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Watermelon Rind Benefits and Uses, According to an RD

Yes, you can eat watermelon rind—and it's actually healthy! Here are the benefits and how to enjoy it, according to a registered dietitian.

Written by
Jenna Mignano

Food waste is a problem that plagues all of our homes. In fact, a recent study found that the average U.S. household wastes 32% of the food that comes into their home, and that food waste translates to a loss of approximately $240 billion.

While the money certainly matters, we should try to be more conscious of our waste for the planet's sake, too. Cultivating our food takes a lot of precious resources, and making efforts to cut out waste at all areas of the supply chain makes a huge difference. Not to mention the packaging and transportation associated with it all.

Turns out, there are some simple recipes and habits we can incorporate into our daily lives that can add up to greatly reduce our waste. TikTok has been booming with clever ideas on how to cut down on food waste, and one that stood out from the pack is using watermelon rind to create smoothie cubes.

In the video, Nicole Modic, aka @kalejunkie, shared blending watermelon rind into frozen smoothie cubes has numerous nutritional benefits. And if you're worried about the taste, don't: Surprisingly, it tastes similar to cucumbers!

This hack got us thinking: Is watermelon rind as delicious and nutritious as it seems? To learn more, we chatted with Amy Gorin, an inclusive plant-based dietitian in Stamford, Connecticut, and the owner of Plant Based with Amy. Here's what she had to say about watermelon rind and food waste.

Can You Eat Watermelon Rind? And Is It Healthy?

You must be wondering what watermelon rind has to offer. Some of us (*raises hand*) didn't even know it was edible in the first place!

Gorin says skins and peels are chock-full of fiber, and watermelon is no exception to the rule. So you shouldn't forget about it the next time you're chopping up the juicy seasonal fruit.

"Watermelon rind also contains citrulline, an amino acid with potential antioxidant benefits," Gorin shares, "Also, research has found that watermelon rind contains more antioxidants than watermelon flesh, per a study in Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture."

So we can rest assured that watermelon rind packs a punch when it comes to its nutritional value. And while Gorin has never personally tried this smoothie hack, she's seen several recipes that blend together the flesh and the rind—and says they all sound delicious!

If you want to learn how to incorporate watermelon rind into recipes to reduce waste, check out the ideas below.

5 Ways to Use Watermelon Rind

1. Make Smoothie Cubes

Modic's idea to make smoothie cubes out of watermelon rind isn't just genius—it's also oh-so-refreshing for summer.

"To make these cubes, all you need to do is add your rind to a high-speed blender along with some water and blend until it's smooth. Transfer to an ice cube tray and freeze overnight," she says. "You've now reduced food waste and have given your smoothies a nutritional boost."

2. Pickle It

Looking for another way to use up watermelon rind? Gorin recommends pickling it! It goes great on a salad. Even better, if you'd like something to pair perfectly with the salad, try out this watermelon tuna substitute. It's a great way to use extra watermelon flesh.

3. Turn It Into Candy

It's true—you can turn watermelon rind into sweet and sugary candy. CDKitchen recommends soaking the rinds in brine, cooking it in a sugar syrup, then giving it a sugary coating. It's like watermelon-flavored Sour Patch Kids, but even more planet-friendly.

4. Toss It Into Stir Fry

Stir fry is a great way to use up food that's on the verge of going bad—watermelon rind, included. Just toss it in with other veggies and a great sauce, and it will quickly soften and absorb the flavor.

5. Use It in Curry

Yep, watermelon rind even works great in curry. According to a recipe from My Heart Beets, its crisp texture holds up well to heat, making it a great choice for cooking this dish. It also soaks up all the flavor, including the mouth-watering spices.