A Creative Twist on Halloween Carvings
(Family Features) When it comes to Halloween, carving the same pumpkin designs each year can become routine. This year, save a pumpkin and carve your spooky masterpiece into a watermelon instead.
Nutrient-rich watermelon can be a healthy alternative to other sweet treats full of added sugar during Halloween festivities as it’s a source of vitamins A and C as well as the antioxidant lycopene and the amino acid citrulline.
Because they are made up of 92% water, watermelons can be an effective way to stay hydrated during trick-or-treating, and creations like a Mummy or Jack O’Melon can help satisfy sweet cravings while keeping friends and family members frightfully delighted.
To get started, consider these carving tips and tricks:
- To make cutting and slicing easier, the watermelon should be at room temperate when carving.
- Cut a small, thin, flat piece from the bottom of the watermelon to provide a stable base for carving.
- Draw the design on the watermelon rind with a dry-erase marker before cutting. If you make a mistake, this can make it easier to wipe off.
- Use a sharp knife with a pointed tip for easier, cleaner cuts. Consider a paring knife with a smaller tip for ease of detail.
- Blend scraps of watermelon that are too messy for dicing or slicing to create an easy juice.
For more watermelon carving ideas, visit watermelon.org.
- Cutting board
- Kitchen knife
- Dry-erase marker
- Paring knife
- Melon baller
- Vegetable peeler
- Cheesecloth or gauze
- Straight pin (optional)
- Battery-operated candle or light
- Small bowl
- Blueberries or bloody candy eyes
- Toothpicks, pins or glue
- Wash watermelon under cool running water and pat dry.
- On cutting board, place watermelon on its side and use kitchen knife to cut off 1/4-1/2-inch of rind from bottom to provide sturdy base, being careful not to cut too deep into white part of rind. Cut 1-2 inches from stem end to create opening for bowl to be added.
- Using dry-erase marker, draw eyes, nose and mouth, along with wavy slits around carving. Use paring knife to cut them out, being sure to cut through to red flesh to let more light flow through.
- Use melon baller to hollow out inside of watermelon. Reserve watermelon balls. Use scoop to remove remaining watermelon.
- Using vegetable peeler, remove green skin off outside of watermelon, similar to peeling cucumber.
- Wrap thin strips cheesecloth or gauze around mummy carving and secure with straight pin, if needed.
- Place battery-operated candle or light inside carving and fit small bowl into top of carving. Trim away excess rind to make bowl fit securely.
- Fill bowl with melon balls. Attach candy eyes or blueberries using a toothpicks, pins or glue.
- Round watermelon
- Melon baller
- Dry-erase marker
- Toothpicks (optional)
- Battery-operated light
- Using knife, cut thin slice from bottom of watermelon to provide stable base.
- Cut circular piece of rind from top of watermelon big enough to reach into and remove flesh. Carefully remove top section and reserve for use as “lid.”
- Remove flesh from inside watermelon using melon baller, reserving melon balls for snacking. Hollow out remaining watermelon flesh and use blender to juice scraps and excess juice.
- Using dry-erase marker, draw outlines of eyes, nose, mouth, hair, ears and other features on side of watermelon. If mistake is made with marker, wipe off using paper towel to start over. Following outlines, carve features into watermelon and remove excess rind.
- Safe, battery-operated light can be firmly placed inside watermelon to provide haunting glow.
- Place circular piece of rind back on top of watermelon.
Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board
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