We Be Jammin’

Summer, no matter how long, hot, or dry, never overstays its welcome in my home. The season always ends up feeling shorter than the rest, abruptly cut off by the rude interruption of an autumnal cold snap, or forced to jump into the conversation late thanks to a long-winded spring shower. Every moment of warmth in between is savored, if not greedily seized, because it’s just never enough to satiate my cravings. While June, July, and August fly by, I’ve been known to mow through more fully grown watermelons than seems humanly possible, trying in vain to quench a never-ending thirst for both the fruit and the season itself. Cleaning up the wreckage after yet another destructive melon binge, I started thinking about what was left once the juicy pink flesh had been devoured. Surely, there was something better to do with all of that perfectly good rind than lay it to waste in the trash.

Meanwhile, another sort of refuse was piling up in considerable tonnage; cucumber peels, in all their green glory, suddenly seemed too precious to take for granted, much like the fleeting days of summer. Both leftovers possessed a uniquely refreshing, watery constitution, and were neutral enough to bend in either a sweet or savory direction with equal success. Surely, the two could join forces and become something much greater than their individual parts.

Jam is the answer. Cucumber-melon jam, a piece of the season preserved for months to come, without detracting from the immediate gratification of the fresh produce itself. The key for success is to make sure that every last piece of green skin is peeled away from the watermelon rind, since it’s tough and somewhat bitter- The one leftover element that’s only worth saving for the compost heap. Simple and vibrant, the combination could also pair beautifully with a handful of fresh mint, or even basil for a more unconventional approach.

From trash to treasure, rinds and peels haven’t been given their fare share of the culinary spotlight, but I think it’s about time to change all that. One taste of this sweet, simple condiment, and you’ll never be able to justify throwing away the excavated shell of another watermelon ever again.

Yield: 4 - 5 Cups

Cucumber-Melon Jam

Cucumber-Melon Jam

Cucumber-melon jam is a taste of summer, preserved for months to come, without detracting from the immediate gratification of the fresh produce itself.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1/3 Pound Cucumber Peels
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 4 Teaspoons Calcium Water*
  • 1 1/2 Pounds Watermelon Rind, Peeled and Chopped
  • 2 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • 4 Teaspoons Pomona‚Äôs Universal Pectin Powder
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Vanilla Paste or Extract


  1. Before you begin, prepare the calcium water. To do so, combine 1/4 teaspoon calcium powder (the small packet included in the box of Pomona’s pectin) with 1/4 cup water in a small container with a lid. Shake well to dissolve. Leftover calcium water can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a year.
  2. Place the cucumber peels, water, lemon juice, and calcium water in your blender and thoroughly puree. Once smooth, add in the prepared watermelon rind and blend on a moderate speed. Depending on your textural preferences, puree the mixture until completely smooth, or leave it slightly chunky. Both approaches are equally tasty!
  3. Transfer the liquid base to a medium-sized saucepan and place over medium heat on the stove. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar and pectin powder. Bring the liquids up to a boil before adding in the sugar mixture, stirring vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin while the jam comes back up to a boil. Once it returns to a vigorous bubble, stir in the vanilla, remove from the heat and pour into 4 or 5 clean half-pint glass jars. Simply let cool and seal with an air-tight lid to make “freezer jam” which will keep in the fridge for about a month, or follow these suggestions to properly can the jam and put it up for about a year.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 363Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 94gFiber: 1gSugar: 89gProtein: 1g

11 thoughts on “We Be Jammin’

  1. I would never have thought of making jam from cucumber and melon rind, but it’s inspired :) I eat tons of cucumbers and melons and, like most people, just throw the rind away. Will have to try this the next time I buy them. And…just about everything is easily available here in Bangkok, which isn’t always the case :) Thanks for this. Awesome.

  2. What a lovely jam:) ) Just posted about watermelon rind and lime jam a short while ago,the things you can do with rinds and peels:)

  3. I think what we need to do is sort out some kind of house swappage here Ms Hannah. I head over (with JOY) for your winters and you head over here for our summer. Seems like a perfect fix to me. Endless heat for you, and a lovely stream of delicious cold weather for me :)

    1. Done deal! That sounds perfect to me- Please, take all of this cold weather and keep it, no returns allowed! Granted, I’ve never spent a full winter in San Francisco before, so here’s hoping it’s a bit more mild out here… Meanwhile, I’ll just continue to be jealous of every heat wave and sunny day you post about.

  4. How intriguing – so much tasty stuff from things that might otherwise end up ditched. I fear we haven’t had enough summer around this way to attempt such a jam feat.

  5. This is so inspired! I didn’t know you could eat watermelon rinds. Though I’ve always eaten cucumber peels. I grew up eating cucumbers from my grandfathers garden and hadn’t had the waxy store bought kind until I was in college. I was pretty shocked when I first got it home! When you grow up on home grown goodness, it’s always a shock to try the store bought brand!

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