[Flash in the Pan] Summer Refresher: Watermelon-Basil Cooler

[Sometimes, you just want a dish that’s quick and easy–noΒ fuss.Β  I’ve decided to offer a mini-post every once in a while, for a dish that comes together incredibly quickly or else is so simple to make that no recipe is required. Here’s today’s “Flash in the Pan.” (For other FitP recipes, see “Categories” at right).]

It’s Memorial Day weekend in the US today, so here’s wishing all my American friends and family a relaxing, enjoyable time (and some great weather)! I’ll be spending my weekend deep in memory, too:Β  remembering how great it was last weekend, that is, when we Canadians had an extra day off for our own May long weekend).Β  πŸ˜‰

And what a weekend it was!Β  Yep, it looks like summer arrived early in Toronto this year.Β  As a result, we’ve all been pulling out those previously packed-up shorts, sneakers, tank tops and BBQs while enjoying extra-long daylight hours, soaring temperatures (broke another record this week), unexpected runs through the sprinkler–and (of course) ice cream.

To herald in the season, I held a potluck party with some of my nutrition-school friends last week (an annual tradition we’ve been following for the past 5 years). I’ll share all our inventive salads and a smashing raw dessert next time, but for now I wanted to sneak in a quick recipe that the HH and I have been savoring for the past few days.Β  This is so quick and easy to make, it barely requires a recipe; but it’s also so fantastic that I simply had to share!

I deconstructed the classic notion of a watermelon-basil salad by simply blending it all together, then adding sparkling mineral water for one of the most satisfying sippers you will ever taste.

And since the long weekend isn’t quite over yet, you’ve still got time to give this one a try.

Happy Memorial Day weekend, all! πŸ™‚

I’m sending this recipe to Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

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Last Year at this Time: Carob FudgeΒ Β  (gluten free; ACD all stages)

Two Years Ago:Β  Creamy Pineapple-Mint Salad Dressing or Dip (gluten free; ACD stage 3 and beyond)

Three Years Ago: The Ultimate Slow Food: Lupini Beans with Garlic and Olive Oil (gluten free; ACD all stages)

Four Years Ago: Flash in the Pan: Cocoa Nibbles (“LaRaw” Bars) (gluten-free; ACD Maintenance)

Β© Ricki Heller

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  1. Sounds delish!

  2. Oh yum! It is so hot today here that this looks particularly inviting. Can’t wait to try it.

  3. You’re killing me Ricki! I meant to buy both basil and watermelon at the grocery store but I forgot! And now I want this. Not fair πŸ˜‰

    Looks amazing!

  4. I’ve been into watermelon drinks lately as well. I haven’t thought of adding basil to the mix! Sounds very refreshing. I’ve been doing lime, watermelon, and S. Pellegrino. Freezing the watermelon in chunks is a brilliant idea. Thanks for the inspiration. =)


    • Yours sounds very similar to this, except for the basil. It adds a little “je ne sais quoi” that really perks up the drink! πŸ™‚

  5. Too bad I didn’t see this yesterday when the sun was out.:) I’m SURE it will warm up eventually, right? And then a pitcher of this delicious drink will make its way to our new dining table on the deck and we’ll sip in the warm sunshine. Sigh. Very pretty photos!

    • It wasn’t actually posted yet, yesterday! Sorry I missed the window of sunshine in Seattle. πŸ˜‰ My hubby said he thought it would be great with vodka. . . you can add that to the pitcher. πŸ™‚

  6. Ricki, I have WAY too much watermelon left over from our party yesterday. Will be making these!

    • Alta, it’s a great way to use it! I always freeze leftover watermelon (if I think it won’t last in the fridge) so that I can use it in smoothies. . . and now, this! πŸ™‚

  7. I’m speechless. This looks *so* refreshing and perfect for summer. Can’t wait to try it. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Hallie! It really was a great, refreshing drink–and the watermelon was plenty sweet enough for us. The HH was joking that it would be perfect with vodka added, but honestly I think it would be better this way!

  8. I cannot wait to try this, Ricki! This looks positively perfect.

    • Thanks, Sunny. It’s great for those hot days when you don’t have much energy. . . comes together pretty easily! πŸ™‚

  9. Oh, I love basil with watermelon in savoury salads! And I love mineral water. And I love summer.

    I have none of these things right now. Oh Ricki, you break my heart.

  10. What a fabulous idea! Can I borrow your brain for a few days to create some recipes πŸ™‚ We have a Baby Shower at my Mom’s in June and this is going on the menu! xo

    • Ha ha!! Sometimes my brain feels like it needs a break from . . . my brain. πŸ˜‰ I think this would be great at a shower–let me know what you think if you give it a try! πŸ™‚

  11. this just looks so gorgeous – I blame your delicious photos for luring me into the watermelon love – though I confess I once tried watermelon in a drink and loved it – I have come far from hating the stuff! Your weekend sounds lovely – we have our last long weekend for 6 months in a few weeks – I can’t wait and I also dread the long stretch without holidays that follows!

    • Thanks, Johanna! And I’m shocked that you don’t have a holiday for 6 months–we always read that Australia has the best holidays (6 weeks to start, or something?), while we over here in North America–Canada in particular–have the fewest statutory holidays of the entire Western World. Holiday or not, this is a great drink! πŸ™‚

  12. Yummm Ricki! Love refreshing watermelon drinks in the summer. My fave is watermelon lemonade. Lucky you getting all the hot weather. Up north its COLD and RAINY for days now πŸ™ If it doesnt stop Im coming to Toronto! lol

    • Sorry to hear about the weather over there. πŸ™ I can relate, though–hate the rain. And now I have to try watermelon lemonade! πŸ™‚

  13. Now, this is what I call: a refreshing & good for you drink! So stylish too! πŸ™‚
    I love watermelon a lot! Yum Yum Yum!

  14. I simply love, love, love making watermelon slushies. You MUST add strawberries to this blend though. The combination of watermelon + strawberry + basil is so good.

  15. Oh yes! Yes PLEASE!! That looks so incredibly refreshing. And your photos are just beautiful!! xo

  16. YUM! This looks so fresh and delicious, perfect for these hot summer days in Boulder, Colorado. Thanks for sharing!

  17. totally refreshing!! can’t wait for my first watermelon πŸ™‚

  18. This looks delightful. One question, my tummy is currently unable to handle fizzy, do you need the club soda for anything other than the fizz factor?

    • Jen, the club soda is exclusively for the fizz factor (love that phrase!)–and for the liquid it adds, of course. You could make this without, for sure. . .but of course it wouldn’t be quite as fizzy! πŸ˜‰

  19. wow just saw your chickpea fries cannot wait to try them I love fries healthy, not really. thanks for all your recipes and how fun you make your webpage, always get a chuckle,

    • Thanks so much, Teresa, I appreciate it! Glad you like the fries. And just to clarify, they are not fried–they’re baked, so they actually *are* healthy! πŸ™‚

  20. Looks so delicious Ricki! Gotta pack in all these summer drinks into the last month of summer!

  21. The color on this is just gorgeous! It looks so refreshing!


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