In the world of health and fitness, there always seems to be a new biohack or nutritional trend on the rise. Recently there’s been a growing interest in watermelon jerky which can satisfy sweet cravings without the guilt of eating processed and sugary foodstuffs. In this article we will explore the benefits of watermelon jerky and discover if this trend is actually a healthy snack choice.
Watermelon jerky is a dehydrated snack made from sliced watermelon, offering a chewy and concentrated version of the traditional fruit.
Despite losing some water content during dehydration, watermelon jerky retains nutrients like vitamins A and C.
Watermelon jerky is a naturally sweet and healthier alternative to sugary candies, pastries, or cakes.
Watermelon jerky overview
A modern and creative take on the classic juicy fruit — watermelon jerky’s popularity is rising fast. It’s made by slicing watermelon into thin pieces and dehydrating them to produce a chewy, concentrated snack that keeps the fruit's original flavors. Watermelon jerky is fast becoming a go-to snack for those of us who are health-conscious but also have a sweet tooth. It’s also easy to make, store, and carry around and has a number of potential health advantages.
Is watermelon jerky healthy?
Yes, watermelon jerky can be a healthy snack option as part of a balanced and varied diet.
- Low in calories. Watermelon is naturally low in calories and fat.
- No added sugar. The dehydration process of making watermelon jerky intensifies its flavors without adding extra sugars or additives.
- Retains nutritional values. It retains much of the fruit's nutritional value, including vitamins A and C, and the antioxidant lycopene, known for its potential health benefits.
Is watermelon jerky a good snack?
Watermelon jerky can be a smart snack choice for those of us who are on the go, don’t like a mess, or are seeking a healthier alternative to conventionally processed snacks. The natural sweetness helps to satisfy cravings for sugary treats and processed foods which can help if you are on a weight loss or healthy eating journey.
Pros and cons of watermelon jerky
Let's take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of watermelon jerky.
Watermelon jerky vs. regular watermelon
In addition to taste, watermelon jerky is different from typical watermelon in its texture, which is similar to that of dried mango. Watermelon is typically juicy and messy to eat, but watermelon jerky is dried and concentrated, providing a chewy and potent flavor sensation. However, because of the dehydration process, watermelon jerky loses a lot of the fresh watermelon's juiciness and crispness.
How to make watermelon jerky in the oven
Making watermelon jerky at home is a straightforward process that requires an oven, some patience and only a few ingredients.
- 1 ripe watermelon
- Optional sprinkle of salt or spices for flavor
- Preheat your oven to its lowest setting (usually around 150°F or 65°C).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
- Cut the watermelon into thin slices, approximately 1/4 inch thick.
- If desired, lightly sprinkle the slices with a pinch of salt or your preferred spices. This step is optional but can enhance the flavor.
- Place the watermelon slices on the baking sheet in a single layer, ensuring they don't overlap.
- Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and prop the oven door slightly open to allow moisture to escape.
- Dehydrate the watermelon slices for about 4 to 6 hours, or until they are chewy and have a jerky-like consistency. The time may vary based on the thickness of the slices and your oven's temperature.
- Once done, remove the watermelon jerky from the oven and let it cool completely before storing it in an airtight container.
With its high water content and inherent sweetness, watermelon jerky has great potential as a healthy snack choice. Instead of reaching for candies or sugary treats, watermelon jerky could help curb those cravings by offering not only a delicious flavor but also providing an array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, because of its natural sugars, moderation is still essential and it should be consumed as part of a varied, healthy diet.
Can you make watermelon jerky for dogs?
Yes, watermelon jerky can be a healthy treat for dogs, but ensure it's free from seeds and doesn't contain any added sugars or seasonings.
Can watermelon be dehydrated?
Yes, watermelon is dehydrated to make watermelon jerky. The dehydration process removes moisture, intensifying the flavors and creating a chewy texture. This can be done in an oven or with a dehydrator.
Where to buy watermelon jerky?
Watermelon jerky can be found in many health food stores, online retailers, and specialty snack shops. Always check the ingredient list for additives and added sugars.
- Food Properties. Watermelon as a potential fruit snack.
- Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. Bioactive compounds and antioxidant activities of different watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Mansfeld) cultivars as affected by fruit sampling area.