How to make a Porcupine Watermelon

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porcupine watermelon

Dear Readers, are you looking for the perfect allergy-frirendly picnic or potluck dish? Look no further than the Porcupine Watermelon. This baby is as fun to make as it is to eat.  Read on for step by step instructions to creating the cutest food art I’ve ever carved up.  Enter, the Porcupine Watermelon!

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1. Using an 8″ or 9″ chef’s knife, cut the watermelon into a baby rocker shape. Remove the top, and refrigerate to keep cool. Use the knife to cut around the edges of the watermelon flesh, and use a large spoon to scoop out the insides. Put in a large bowl, pour off extra watermelon juice and refrigerate.

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2. Use a small paring knife (I know it looks big in this pic, but it’s just the angle!), to cut the top of the head into a jagged edge by cutting out little wedges.

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3. Use toothpicks to adhere two blueberries for eyes, by skewering them through from the inside of the melon. Remove the top half of the melon that you cut off in step one, with rind still in tact, from the fridge. Use the small paring knife to cut out a triangle for a nose. Leave some pink along the bottom, but trim it down. Cut the tip off so it’s flat so you can adhere the blueberry for the tip of the nose. Break a toothpick in half, and skewer the flat tip of the nose. Attach the blueberry. Then attach the nose, by sticking at least three toothpicks through the rind from the inside through the nose. Line it up on the little brown spot in the center of the melon.

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4. Nose and eyes attached. Next onto the ears.

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5. To attach the ears use three toothpicks, skewering through from the back of the rind. Push the top one out farthest, so the ear is perky at the top.

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6. Here’s a profile shot.

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7. Fill with cubes of watermelon, and then insert a couple of toothpicks into each cube. I added a lot more after this pic was taken as I realized it didn’t look spiky enough.

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8. Add the feet. be sure the bottoms have been trimmed flat so the lay flat.

porcupine watermelon

9. Porcupine Watermelon! Serve with extra toothpicks on the side and keep adding them to the cubes as your guests eat down through the layers. Keep back-up watermelon cubes in the fridge to refill. Be sure to pour off watermelon juices of backup cubes or they’ll get boggy and soggy. Enjoy! And share!

Allergy Friendly 4th of July

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I forgot it was Friday, until just now.  I’m on a juice cleanse.  Guess I need more calories!!!!!

Okay, friends, let’s break out the big guns and flaunt how great living Free-to-Eat can be, for an amazing Allergy-Friendly 4th of July! Show us what you got for barbecues, picnics, and bang up parties.  Bust out your favorite summertime allergy-free and/or gluten-free recipes.

Here a few choice recipe highlights from last week’s Allergy Friendly Friday:

Maple Berry Gluten Free Crisp

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allergy free maple berry crisp

This allergy free old-fashioned favorite is the perfect red white and blue dessert for your Memorial Day BBQ, or your 4th of July picnic! It’s seasonal and colorful, and good for you too. Not only is it free of all top 8 allergens, making it safe for most everyone, it’s also gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar-free. But as my friend Rach once said after baking one of my crisps, “Who needs gluten?” You won’t miss out on anything with this healthful indulgence. It’s perfect for breakfast, snack, teatime, or dessert. Dig in!

Allergy Free Maple Berry Crisp

Make 8 Servings

6 cups fresh berries (I use half blueberries, half strawberries)
½ cup maple syrup
2 Tablespoons cornstarch or tapioca starch
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ¼ cups Authentic Foods GF Classical Blend, or my Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
pinch of salt
¾ cup maple sugar
1 cup gluten-free old-fashioned oats
½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening

grease baking dishPreheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 11×7-inch baking dish.

toss berries in maple syrupCombine berries, cutting strawberries in half if large.

allergy free maple berry crispDrizzle berries with maple syrup, toss gently, and then sprinkle with cornstarch and lemon juice. Toss gently to combine. Transfer to baking dish.

Combine flour mix, xanthan gum, salt and maple sugar. Whisk together. Toss in oats.

crumble oats over berriesMelt the shortening (about 30 seconds in the microwave does it) and drizzle into the flour mixture, stirring gently to combine until the consistency of a course granola. Use your fingers to clump it together. Spread the crumble topping evenly over the fruit.

baked crispBake 35 to 40 minutes until topping is golden and fruit is bubbling up around the edges. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest at least 30 minutes before serving. Store any leftovers (as if!) covered at room temperature.

Allergy-Free Maple Berry Crisp © 2011 by Cybele Pascal

(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)

SAFETY NOTE: Because each person’s food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns before consumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.