Watermelon Day! So A Watermelon Walks Into A Bar…

national watermelon bars day august 3

National Watermelon Day is celebrated August 3.  We love enjoying watermelon throughout the summer and are definitely fans of a refreshing slice of the fruit.   We are happy to share a great dessert recipe with you to help celebrate this day.  [photo via rightathome]

But first, some interesting facts about this staple fruit of summer.

  • Approximately 300 varieties of watermelon are grown throughout the United States and Mexico.  Some of the varieties include: seeded, seedless, yellow, orange, and mini.
  • Seedless watermelons were invented more than 50 years ago.
  • A watermelon is 92% water.
  • The heaviest watermelon, according to Guinness World Records, was grown in Arkansas in 2005 and weighed 268.8 pounds.
  • The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred in Egypt nearly 5000 years ago.

And now enjoy some easy and delicious Watermelon Bars,,,

 Servings:  12

Total Time:  2 hours 40 minutes

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Cook Time:  20 minutes

Chill Time:  2 hours

  • 12 ounces round vanilla wafers
  • 3/8 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 5 cups watermelon juice*
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1 oz. unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar or 1 cup whipped cream, for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the long sides of the pan.
  3. Spray the foil with cooking spray.
  4. Mix the melted butter into the finely ground vanilla wafers and add water.  Mix well and press the crumbs onto the bottom of the prepared pan, forming a crust.
  5. Bake the crust for 20 minutes and allow to cool.
  6. Set aside 2 cups of the watermelon juice in a small bowl.
  7. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 3 cups of watermelon juice with the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and milk.
  8. Sprinkle the gelatin over the reserved 2 cups of watermelon juice.
  9. Allow to sit for 2 minutes so that gelatin can dissolve and begin to absorb liquid, or “bloom.”
  10. After the gelatin blooms, heat it in the microwave for 2 minutes on high, or heat gently in a small pot over low heat on the stove top, until the gelatin has completely melted into the juice and the liquid is smooth.
  11. Add the watermelon juice with the melted gelatin to the larger bowl of juice from Step 3.
  12. Stir to combine.  Gently pour the mixture over the prepared crust from Step 2 and place in the freezer for 2 hours or until the mixture is firm.  (Alternately, place the pan in the refrigerator and allow to set for 3 to 4 hours.)
  13. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  14. Before serving, cut the watermelon bars into squares.  If desired, sprinkle each serving with confectioners’ sugar or a dollop of whipped cream.

*To make watermelon juice, simply place the watermelon cubes in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture with a strainer into a bowl.

Desserts made with fresh fruit are healthy and tasty.  These creamy bars are perfect after a meal from the grill. Watermelon, lemon juice and milk combine perfectly for this refreshing summertime treat!