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Have you ever been standing amidst a sea of melons in the supermarket wondering which one(s) to pick?! Then, after 10 minutes of poking, pressing and smelling them to decide which is right, you finally get home to find out that your melon was not the right pick?! Ugh!
Well, don’t feel “melon”-cholly over it because it happens to us all…
Actually, it’s not our fault, picking the right melon can be difficult. One reason is that melons are often plucked from the vines unripe. This is done to keep them safe and undamaged during shipping. By the time the melons arrive at the market chances are, they are still not ripe, leaving us, the consumer, wondering
“is this the right melon?”.
It can be frustrating and often even turn us away from this healthful food that provides a great source of Vitamins A, C and Beta Carotene. Cantaloupe is also good for the health of our lungs, our hearts, and because of its rich potassium content helps fight depression.
Don’t be discouraged if you just haven’t been able to pick it right, anything that’s good for us is worth a little work! Here are some year round tips you can use to get a Cantaloupe/Melon that’s the perfect pick and hopefully will encourage us all to continue eating this sweet and deliciously healthy superfood:
- pick a melon that is clean with no depressions/soft spots or bruises
- ripe cantaloupe should be tan/straw color, not green or gray
- Smell: melons should have a sweet smell. Melons with NO smell aren’t ripe!
- when pressing on the stem or blossom end it should yield to pressure but not be soft and squishy
- Store ripe melons in the refrigerator
- Leave unripe – whole melons on the counter to ripen (NEVER LEAVE CUT MELONS OUT TO RIPEN!)
- If you’re still uncertain, ask the produce employees – they usually have great tips and advice!
Hopefully, these tips will help you during your next cantaloupe picking adventure and don’t forget to try this simple sorbet recipe below. It was not difficult at all!
- 1 LARGE very ripe Cantaloupe
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Cup Sugar or agave syrup
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- Juice from two Limes about 1/4 cup
- 1.In a saucepan bring water,sugar (or agave), lemon zest and lime juice to a boil. When the sugar is melted turn off heat and let cool.
- 2.Peel, cut and puree the cataloupe to liquid and place in a bowl. Probably this will need to be done in several batches.
- 3. When cooled add the water, sugar mixture and stir**
- 4. Cover the bowl with Saran wrap and place in the freezer.
- 5. Every hour remove the bowl from the freezer and stir the mix until it is close to frozen.
- 6. After about 7 hours the sorbet should be ready. Scoop out with a melon baller or ice scream scooper and serve as desert or Apertive.
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