The watermelon is one of nature’s amazing fruits. The large, oblong or oval vegetable crop is rich in vitamins C and A and is a good source of phytochemicals and many other healthy plant compounds. It also reduces blood pressure, prevents the development of asthma and can play a role in preventing certain cancers by combatting free radicals. Also, due to its high water content, the watermelon helps you hydrate and feel full.
The watermelon rind is a tough outer layer that has a green exterior that fades to a pale white inside before offering the red and pink flesh of the fruit. It is harder and less juicy, but possesses a large percentage of nutrients, although most people discard the leaves. It is possible the rind can offer more, and this article looks into composting watermelon rinds.
Can Watermelon Rind Be Composted?
Definitely. Watermelon rinds are a valuable source of green matter for the compost bin or heap, contributing nitrogen, nutrients, other trace minerals such as phosphorous, and moisture, beneficial to the composting process.
The rinds, however, need to be chopped into smaller bits for them to compost completely and more quickly. If you have a whole watermelon, consider composting it all, flesh and rinds. The flesh can rot a bit more quickly and disappear into the compost in comparison to the rinds, but they all decompose nonetheless.
Remember to cut up the watermelon into small chunks or slices first so that it composts in its entirety. Also, some birds may peck at the rinds to remove the last of the flesh. As such, if you have a regular visitor to your bird feeder, or keep chickens, try hanging the rind up near their food for a couple of days.
This cleans up the rinds before composting. Let the rinds act as a snack for the birds, and compost them thereafter. You can also clean the rinds yourself by eating them. They are full of fibers and other nutritious benefits, but in doing so, you will have none to compost.
You also need to add some browns in with the melon rinds. The rinds and the fruit itself are mostly water and although they can rot down easily and quickly, composting too much moisture can cause problems in the compost pile, such as lack of oxygen.
If your compost pile already looks quite wet, try adding some brown materials like dry leaves, twigs, or shredded paper along with the melon rinds to help soak up any excess moisture. This should prevent the pile from becoming too wet and if you think your pile is running too dry, then melons will help fix this.
Also, remember to chop them up into smaller pieces. The smaller your compost pile, the smaller you should make the rinds. Even if your compost pile is big enough, if you add a whole melon rind, it will be quite slow to decompose. So, just slice the rinds up before adding them to the composting bin.
Can You Put Watermelon Rinds Down a Garbage Disposal?
Simply put, avoid putting watermelon rinds down the garbage disposal. Watermelon rinds, celery, banana peels, carrot scrapings and potato peels are fibrous food items, and should not end up in the garbage disposal. Their strings and fibres can jam up the blades, causing damage to the appliance.
Additionally, they are harder than the fruit itself and have the potential to destroy the appliance in its entirety. Even the smaller skins can easily become wrapped around your disposal’s blades, ending up stuck in your system for a long time. these large and harder parts of the melon can also take a long time to grind up, especially if they have already caused damage to the appliance.
The easiest thing to do is to put them in the trash rather than the garbage disposal. Additionally, the rinds can be composted, and they are a source of green matter for the compost bin or heap, contributing nitrogen, nutrients and moisture beneficial to the composting process. They will also contribute to the final compost and subsequently the garden and plants.
Are Watermelon Rinds Edible?
Yes, yes and yes! Watermelon rinds are edible. Although the most popular part of the watermelon is the pink flesh, like their cousin, the cucumbers, the whole thing is edible, including the rinds. Although composting them is the better way to use the rinds, eating them may have additional benefits:
1. They may make you better in bed
Although the rind is not a nature-powered Viagra, some research points to them helping med to moderate erectile dysfunction. Their libido-boosting powers come from the amino acid citrulline, which is concentrated in the rind.
One particular study showed that taking L-citrulline supplements can improve erections without many of the potential side effects associated with Viagra.
To effectively use the rinds for this purpose, spritz your watermelon rinds with lemon juice and sprinkling some chili powder on them. Both additives are good for your heart, and of course your male love organ
2. They can give you a boost when working out
The citrulline might also improve your next athletic performance, although much of the evidence for this is anecdotal. Anyways, citrulline promotes the dilation of blood vessels, improving the oxygen delivery to muscles, potentially improving exercise performance
3. They can reduce your blood pressure
There exists evidence that watermelon extracts supplements can help obese adults control their blood pressure levels. Citrulline supplements can help reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension.
