Yellow Watermelon: Yes, It’s Real! Here’s Everything You Need to Know

If you want to take your summer fruit game to another level, yellow watermelon is the way to go! This unique and tasty treat is a conversation starter for sure. 

We’ll discuss everything from where to find them, store them, cut them up, grow them, and include some facts you won’t want to miss.  

First: What is a Yellow Watermelon?

closeup view of yellow watermelon cut into slices.
Image Credit: DepositPhotos

Yellow watermelon simply has yellow flesh instead of the traditional pink or red. The color of the flesh can range from pale yellow to gold and usually contains the familiar large, edible brown-black seeds.

It is sweet and juicy, with an elliptical to oval shape and thick, hard green rind. 

These varieties are just as nutritious their pink/red counterparts– containing vitamins A & C, plus beta-carotene. 

Today, you can find yellow varieties such as Mountain Sweet Yellow Watermelon– which are longer and more cylindrical in shape than traditional oval-shaped ones. 

Once they became popular, breeders began to give them a more pink hue by creating higher lycopene content.

Traditional watermelons get their pinkish-to-red hues from lycopene, the same powerful antioxidant that makes tomatoes red.

History: When & Where They Came From

Their history dates back thousands of years. Native to Africa and have been cultivated for over 5,000 years. 

Descriptions from that era describe ripe watermelons as having a yellowish interior, confirmed by a Byzantine-era mosaic in Israel. 

Health Benefits

yellow watermelon cut into slices.
Image Credit: DepositPhotos

Yellow watermelons have many health benefits that make them a great addition to any diet. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, which helps reduce inflammation, and vitamin C strengthens the immune system.

Additionally, they provide 25% of adults’ daily vitamin C needs and 18% of their vitamin A needs. 

Watermelon is an incredibly wholesome fruit that is 92% water by weight and is low in calories. It’s an excellent snack for those who want to stay healthy!

Nutrition Facts

This fruit is low in calories and high in vitamins. A one-cup serving of yellow watermelon contains 12 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 9 grams of sugar, 0 grams of fat, and 0 grams of saturated fat. 

It also contains 2.9 milligrams of sodium, 320 milligrams of potassium, and 46 calories.

The majority of the calories come from its carbohydrate content.It is an excellent snack choice for people with diabetes due to its low-calorie count and moderate sodium and potassium levels. 

Other fruits like oranges or strawberries can also be sprinkled with sodium for similar effects and added flavor (ref).

How to Select Ripe Yellow Watermelons

growing watermelon plant
Image Credit: DepositPhotos

When picking ripe yellow watermelons, there are a few key things to look out for. They can be tricky to identify as they are less vibrant than their red counterparts. 

Here are some tips on how to select the perfect melon for your next summer feast:

  1. Look for the Yellow Spot – Watermelons grow on the ground, and where they come in contact with the earth, they are left without light, meaning no photosynthesis occurs. This is why you should seek out a yellow ground spot or field spot rather than a white bottom which indicates an unripe melon. A ripe watermelon will have a bright yellow ground spot with time to ripen fully on its vine.
  2. Check for Soft Spots – Soft spots indicate an overripe melon, so try and avoid them if possible by gently pressing against the rind of the melon with your fingers or thumb. It should be ripe and ready to eat if it’s firm but not rock-hard.
  3. Give it a Knock – Tap your knuckles against the surface of the melon and listen out for a deep pitch echoing back at you; this sound means it’s full of juice and likely very sweet.
  4. Feel Its Weight – At 92 percent water content, watermelons should feel heavy relative to their size when lifted off the shelf or plucked from their box/basket in-store; this indicates freshness and ripeness.

You can ensure that you’re getting excellent produce by taking these simple steps.

Exciting Ways to Eat a Yellow Watermelon

Yellow watermelon is a unique and delicious variety of watermelon with creamy yellow or pale orange flesh. It has a sweeter taste than regular red watermelons and can be just as fun. 

