Watermelon jam is a seasonal dessert. It may seem that it is impossible to make jam from this particular berry, since the pulp is too watery and the rinds are dense. But it's not. Creating a dessert at home is not difficult. The cooking process is identical to the usual apple / pear / raspberry jam. There are a lot of step-by-step recipes on the Internet - from the simplest methods for making watermelon jam to culinary masterpieces with a lot of techniques and exotic ingredients.
What you need to know about the product, is it possible to cook watermelon peel jam and how safe is it to introduce sweetness into the daily diet?
We are used to eating watermelon fresh or making soft drinks based on it. But the classic scheme for jam "50% sugar + 50% fruit / berry" works flawlessly with any product. For cooking, both the pulp and the rind of the watermelon are used. The taste and structure of the finished dish depend on the main component. If you choose the pulp, you will get a classic viscous jam with a uniform consistency. If we take watermelon peels as a basis, we will get dense, barely crunchy cubes in sweet fruit syrup.
Making a dessert from the pulp does not require much effort. You can boil it for a long time or use the “five-minute” method, pour it with syrup and immediately roll it into a jar. Peel jam requires effort, time and patience. To soften the structure, the crusts are soaked for a long time in a solution of soda and ordinary water. Soaking does not affect the taste, but it allows you to easily bite through the crust without damaging your teeth and without making titanic efforts.
Most often, lemon or citrus zest is added to watermelon jam. The ingredient adds a special touch to the finished dessert and colors it in a unique shade from rich gold to translucent. The finished jam exudes a bright berry aroma, and it tastes like a sweet thickened watermelon cocktail.
Useful properties of the dish
The main component of jam is watermelon. Heat treatment has an ambiguous effect on the chemical composition and benefits of the product. For example, most of the liquid evaporates during cooking, so the diuretic effect, like from fresh watermelon, is minimal. But watermelon, like tomatoes, is loaded with lycopene. It is a enzyme whose concentration increases at high temperatures. Lycopene protects the human body from cancer, free radicals, age spots, UV rays and early aging. Therefore, long cooking is beneficial to the finished dish.
Another important element of the composition is fiber. This is an indigestible part of the plant, which accelerates metabolic processes, cleanses the body and stabilizes the microflora. Fiber affects not only the internal, but also the external transformation. Due to the harmonization of microflora, rashes and irregularities disappear from the skin. The epithelium is filled with moisture, inflammation is neutralized, and a healthy glow appears. Fiber regulates the level of cholesterol in the blood, normalizes bowel function, and protects a person from obesity, diabetes, and even cancer.
Chemical composition of the food component
|Calories (kcal)||219 kcal|
|Proteins (g)||0.2 g|
|Fats (g)||0 g|
|Carbs (g)||58.4 g|
|Dietary fiber (g)||0, 1 g|
|Ascorbic acid (C)||0.8|
|Nicotinic acid (PP)||0.08|
Possible harm and side effects
The main disadvantage of jam is the abundance of sugar. Today, enough is known about the dangers of sucrose, and nutritionists call carbohydrate the main poison of our time. The effect of sugar on the body is even compared with narcotic. As soon as the substance is ingested, the body responds by producing a huge dose of dopamine. This is a hormone that is responsible for the pleasure centers. Our brain remembers this sequence and in the future looks for the easiest way to get this very pleasure - to eat a product that has the most sugar. That is why it is so difficult to stop at one square of chocolate or limit yourself to two spoons of watermelon jam.
In addition to psychological dependence, the product leads to:
- uncontrolled hunger, overeating, obesity;
- internal inflammatory processes;
- development/aggravation of acne;
- deterioration in the functionality of the heart, blood vessels, metabolism, other organs and systems;
- destruction of tooth enamel;
- decrease in the protective functions of the immune system;
- noticeable external changes - sagging skin, decreased firmness/elasticity, early aging.
How to avoid this? Replace white sugar with healthier alternatives. For example, maple or coconut sugar is identical to refined sugar in structure, but their taste and composition are seriously different. The main thing is to choose a quality product without impurities of cane sugar in the composition. If the taste of classic watermelon jam is dear to you, then try to balance your diet so that the body “does not notice” the damaging effects of carbohydrates.
