Watermelon means summer almost anywhere you go. I love it, crisp cold watermelon is the ideal way to end a summer meal. But what do you do when you have bought a humongous watermelon and you know that you can’t eat it all in time? You make a watermelon cake! That’s what Greek islanders from the island of Milos do.
I have to admit I have never tasted this before so I was curious to try it out. And I’m glad I did. The recipe in itself is pretty simple. All the ingredients are vegan, no animal products. This is typical of many desserts in Greek cuisine, which are vegan as Greeks fasted from almost all animal products for almost 200 days a year, so they came up with plenty of recipes that were vegan, but also used seasonal produce.
Most people think of watermelon as sugar and water, in fact it is a fruit rich in vitamin A, C and lycopene. Lycopene is a pigment that gives the watermelon its vibrant color, but is is also an antioxidant that may protect from some forms of cancer. It is better absorbed when there is some form of fat with it, as in this cake that also contains a bit of olive oil (which is also rich in protective antioxidants). Sesame seeds are also a great addition nutrition-wise. They are a good source of protein, vitamin E, iron, calcium and copper. They also contain lignans a group of substances that have antioxidant activity that may lower cholesterol levels, but also protect from cancer. So there you have it: a sweet, but healthy dessert.
I tasted this plain and it was good, but with yogurt it was even better. The consistency is a bit gelatinous, and I felt that the sweetness paired wonderfully with the tanginess of yogurt.
This dessert is fairly low fat, I only used 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Also traditionally white sugar is used, but I felt that brown sugar would go well with the cinnamon.
Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved