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Icon: Diet FROM THE AICR TEST KITCHEN

Have Your “Cake” and Drink It Too

Watermelon CakeWho says cake can’t be cooling? This one omits flour, butter and eggs completely. Carved from watermelon, it’s got delicious juice that quenches your thirst while warding off cancer with phytochemicals and antioxidants.

Frosted with thick Greek yogurt, a small amount of whipped cream and low-fat cream cheese, Watermelon Cake looks like an ordinary cake until cutting into it reveals rich, red fruit in place of calorie-packed cake. Decorated with colorful berries, this beautiful dessert provides a hearty, healthful serving of fruit.

Along with the cool, crisp texture, there’s solid science to suggest watermelon can help lower your cancer risk. Researchers know that diets high in a variety of fruits may reduce risk for several cancers, but watermelon has come under special study recently.

"Watermelon is loaded with vitamins A and C," says Alice Bender, MS, RD, Nutrition Communications Manager for AICR. "It is also rich in the red pigment called lycopene, a potent antioxidant.

AICR’s expert report found that foods containing lycopene—including cooked tomatoes and red grapefruit—probably reduce risk of prostate cancer. Scientists are also looking at lycopene’s potential to protect against breast and other cancers.

For people who are watching their weight or following a gluten-free diet, Watermelon Cake hits the spot. Like other fruits and vegetables, watermelon is naturally low in calories thanks to its high water content.

Preparing the melon requires a bit of carving and shaping with a sharp knife, but the icing and decorating can be a family affair, involving even young children. In addition to the recipe below, visual instructions for carving and decorating are on the AICRblog.

Watermelon Cake SliceNo-Bake Watermelon “Cake”

  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 12 oz. nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 medium seedless watermelon, well-chilled
  • Blackberries, kiwi slices, red raspberries, for garnish

Pour whipping cream in small mixing bowl and chill in refrigerator for about 10 to 20 minutes. (Cream is easier to whip when cold.) Meanwhile, in medium mixing bowl, mix together yogurt and cream cheese.

When cream is chilled, add sugar to cream and whip with whisk or electric mixer until moderately stiff peaks form. (Be careful not to overbeat, as too much whipping will turn cream to butter.) Add whipped cream and lemon juice to yogurt/cheese mixture. Chill.

Slice off both ends to make a flat top and bottom on your melon. Set melon on one flat end and carve rind off sides to make a round, cake-shaped melon.

Place melon cake on serving plate and frost top and sides with chilled icing. Decorate with berries on top and around the bottom. Keep well chilled until served.

Makes 10 servings.

Per serving: 150 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 26 g carbohydrates,
5 g protein, 1 g fiber, 30 mg sodium.



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