With summer on the way in South Florida, two things there will be more of for sure are barbeques and watermelon.
Fresh watermelons can be found in local farmer’s markets in South Florida from April to July. Perfect timing for summer barbeques. But watermelon doesn’t have to be just for dessert. Combining this sweet but low calorie fruit into appetizers and side dishes is a winning combination as they may help you avoid the typical starchy BBQ appetizers or side dishes in order to keep you on your post gastric sleeve weight loss surgery diet. Not to mention these dishes might make you a hit amongst your friends.
Watermelons are naturally sweet, but surprisingly one cup of fresh cubed watermelon provides 43 calories, 11 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 17% of vitamin A, and 21% of vitamin C. It also contains lycopene, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, magnesium, phosphorus, biotin, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, and choline despite being 92% water. These nutrients are responsible for giving watermelon a reputation for helping with asthma prevention, cancer prevention, dehydration prevention, helping to reduce chronic inflammation, reduce muscle soreness following exercise, and also promoting healthy hair and skin. That’s a lot of benefits for something that also tastes good and is affordable!
Try watermelon in a salad with chopped tomatoes, fresh spinach leaves, diced avocados and a balsamic vinaigrette, toss in a few chopped pistachios if you have them on hand for a nice crunch.
As an appetizer, these watermelon and goat cheese bites are sweet and salty and make a great finger food.
Watermelon and Goat Cheese Bites
Cut watermelon into 1 inch thick slices. Use a cookie cutter or small glass to cut the watermelon into 25 2-inch rounds. Use a spoon or melon baller to scoop an indentation out of the top of each watermelon round. Stir together goat cheese, salt, pepper and chopped basil. Spoon the herbed cheese mixture into each indentation. Garnish with fresh basil or fresh ground pepper if desired. Chill until served.
The above recipe is offered by the staff at Dr. Shillingford’s Miami/Ft. Lauderdale/Boca Raton area office specializing in lap band, gastric sleeve, and gastric bypass weight loss surgeries. Dr. Shillingford’s patients often seek recipes to help keep them on track with their lower calorie diets. Dr. Shillingford takes pride in helping patients achieve their weight loss goals after surgery.