The Middle East is the birthplace of several varieties of melons, and Europe was progressively introduced to their appeal. Cantaloupes and muskmelons were popular fruits among the ancient Egyptians and Romans. Columbus is credited with bringing the first melon seeds to what is now the United States, where they were subsequently grown by Spanish explorers in California.
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Cantaloupe is an ancient fruit that has been grown for over 2,000 years. Its natural habitats include India and Guinea. It was initially cultivated in Europe using seed brought from the region where it was first found. Cantaloupes may be purchased beginning in late May and continuing through September, with the months of June and July having the greatest supply.
There are a few other names for cantaloupe, including cantaloup, mushmelon, muskmelon, rockmelon, and spanspek. This well-known fruit, which has khaki-colored skin with orange flesh and a netting pattern, has the highest amount of beta-carotene of any member of the melon family.
Because of the melon, we have access to a high-quality source of distilled water that is packed with the purest mineral components imaginable. Take the melon into consideration if you want to re-energize and alkalize your body. Melons are also wonderful for facilitating the body’s natural excretion processes.
Cantaloupes are a good source of polyphenol antioxidants, which are chemicals that were thought to provide certain health benefits to the cardiovascular system and the immune system. These chemicals were thought to do this by regulating the formation of nitric oxide, which is an essential chemical in the promotion of healthy endothelium and the prevention of heart attacks. Cantaloupes are a good source of polyphenol antioxidants. Additionally, cantaloupes are a good source of vitamin C due to their high content.
Choose melons based on the hue, texture, and hardness of their rinds, as well as their aroma. Again, depending on the kind, the cantaloupe may have a fine or coarse netting covering its surface, or it may have a texture somewhere in between. Cantaloupes are a good choice since they have a pleasant aroma.
Source: www.wikipedia.org, www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov, www.health-care-clinic.org
Image by Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
1 medium ripe cantaloupe
1 (14 ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons honey
Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 12 hrs
1. Cut the cantaloupe in half, scoop out and discard seeds.
2. Peel and slice the melon; cut into large pieces.
3. Place in a blender container along with milk and honey.
4. Cover and blend until smooth.
5. Pour into a freezer-proof container and freeze overnight or until firm.
6. Or my method, pour into ice-cream freezer and freeze according to manufactuers recommendations.
7. My ice-cream maker takes about 30 minutes; however the cooking time given reflects freezing overnight.
Peppery Cantaloupe Cubes
1/2 ripe cantaloupe, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
fresh ground black pepper
Prep Time: 10 mins
1. Divide cantaloupe cubes into 4 dessert bowls.
2. Using pepper mill, grind freshly ground black pepper over cantaloupe to taste.
Be sure to use freshly ground black pepper- I’m not sure if regular pepper would have the same effect.
A very ripe cantaloupe, the sweeter the better, works best.
Chilled Cantaloupe Soup
1 medium cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cubed
2 cups orange juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
fresh mint, chopped
Prep Time: 15 mins
1. In blender or food processor blend together melon and juice until smooth.
2. Place in large bowl and stir in lime juice and cinnamon.
3. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
4. Sprinkle with mint to garnish and serve.
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup peeled seeded and cubed cantaloupe
1/2 cup ice
Prep Time: 5 mins
1. Place the juice, fruit and honey in a blender.
2. Blend on high speed for 30 seconds.
3. Add ice and blend until smooth.
Honeyed Cantaloupe With Blueberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
2 tablespoons honey
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 cup fresh blueberries
3 cups cantaloupe, cubes
Prep Time: 15 mins
1. Squeeze 1 tablespoon lemon juice into a medium bowl.
2. Add the honey and cinnamon and whisk until blended.
3. Pick over the blueberries, rinse, and drain well.
4. Add the blueberries and cantaloupe to the lemon honey and toss gently to coat.
Gee-Gee’s Chicken Salad with Cantaloupe
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 cantaloupes, halved and seeded
Prep Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
1. Make the dressing by whisking the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, ginger, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the chicken, blueberries, celery, grapes, and almonds; stir gently until evenly mixed. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Spoon into cantaloupe halves to serve.
Spinach Cantaloupe Salad with Mint
4 cups fresh spinach leaves
1 cup sliced cantaloupe
1 cup sliced avocado
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon mint apple jelly
1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Prep Time: 15 mins
1. Divide spinach between 2 serving plates. Arrange half of the cantaloupe and half of the avocado in a circular pattern over the spinach on each plate. Sprinkle with diced red pepper and fresh mint.
2. Mix together the mint jelly, white wine vinegar, oil and garlic. Drizzle over the salads. Serve.
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