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Minted Watermelon Cooler with Lemon & Lime

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Watermelon Cooler

Since the beginning of April and May’s Wellness focus, I have had such a THING for watermelon.  It’s been so sweet and delicious this spring, I buy a huge wedge nearly every time I pop in to the Store.  I’ve been dicing it into chunks and watching it disappear out of the fridge.  Honestly, my kids have been acting like it’s a treat, and you really can’t do much better than a simple bowl of watermelon for a low calorie snack.

So when the latest issue of Cooking Light landed in my mailbox last week, I was tickled to see this recipe on the middle of page 114.  We’re headed out to the lake for a little hard labor sometime this weekend – a long list of springtime cleanup chores awaits.  But when the work is done, I’m picturing us sitting on the dock, dangling our toes in the water, and sipping away on this chilly watermelon cooler.

Fingers crossed we’re not sipping hot chocolate instead.  :-)

I’m thinking it would also be fun to pour the finished mixture into popsicle molds and frozen for a chilly homemade pop.  Wouldn’t that be cute?  Grownups, add a little splash of vodka (Grey Goose) to your glass if you’re so inclined…that’s my plan, anyway.  :-)  Enjoy!
MINTED WATERMELON COOLER WITH LEMON & LIME
Makes 9 / 1 cup servings
Source:  Cooking Light Magazine, June 2011.  p. 114

1 1/4 c. water
1/2 c. sugar  (C&H Brand is on sale this week, 5/25/11 to 5/31/11,  if you’re running low)
1/3 c. coarsely chopped fresh  mint
1 T. grated fresh lime zest
1 T. grated fresh lemon zest
12 c. cubed seeded watermelon (watermelon is on sale)
1/4 c. fresh lime juice
3 T. fresh lemon juice

Combine 1 1/4 cups water and sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Cook for 30 seconds or until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat; stir in mint, lime zest, and lemon zest.  Let stand 20 minutes.  Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve over a bowl; discard solids.

Place 1/3 each of sugar syrup and watermelon in blender; process until smooth.  Pour puree into large pitcher.  Repeat the procedure twice with remaining sugar syrup and watermelon.  Stir in lime and lemon juice.  Serve over ice, or refrigerate until ready to serve.  Stir well before serving.

CALORIES 108; FAT 0.3g; PROTEIN 1.3g; CARB 27.7, FIBER 1g; CHOL 0mg.

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Leah Damron is an avid home cook who believes in using the freshest ingredients available, and she challenges herself weekly to create meals out of (mostly!) sale items. If Sendik's ever gave a title for "Biggest Fan", she believes she would win, hands down. Leah lives in greater Milwaukee with her husband, three children, and her big black lab, Daisy."

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