The other day after yoga class, I was in my usually yoga high and was having a conversation about, what else…juice.
Specifically, the new Melon Moonshine (watermelon, strawberry and lemon) juice that I had created. During the course of the conversation, the subject about cutting up a watermelon arose. It should involve a large knife, and should be cut strategically into manageable pieces.
My yogi friend had been scooping out the meat of the melon to prepare a juice. This lead me to thinking that many people probably have little knowledge on the basics of preparing fruits and vegetables for consumption. Especially the large or odd shaped fruits, like all of the melon family, mangos and pineapples.
So, some essentials on how to of cut or prepare those odd shaped fruits and vegetables that we use in special meals for our loved ones.
- Butcher knife or a large knife with a broad blade
- Cutting board
These items alone can provide you with years of pleasure in preparing food, juices, salads and other delicious goodies for your family and friends.
Proper Cutting technique:
- Always cut away from your body using your shoulder in a swinging motion to cut. Most people that are not trained use their wrist to cut, which is a more difficult way to do it.
- Always tuck your thumb into your palm to avoid slicing your thumb off! Apply pressure to the item you are cutting with four fingers.
- Use the proper tool if available. For example, a mango cutter can be purchased at most kitchen stores or at Target, Wal-Mart, etc.. There is a tool for everything it seems; you just have to do your research before buying the item you need to prepare you fruits and veggies.
- Keep your focus on what you are doing. Cutting is dangerous, and as most cooks or chefs will tell you. Concentrate on the task at hand to avoid any needless injuries.
Now that we understand the essentials of cooking I have a great suggestion to practice your new knowledge. Let’s make some Melon Moonshine!
- One large watermelon
- One pound of fresh strawberries
- One lemon
- Begin by slicing the watermelon in half. Place the watermelon on the cutting board with stem end parallel to the cutting board.
- Using your large butcher knife, place the tipoff the knife in the center of the watermelon, with the edge of the blade facing away from you and push the blade straight down in a stabbing motion.
- Once the blade has gone ¾ deep into the watermelon, push or rotate the blade away from you towards the center of the stem end.
- At this point, the watermelon will begin to split itself; if not, rotate the watermelon around and complete your cut by repeating the above steps.
- Once you have two halves, place one half to the side and lay the other half face down on the cutting board.
- Holding the watermelon with four fingers, slice both ends off the melon.
- Continue cutting the watermelon using the same cutting motion used to split the melon until you have 4-6 moon shaped slices.
- Remove the red melon portion by using a smaller knife. A steak knife works best. Remember to cut away from your body and never place your thumb in the path you are cutting.
- Reduce the moon shaped cut into diagonal shaped pieces.
- Thoroughly wash off the strawberries and lemon.
- Cut the lemon into quarters.
- Run all of the ingredients through a juicer and you have Melon Moonshine!
Once you practice these steps a few more times, you will reduce your juicing time significantly.
Here’s to your health!
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Like this recipe? Check out these other great ones from Steve Bland for twoday magazine: