Today’s melons are way beyond your standard cantaloupes, honeydews and watermelons (though they are delicious this time of year). Exploring the produce section, I came across some newer variety melons I hadn’t seen before. Luckily, they were sampling. Here are some varieties that you might want to sample for yourself:
Keep in mind that different melon growers may have different names for their melons. If you can’t find one of the varieties mentioned, no worries. Just experiment! All melons are high in fiber and low in calories at about 60 calories per cup.
To pick the perfect melon, first check the aroma. It should be sweet and perfumy, practically filling the room. It’s a little hard to pick the perfect smooth-skinned melon, but the rough-skinned melons such as cantaloupes and muskmelons that have netting on the skin offer more clues. The netting itself should be raised above the peel. The background color should be golden, not green. Give a gentle squeeze at the stem end– it should give slightly. If you hear the seeds sloshing around when you give it a shake, the melon should be eaten right away.
Melons offer essential vitamins and minerals:
My recipe for Melon Balls with Mint & Prosciutto (from The AGE BEAUTIFULLY Cookbook) is a refreshing dish for breakfast, lunch or as an appetizer when entertaining. It’s included in the cookbook as an appetizer, but you can leave out the mint syrup and turn it into a great summer breakfast with tons of benefits, including:
1 ½ cup cantaloupe melon balls or cubes
1 ½ cup honeydew melon balls or cubes
¼ lb. thinly sliced prosciutto
2 Tbsp. crumbled ricotta salata or Manchego cheese
10-12 whole mint leaves
¼ cup raw sugar
¼ cup water
My friends at Delicious Living http://deliciousliving.com/ and Mega Food® http://www.megafood.com/ have teamed up for some amazing recipes including Cucumber Melon Salad, which delivers sweet heat perfect for summer picnics.
1 medium cucumber (about 12 oz.), peeled
3 cups cantaloupe chunks (about ½ medium cantaloupe)
10 large fresh mint leaves, torn
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon or lime juice
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp. ground Chile powder