Analysis - "The good: This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. The bad: A large portion of the calories in this food come from sugars."

Watermelon is a Nutritional Powerhouse - "it is an excellent source of Vitamin C, which a major antioxidant. It has a high beta carotene concentration, thus offering a fair amount of vitamin A as well. ... A surprise nutrient is vitamin B, especially B1 (thiamine) and B6 (pyridoxine). ... The meat or pulp of watermelons is usually pink or red. Those colors indicate the highest content of lycopene, an antioxidant ... Then there are the minerals of potassium and magnesium, which watermelons also offer abundantly."

More about:
Sweet & Sour Watermelon Chip Jerky is a tasty healthy homemade snack food - BRT Insights 04aug2012
Food & Drink for Outdoor Activities - BRT Insights.

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