Watermelon: The Surprising Fruit-Vegetable Hybrid Perfect for Summer - Island Thyme Soap Company

Watermelon: The Surprising Fruit-Vegetable Hybrid Perfect for Summer

When you think of watermelon, you probably picture a sweet, juicy fruit perfect for hot summer days. But did you know that this refreshing treat is actually both a fruit and a vegetable? It's true, and it makes watermelon even more fascinating than you might have thought!

The Dual Nature of Watermelon

Watermelon belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes cucumbers, pumpkins, and squash. It's related to these vegetables and is grown using similar cultivation techniques. In fact, Oklahoma declared watermelon as its official state vegetable in 2007!

The dual classification comes from its use (eaten as a fruit) and its growing method (cultivated like a vegetable). This unique status makes watermelon a versatile ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes.

Watermelon Nutrition

Whether you call it a fruit or a vegetable, watermelon is packed with nutrients:

  • High in vitamins A and C
  • Good source of potassium and magnesium
  • Contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant
  • 92% water, making it great for hydration

Unique Health Benefits of Watermelon

Watermelon isn't just delicious; it also offers some impressive health benefits:

  • Heart Health: The lycopene in watermelon may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • Muscle Recovery: Watermelon contains L-citrulline, an amino acid that may reduce muscle soreness after exercise.
  • Skin Protection: The vitamins A and C in watermelon help protect and repair skin cells, potentially reducing the effects of sun damage.
  • Improved Digestion: The high water content and fiber in watermelon can aid digestion and prevent constipation.
  • Weight Management: Low in calories but high in volume, watermelon can help you feel full while consuming fewer calories.

Celebrate with a Watermelon Gazpacho

What better way to enjoy this fruit-vegetable than with a festive cold soup recipe? Try this Watermelon Gazpacho at your next summer gathering!

Serves 6


  • 4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
  • 1 round slice of watermelon cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 cucumber, diced, reserve half
  • 3 medium roma tomatoes, diced, reserve half
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced, reserve half
  • ⅓ cup chopped onions, diced, reserve half
  • 1 garlic clove
  • small handful basil
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ jalapeño pepper, optional
  • diced avocado, optional
  • fresh basil sprig greens for garnish


  1. Set aside the reserved half of the chopped cucumber, tomatoes, red pepper and onions and place the remaining half in a blender. Add the watermelon, garlic, basil, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and jalapeño pepper, if using. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  2. Pour into a large bowl (or small individual bowls, as pictured) and stir in the reserved chopped vegetables.
  3. Chill for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.
  4. When you’re ready to eat, top the chilled soup with garnishes. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with diced avocado if desired.
  5. Place the watermelon wedges on bamboo skewers and place point down at edge of bowls and top with a fresh basil sprig.

This fun and festive dish showcases watermelon's versatility and is sure to be a hit at your summer hygge gatherings. Enjoy the unique blend of sweet and creamy flavors, and impress your guests with your knowledge of watermelon's dual nature as both a fruit and a vegetable!

Back to blog