Watermelon is also a potential diuretic, which often is prescribed for people with high blood pressure. Therefore if your doctor instructs you to lower your blood pressure, try eating watermelon, rinds and all.
4. They are rich in fiber
Watermelon rinds are also a rich source of fiber. Fiber helps in maintaining regular bowel movements and may help reduce the risk of developing diseases of the colon. Maybe this is why most people recommend consuming the rinds if you have diarrhea. Fibre also lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels and foods with fiber fill you up faster, helping achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Can You Compost Watermelon Seeds?
Yes, watermelon seeds are definitely compostable. However, remember they are too woody and most worms will avoid eating them until they have sprouted or decomposed. As such, be sure to crush them before adding them to the compost, to avoid having them germinate inside there.
You can also place them in the middle of the composting pile where it is the hottest. In there, they will compost much more quickly and will not sprout in the process.
If you are committed to composting watermelon seeds and having seed-free compost, you can also let the seeds sit for more than one season, so that they have a real chance of breaking down. In any case, even if they sprout inside the composting bin and you have no use for the seedlings, you can continue turning the compost and have them all composted.
What Can I Do With Leftover Watermelon Rinds?
1. Eating them
As already mentioned, you can eat the watermelon rinds and harvest more benefits from the green waste material. They can boost your game in bed, and improve your blood circulation, therefore lowering your blood pressure. They are also rich in fibers that are required by the body, lowering your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
2. As an ingredient in delicious dishes
Yes, you can use the rind as an ingredient for other delicious dishes. The watermelon rind zest is made from ground rinds that are mixed in a salad, whipped up to make a tasty herb slaw, added to a cucumber-dill salad, or mixed into a cold soup. A healthy tip here: a great topping for soups or salads are roasted watermelon seeds!
3. Making a watermelon rind smoothie
The next time you find yourself craving a smoothie, or just about any other cold, fruity drink, simply toss some watermelon rinds into your mixer. They go great with nearly every other summer fruit including strawberries, raspberries and blueberries as well as fresh cucumber.
Fresh ginger and mint can make great additions, too. By adding watermelon rind to your smoothie you help reduce food waste and lend your smoothie some extra fiber.
4. Making rind jam
Preparing jams might seem like a lot of hustle but it is one of the easiest recipes to make. All you need to take care of is the heat temperature and your patience. To make watermelon rind jam, you will need one cup of the rind, diced into small pieces and one cup of apple also diced.
You also need two cups of sugar and lemon juice with one teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add all of these ingredients to a saucepan and heat it until it comes to a boil. Keep stirring and cooking until the rinds become soft and mushy. You can also add a cinnamon stick or some cinnamon powder to give it a spicy taste.
Now take it off the flame and add it to heated glass jars. Close the lid and put the jars in boiling water for about five minutes. Now take them out and let them cool. Your Rind jam is ready
5. Making rind dosa
Rind dosa is famous in various parts of South India and is had on special occasions. All you need is to soak one cup of dosa rice for two hours before preparing the recipe. Also, soak a half-cup poha by straining it through a sieve.
Meanwhile, take one cup of rind and blend it into a smooth paste along with shredded coconut. Now blend the rice and poha and blend them too. Once it all comes together, leave it to ferment for about five hours. Add some salt to it and very little water. Heat a Tawa and start making your dosa
6. Making pickled rind
You can also switch things up and let the watermelon rinds take the lead role in your recipe. Pickled and candied watermelon rinds are all the craze at county fairs and food events of the like.
It is not a complicated recipe at all but you will need to start preparing a day in advance. To make the pickled watermelon rind, take 400g watermelon rind with a little flesh still attached, peel off the hard skin and cut into 3cm pieces. Put 275ml water, 100ml vinegar, a teaspoon of red pepper flakes, four teaspoons of salt and 100g sugar in a saucepan, bring to a boil, add the rind, return to a boil and turn off the heat.
Fill a clean jam jar with the pickled watermelon and juice, top with a few slices of green chili and screw on the lid. They’re ready to eat once cooled and will keep in the fridge for a month or longer.