Cool off on those hot summer days with our deliciously refreshing Watermelon and Corn Salad recipe. The sweet crisp flavors of watermelon and corn pair perfectly with the succulent cherries, peppery arugula along with a vibrant basil, mint, and citrus dressing. This dish is a great way to showcase summer produce while creating bursts of different flavors that delightfully balance sweet and savory. The easy preparation will keep you out of the heat of the kitchen while creating a colorful, satisfying, light dish packed full of health benefits.
The individual ingredients each supply an array of health-supporting nutrients, but their combination is when the magic happens. The fiber from the corn and arugula helps maintain a healthy digestive tract that assists the gut with better absorption of powerful phytochemicals found in the watermelon, cherries, citrus and herbs. This enhances the detoxification, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and immune-supporting effects of the phytochemicals. This salad is a perfect example of how seasonal eating can maximize taste, textures, flavors, and beneficial nutrients.
Watermelon and Corn Salad
- 2 cups watermelon, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 3 ears corn, shucked
- 1 cup cherries, pitted and sliced in half
- 2 cups arugula
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta (optional)
- 1/2 bunch mint
- 1/2 bunch basil
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
- Pinch of chili powder (optional)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut rind off watermelon and cut into ½ inch cubes.
- Use the two-bowl method to remove the corn kernels off the cob. Place one small bowl upside-down inside a large bowl. Then stand the corn up on top of the smaller bowl. Using a sharp knife slice down along the cob. This will help keep the kernels from flying around; they will fall instead into the bottom of the large bowl.
- Cut the cherries in half and remove the pits.
- Place all the dressing ingredients except the olive oil into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while blending. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste.
- Place arugula on serving platter or in a large bowl and season with salt. Top with salad ingredients and drizzle with dressing.
Watermelon: Helps us regulate hydration due to its high amount of water and electrolytes. It is also packed full of detoxifying components such as potassium, magnesium, anthocyanins and a specific amino acid called citrulline (that helps remove toxins from the kidneys). Reduces cancer risk with its high amount of lycopene and vitamin C.
Corn: Due to its high fiber content, corn can aid in digestive health. Good source of carotenoids that can help promote eye health.
Cherries: Especially high in plant chemicals (polyphenols) to help fight cellular damage, reduce inflammation and promote overall health. Cherries have also been found to help with muscle recovery and pain due to the strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidative components.
Arugula: Feeds our gut and supports our digestion with high amounts of fiber. Helps protect our heart, improves eye health, blood pressure, circulation and bone integrity. Its combination of nutrients works to detoxify and reduce inflammation, and can improve cognitive function.
Mint and Basil: Contain a range of protective vitamins such as Vitamins A, C, and K. Packed full of antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress in the body, including lutein, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin. These are known not only to reduce the risk of cancer, but can also can prevent age-related macular degeneration and support liver health.
Citrus juice and zest: Packed full of a multitude of nutrients such as vitamin C, flavonoids, and fiber which aid in vascular protection, reduce inflammation, improve gastrointestinal function and health, and play an important role in preventing diabetes, cancer, and neurological disease. The vitamin C in the lemon juice will aid in the intestinal absorption of iron from plant-based sources.