Pickled Watermelon Rind & Beets

A week or so ago I bought myself a HUGE watermelon from WFM and thought to myself, “how can I use the rind to this melon”.

Watermelons are in the same family as cucumbers and zucchini, so I tried to think of cooking techniques for those.

Dehydrating first came to mind then of course breading/frying followed, because anything fried can be tasty.

Finally pickles came to mind!

I’ve never pickled or fermented anything and the idea not only fascinated me but also was terrifying.

I decided to peruse the net for basic pickling recipes to guide me in the right direction.

During my search I stumbled across a recipe for pickled watermelon rind! Oh, lucky days!

The recipe was adapted by Kitchen Riffs from a David Chang recipe.

As mentioned before I do not like using refined white sugar but it was important for me to follow the recipe somewhat closely for the first attempt. So, I reduced the sugar quantity from the original.

I pickled the rinds Monday night after waiting the recommended four days, I popped off the lids and gave them a try.

Ok, I do admit that eating pickled rind from a watermelon may not sound scrumptious, and well, I cannot say it was my favorite. These freshly packed sour warheads have an intense “POW, IN YOUR FACE” flavor.

Kitchen Riff recommended using ACV instead of Chang’s rice wine vinegar, so I went along with the ACV. The ACV has a sweet element and enhances the intense flavors to an overwhelming degree.

The thing about watermelon rind is that it doesn’t have much flavor and are bitter—absorbing whatever sauce used. Less sugar and the strong, sweet flavor of ACV took over the rinds, resulting in unbalance between sweet and sour/tangy, with sour/tangy dominating the profile.

Cinnamon sticks and fresh ginger were also added to my brind which adds a layer of heat to the pickles.

There is a real sweet, tangy, sour explosion of flavors that are not for the average soul.

There was also that expected crunch from the hard rind which you’ll find from a well pickled vegetable. The crunch adds another degree of complexity to this already stimulating flavors.

This would be great with some ice cold lemonade on a hot summer day or garnish for a fun, fruity cocktail.

I’ve generated two jars and am seeking creative ways to eat these tangy morsels because summer is on it’s way out and seldom drink, but once in a while I do enjoy a classic gimlet with gin. I’ll post updates about tasty finds for pickled watermelon rind.

I ended up using some extra dressing to pickle a golden beet that wasn’t looking too good. I honestly loved the pickled beet.

The ACV wasn’t as overwhelming and still had a strong beet flavor and a slight crunch to them.

These would be great with hummus and roasted corn or in a nice green salad with some toasted walnuts. YUM!

Have you tried pickling? Do you have a favorite recipe or tricks? Let me know!

Why Honey?

First off,  I do not like processed sugar, especially if sourced from cane sugar or palm sugar.

I prefer honey because it has a lower glycemic index, has more nutrients, medicinal properties, supports allergy relief, is easier to digest, and supports population growth of bees.  Honey makes a more sustainable sugar that mixes well and has subtle flavorings depending on the flower pollen collected.

Most sugars can cause heart disease, type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and cavities.

Sugar cane is a water-intensive crop that remains in the soil all year long and impacts many environmentally sensitive regions.  Pollutes water with fertilizer and helps encourage red waves which deplete oxygen for organisms in the water.  Is a cause of deforestation in some of the world’s most threatened ecosystems.

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Many vegans do not promote the use of honey as it violates the animals’ right free from human exploitation.  Other issues include kept queens having their wings trimmed and bees harmed during routine handling of the hive.

Bees are at risk of becoming endangered, with yellow-faced bees added to the list this past year, and need our support in order to help populations thrive.

Bees and other pollinators such as flies, butterflies, and moths, transport pollen between plants to trigger fertilization of seeds.

Without this vital component of the ecosystem, we would not only lose food but oxygen.

Be sure to purchase honey from ethical beekeepers in your local area.

Your purchase of honey will help support the growth of bee populations.

Other ways to help the bee population:

Buy organic—Pesticides kill bees.  Organic produce use less harmful pesticides and natural means of pest removal.

Grow plants that help bees—Lavender, Sage, Mint, Crocus, hyacinth, borage, calendula, and wild lilac to name a few.

Sources and more information about sugar cane :

WWF – Sugar Cane

WWF – Sugar Cane Farming

Deforestation Education 

Red Tide, Sugar, and the Everglades

Is honey better for you than sugar?