You can afford to eat orange jam every day. The main thing is that sweetness is only 10-20% of your diet. The remaining 80-90% should be dedicated to quality grains, legumes, meats, fruits, vegetables, pure water and superfoods. With this ratio of products, you will be able to fill the psychological need for desserts, avoiding problems with skin, weight and health.
Recipe #1: Watermelon Pulp with Lemon and Zest
- granulated sugar - 600 grams;
- ripe watermelon - 7 kilograms (weight is indicated including peels);
- lemon - 1 piece;
- lemon zest - to taste.
Rinse the watermelon thoroughly, cut it, separate the flesh from the rinds. Remove the seeds from the pulp and chop the product into small cubes. With a lemon, you need to do the same manipulations. In a deep saucepan, mix the crushed pulp and sugar. Stir the mixture several times and leave for at least 30 minutes. During this time, the fruit will give juice, and the sugar will dissolve slightly.
Put the prepared mass on a low fire. After 30 minutes, add the lemon/lemon zest to the pot. The total cooking time varies from 1.5 to 2 hours depending on the size of the cubes. The finished jam will take on a golden-transparent color, the sugar will turn into a syrup rich in fruit flavors, and the structure of the watermelon pulp / lemon will become as tender and pliable as possible.
Recipe #2: Watermelon Peels with Vanilla and Cardamom
We will need:
- lemon - 1 thing;
- watermelon peels - 1 kilogram;
- water - 600-650 milliliters;
- sugar - 1 kilogram;
- vanilla to taste;
- cardamom to taste.
Separate the watermelon rinds from the pulp (the pulp can be eaten raw or made into a cocktail). Make sure that all pink areas are removed, you can additionally run a vegetable peeler over the surface several times. Cut the peeled peels into small pieces of any size.
The dense structure of the lobules is retained even after heat treatment. Use it to create not only delicious, but also beautiful dessert. Use cookie cutters or special metal cookie cutters to fill a jam jar with hearts, stars, sharks, or just beautifully designed geometric shapes.
Each piece must be placed in a special solution. It consists of 3 teaspoons of soda and 3 liters of filtered cold water. Leave the watermelon for 4-6 hours, then rinse it thoroughly and place it in clean cold water for 30-60 minutes. If you skip this step, the crusts will be too dense and almost inedible.
Prepare the syrup - mix water and 500 grams of granulated sugar, add the soaked crusts to the mass, put on low heat, bring to a boil and cook for another 20 minutes. Leave the resulting mass in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, then bring to a boil again, add the remaining 500 grams of sugar and cook for another 20-30 minutes. The finished mixture should again be left for 8 hours in the refrigerator and boil the product one more time.
After the third boil, the jam will become translucent, the syrup will be moderately sweet, and the slices will be slightly crispy. In the finished dessert, add vanilla, cardamom and any spices to taste. Thoroughly mix the watermelon peel jam, pour into sterilized jars, leave in the pantry for the winter or serve immediately.
Use in traditional medicine
Watermelon pulp and rinds are an important element of traditional medicine. Most often they were used for edema, diseases of the kidneys, heart, liver and blood vessels. A decoction based on the crusts protected the body from urolithiasis. The decoction gives an instant diuretic effect, which regulates the functioning of the system and prevents the disease from progressing. Jam will not give a pronounced diuretic effect, although the concentration of water in the dessert is 40.9 grams.
Jam creates an alkaline environment inside the body, which strengthens its protective functions and prevents viruses/infections from multiplying. A few spoons of jam will help neutralize the dullness of the face, restore its former radiance and freshness. The action of the product comes from within - through the harmonization of the internal microflora.
Watermelon juice has a beneficial effect on the liver. Previously, it was used in the treatment of alcoholism to help the patient get back on their feet faster. It was believed that jam can help with severe headaches, swelling, migraines, tonsillitis and even tuberculosis. Indeed, in some cases, the product can neutralize the symptoms of the disease. But in order to completely eliminate its root cause, you will have to sit down a hundred cans, which can be dangerous to health due to the high sugar content. Consider watermelon jam exclusively as a food product, and entrust health issues to modern medicine.