SOURCE: National Watermelon Promotion Board

March 17, 2015 11:26 ET

Drink Up Natural, Refreshing Beverages

MISSION, KS--(Marketwired - Mar 17, 2015) - (Family Features) Whether you're trying to achieve wellness goals or just looking for simple ways to add more nutrient-rich food sources into your family's diet, now is the time to dust off that blender or juicer. Naturally sweet and nutritious, watermelon is a great addition to drinks that nourish and replenish the body.

For years, health professionals have touted the many benefits found in nature -- especially in fruits such as watermelon. But with hectic schedules, it can be hard to reap the rewards of these power foods. Thankfully there are a few helpful contraptions in the kitchen to help you quickly and easily power up your diet.

Boasting the benefits of watermelon
Whether you need to flush out toxins or reduce bloating, healthy and hydrating watermelon is the all-natural solution conveniently found at your local grocer's produce section.

Packed with arginine and citrulline, watermelon may help improve blood flow. The watermelon's high water and potassium level may also help the body flush out unwanted fluids. Plus, watermelon is said to have a diuretic effect, which helps the body beat bloating. The following cocktail recipes all feature this star ingredient, which along with other healthful ingredients, offer natural solutions for common conditions.

When incorporating these delicious drinks into your family's diet, use a strong blender when you can. This will help retain essential phytonutrients and antioxidants within the blended mixture. Many conventional juicers require you to throw away the pulp, which means throwing out these bonus health benefits.

For more refreshing ways to add nutrients to your diet, visit www.watermelon.org

Red Hot Blood Cleanser 
Servings: 2 (1-cup) servings 
   
2 cups watermelon chunks
1 small to medium beet, washed
1 apple, seeded and cut into cubes
1 tablespoon apple juice concentrate
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on taste)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Place all ingredients in blender with watermelon on bottom. Turn blender on slow speed until watermelon has liquefied, then increase speed and blend 1 minute or until liquefied.

Veggie De-Bloat Cocktail 
Servings: 2 (or 2 1/2 cups total) 
   
1/3 medium cucumber, peeled
3 medium carrots, washed
2 celery stalks
1/2 red pepper, washed and seeded
1/4 cup fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 cups watermelon
  Dash of horseradish

In juicer, extract juice from all ingredients. Serve plain or over ice.

Watermelon Zapper 
Servings: 2 (2 1/4 cups total in blender, or 1 3/4 cups total in juicer) 
   
2 cups watermelon cubes
1/3 large lemon, peeled
1 1 /2 tablespoons peeled fresh ginger
2 medium carrots

Juice all ingredients in conventional juicer.

In blender, place watermelon first then remaining ingredients. Turn blender on low until watermelon is liquefied then gradually increase speed. Blend 2 minutes.

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