For most of us, buying a seedless watermelon has become the norm because let's admit it, no one wants tiny black seeds to get in the way of all that sweet juicy pulp. And even if you do end up buying a watermelon with seeds they usually end up in the trash and not in your stomach, at least not by choice.
Watermelon seeds are powerhouses full of essential B vitamins like niacin, folate, and thiamin, and minerals like magnesium and potassium. Unfortunately this fact often gets forgotten when enjoying the more apparent and tasty flesh of the fruit. Just eating these seeds straight up won't do the trick though! Due to the hard outer shell the seeds just pass through the digestive track without releasing most of the nutrients. Here are simple ways to prepare watermelon seeds to get the full health benefits.
Watermelon seeds are a natural diuretic. They are a great remedy for kidney stones and urinary track infection. To make tea, ground four tablespoons of fresh seeds in a blender or coffee grinder and steep in two liters of boiling water for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture and consume the tea within two days. It's a great low budget kidney cleanse. For diabetics, drinking the tea can also help regulate blood glucose levels.
Much like pumpkin seeds, it is possible to dry and then roast the seeds to make a delicious and crunchy protein packed snack. Simply spread the seeds on a baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Keep a close eye and toss half way through to ensure even baking. Roasting not only makes them more delicious but also makes digesting and absorbing their nutrients easy. Kim Christensen of Affairs of Living gets even more creative by adding different spice mix for added flavor punch. Eat as a snack or topped on a salad.
Sprouting seeds not only increases their nutrient content (think of it as the seed preparing itself to grow into a tree) but also removes phyates which are anti-nutrients that keep the body from absorbing the good stuff. Sprouting might not be quick but your patience will be rewarded if you choose to do it yourself. Vegetarian Times has a great tutorial on how to sprout watermelon or any other seeds. You can also buy them from the store or online. Either way, once you get your sprouted watermelon seeds, check out Food Republic for a quick recipe on making watermelon seed granola.
Lastly, if you are trying to figure out the best way to cut a watermelon and get to those pesky seeds, here is a great video.
Eat The Watermelon Now, Save Seeds For Later
Nothing says summer like biting into a slice of juicy watermelon. So the next time you find yourself craving this delicious fruit, make sure to get the seeded kind and try one or all three ways to use those seeds to boost the health benefits of enjoying your favorite summer treat!