There are many exciting ways to enjoy this unique fruit, from smoothies to salads. Here are some ideas:

1. Smoothies: Use them interchangeably with red varieties in smoothies for an extra-sweet twist. Blend the cubes with other fruits, such as strawberries, oranges, or bananas, plus Greek yogurt and honey, for an energizing treat.

2. Salads: Try substituting in place of tomatoes in your favorite salad recipe for a sweet and juicy flavor boost. Pair it with feta cheese, cucumbers, herbs such as basil or cilantro, and nuts like peanuts or almonds for the perfect light summer meal.

3. Popsicles: For a refreshing snack on hot days, try freezing chunks of yellow watermelon into popsicles along with mint leaves or lime juice for an extra zingy taste. You can also freeze the juice into ice cubes later in cocktails.

4. Cocktails & Drinks: The fruit makes excellent cocktail ingredients due to its naturally sweet flavor– blend them with vodka and lime juice for an irresistibly fruity drink. Alternatively, you could blend them into lemonade or iced tea recipes, giving you an extra flavorful kick.

No matter how you enjoy it, these unique watermelons will surely provide you with tasty treats that everyone will love.

How to Store and Preserve

Yellow watermelon needs to be stored and preserved in the right way to enjoy it at its best. Here are some tips.

When harvesting your yellow melons, look for fruits with a dull green rind, which should produce a dull thud when tapped. 

If there is not enough space in the refrigerator to fit the uncut melon, it should remain in a shaded, temperate area for up to two or three days.

However, don’t slice it up– slide that entire watermelon into the fridge, where it can stay fresh for two weeks.

To keep fresh for longer, freezing is an option. But, be sure to freeze when the watermelons are ripe and fresh, which will help preserve their flavor and texture. Once frozen, you can store them for up to six months before eating.

When storing cut fruit, ensure you don’t leave it exposed to air, as this may cause spoilage or loss of flavor over time.

Following these tips on storing and preserving, you can enjoy this delicious summer fruit all year round.

Simple Recipes

watermelon cocktail
Image Credit: DepositPhotos

Yellow watermelon can be used interchangeably with red-fleshed watermelon in recipes. There are many ways to enjoy this unique-flavored variety, from salsa to cakes. 

Here are some simple recipes that you can make at home:

  • Yellow Watermelon And Mint Pops: This light and refreshing popsicle recipe is made with watermelon, honey, mint leaves, and lime juice. They’re the perfect treat on a hot summer day (Recipe).
  • Avocado Watermelon Salad: This salad combines the fresh flavors of avocado, watermelon, and feta cheese for an easy meal or side dish. It’s sure to be a hit at your next cookout (Recipe).
  • Yellow Watermelon Mousse Cake: If you’re looking for something sweet to serve as dessert, give this mousse cake a try. Made with watermelon puree, heavy cream, and graham crackers. It’s sure to please even picky eaters (Recipe).
  • Yellow Watermelon Lemonade: Cool down with a tall glass of homemade lemonade made with watermelon. This recipe requires just four ingredients and takes minutes to make—what could be better (Recipe)?

Potential Nutritional Downsides 

Offers many potential health benefits, but consuming too much can have some nutritional downsides.

First, yellow watermelon does not contain lycopene, an antioxidant found in red watermelon that helps protect against certain illnesses and has been linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers.

High levels of lycopene are linked to improved cardiovascular health (ref). 

Second, it’s high in vitamin A and carotenoids (beta-carotene), which can be beneficial for eye health but may increase the risk of liver problems if consumed in excess. Beta-carotene may also interfere with certain medications.

Third, while they’re are rich in vitamins A and C, which support the immune system and skin health, they do not contain as many phytonutrients as red watermelons. Phytonutrients are plant-based compounds that help protect cells from damage.

Lastly, while eating a moderate amount can help support weight loss efforts due to its low-calorie content, it also contains natural sugars, which can contribute to weight gain.

