@ The Farmers Markets

What could be better on a hot day than biting into an icy cold melon?

Watermelon is still available at local farmers markets, including the Red Stick Farmers Market on Thursday morning at Pennington Biomedical Research Center and on Saturday morning in downtown Baton Rouge.

Besides tasting good, watermelon helps keep you hydrated, is fat- and cholesterol-free, low in sodium and packed with lycopene and vitamins A, B6 and C. The National Watermelon Promotion Board says watermelons also are a good source of potassium, thiamin and magnesium.

Like other fruits and vegetables, it is best to wash melons in clean running water before cutting into them. Be sure to use clean knives and cutting surfaces.

Melons are versatile. Besides eating them fresh cut, try them in salads, drinks, desserts and sauces.