Melons: The Nutritional Benefits
With so many different types of melons, the nutritional value can vary depending on the type. Each type of melon has its own nutritional benefits and vitamin content. Cantaloupe is high in fiber, 1.4 grams per cup to be exact, while honeydew contains a significant amount of vitamin C, protecting our bodies from bacteria and viral infections. Watermelon is high in an amino acid called L-citrulline, known to heal and protect muscles.
Watermelon is also 91 percent water, helping you stay hydrated throughout all summer activities. Melons also contain a high content of carotenoids, an agent found in the fruit that prevents cancer, lung cancer specifically. Melons are great in aiding digestion due to their high water content and promote weight loss due to their low calorie content.
Ripe or Not? How Tell if a Melon is Ready to Eat
With the skin of melons being so thick, it can be hard to determine whether it is ready to eat. The best tip? Keep your eyes peeled for a symmetrical melon, with generally no soft areas or blemishes. Another tip? Give your melon a quick knock as if you were knocking on a door. If it sounds dull, it is most likely very ripe and juicy. Melons can also be determined ripe or not by their smell. If you sniff a melon, they should have a sweet, fragrant smell at their ripest. If not, leaving your melon on the counter for a day or two should do the trick.
5 Fun Facts
- The Yubari King melon is the most expensive melon in the world, and can average over $20,000.
- Watermelons are not only red in flesh! They can be white, yellow or orange.
- The word “cantaloupe” was derived from the town Cantalupo located in Italy.
- The world’s largest melon producer is China.
- Honeydew can continue to ripen days after it has already been picked.
Try This: Melon Ice Cubes
In the case that you have not eaten a whole melon, or even have a few pieces remaining, make melon ice cubes. Using an ice cream scooper, scoop out various scoops of melon and mix and match the kinds you use. Place them on a tray in the freezer, chill, and serve in your next beverage.
Chilled Cantaloupe Soup
Chilled Cantaloupe Soup
- 5cupschopped cantaloupe
- 1 1/2cupsorange juice
- 1/4cuplemon juice
- 1/4cuplime juice
- 1/4tspground cinnamon
- 1fresh mint
- Place all ingredients, except for the mint, in a large bowl and stir.
- Place half the mixture in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour soup into a pitcher, and repeat with remaining mixture.
- Taste and whisk in more cinnamon, honey or even lemon juice if desired. It should taste sweet and tart, with only a hint of cinnamon. Chill the soup until ready to serve.
- Remove the mint leaves from the stem (discard) and stack the leaves on top of each other. Roll lengthwise into a tight roll. Slice crosswise into thin strips.
- Pour the chilled soup into six soup bowls. Garnish each with a sprinkle of shredded mint and serve.