In summary, while eating this fruit can offer potential health benefits, it is crucial to consume it in moderation to avoid any potential nutritional downsides.

Growing Your Own Yellow Watermelon at Home

Yellow watermelons (Citrullus lanatus) are just as easy to grow as the red variety, and you can enjoy the fruits of your labor in no time.

The best conditions for growing yellow watermelons include full sun and a soil mix of sand, silt, and clay. You should also ensure consistent moisture until the fruit is around the size of a tennis ball.

To begin growing, start by obtaining some seeds from an existing melon. 

Cut open a ripe one of the varieties you like and pull out the seeds; make sure they look healthy before planting them. 

Plant the seeds in a sunny location with plenty of room to spread– space each plant about four feet apart– then wait for them to germinate in one or two weeks. Keep them watered consistently during this time and up until harvesting season arrives.

During harvesting, look for melons with strong, consistent stripe patterns; dark green stripes on a light green background are ideal. 

When you pick a ripe one off the vine, it will be heavy for its size and shold sound hollow when tapped gently with your knuckles. This means it’s ready for eating. 

Finally, keep soil moist but not soggy while growing your yellow watermelons so they can reach full ripeness without rotting or cracking due to lack of moisture. 

Different Types and Varieties 

Yellow watermelons are becoming increasingly popular as they provide a unique twist on the classic red watermelon. 

There are over 1,200 varieties of watermelon available (red and yellow). Types of yellow watermelon range in size, texture, and flavor, so there’s something for everyone. 

The five most common varieties:

  1.  Yellow Crimson: Variety is similar to a red watermelon in terms of taste but has bright yellow flesh. 
  2. Desert King: Slightly sweet with dense yellow flesh.
  3. Buttercup Yellow Melon: Seedless and has a very high sugar content. 
  4. Yellow Doll: Orange-yellow flesh with rich flavor.
  5. Tastigold: Pale yellow-colored flesh with sweet notes.

Pairing Ideas for Dishes

 Not only can they be enjoyed as a snack, but they can also be used to create delicious dishes. Here are some pairing ideas for dishes that will make your next meal unforgettable.

First, try substituting yellow watermelon instead of red in a salad recipe. This will add a unique flavor to the dish that you won’t find with red varieties.

 Be sure to remove the rind before adding it to the salad; this should amount to about 600 grams.

Another great option is pairing yellow watermelon with feta cheese and fresh herbs like mint and dill for an easy yet flavorful side dish or starter. You can also top it off with some agave syrup and salt for extra sweetness and texture.

For something more indulgent, try making a watermelon margarita on the rocks using yellow watermelons as part of your drink ingredients. This thirst-quenching cocktail is perfect for summer entertaining.

Finally, if you’re looking for something heartier, use it in a salad- filled with lots of veggies, topped with crumbled feta cheese, and finished off with an olive oil-based dressing- delicious!

These are just some ways to incorporate them into your meals. Their unique flavor profile and vibrant color make a great addition to any dish.

Substitutes for the Flavor

Yellow watermelon is a type of watermelon with a sweeter, honey-like flavor compared to its red-fleshed counterparts. Suppose you’re looking for something to replace the taste. 

Some suitable substitutes include Buttercup Yellow Melon (a hybrid considered the sweetest of all melons) and other varieties like seedless honeydews or seeded cantaloupes. 

Try adding some sugar or honey to your dish for an even sweeter taste. You can also substitute citrus fruits like oranges or lemons for an acidic twist on your recipe. 

Finally, if you’re looking for something savory instead of sweet, try experimenting with herbs like basil or mint which will add unexpected layers to your dish.

It is an excellent alternative to red watermelon. It has many of the same nutritional properties but a sweeter flavor. 

They’re generally not genetically modified and have been cultivated for centuries through natural cross-breeding. And are most commonly found in desert regions, while red watermelon is more widely available globally. 

So if you’re looking for something sweet and juicy to quench your thirst, look no further than the yellow watermelon.

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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.