Cool Off With Fresh Cantaloupe
Another great sign of the freshness of summer are the ripe juicy cantaloupes, in season now! The sweet aroma of this light orange treat is only one of the reasons that cantaloupe are the most popular melon in the United States. Cantaloupe also packs some nutritional punches!
* Is a great Source of Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene
* Is a great Source of Vitamin C
* Promotes the Health of Your Lungs
* Aids in prevention of Cardiovascular Disease
* Reduces Stress, and
* Is rich in potassium.
Buy the Best Cantaloupe
The best way to pick a cantaloupe is by smell. The fruit should have a sweet, slightly musky scent. A good cantaloupe feels heavy for its size, has a rind that resembles raised netting, and has a stem end that yields slightly when pressed with your thumb.
Get them now while they are fresh and enjoy them alone or if you want to add some adventure to your cantaloupe treat, try some of these interesting and different recipes!!
Cantaloupe Salad with Basil, Mozzarella & Onions
1 medium cantaloupe, cut into 1 inch cubes
10-20 leaves of basil, sliced thin (reserve a few whole leaves for garnish)
10 green olives, sliced
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh mozzarella balls, sliced into quarters
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice, from 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, toss the cantaloupe, basil strips, olives, red onions and mozzarella balls together. Lightly dress the salad with a long pour of olive oil and even longer drizzle of red wine vinegar. Toss with the lime juice. Generously salt and pepper the salad and taste.
This salad is great straight away but even better chilled for a few hours before serving, to allow the flavors to really meld. Serves 4-6.
1 1/2 c Diced cantaloupe; honeydew, or other melon
1/2 c Diced fresh pineapple
1 tsp. Seeded and minced Serrano chile
1/4 c Finely diced red onion
2 tbsp. Olive oil
1/2 tsp. Finely minced garlic
1 tbsp. Raspberry vinegar
1 tbsp. Fresh lemon or lime juice
1/2 tsp. Honey
Kosher salt; to taste
Freshly ground black pepper; to taste
2 tbsp. Minced fresh cilantro
Gently combine the melon, pineapple, Serrano and onion in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice and honey. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Just before serving, combine the oil mixture with the fruit and gently toss with the cilantro.
Fresh Melon Chutney
2 cantaloupes, seeded, pared and cubed
1 honeydew melon, seeded, pared and cubed
2 white onion, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
4 1/2 cup(s) light brown sugar, packed
4 cup(s) white wine vinegar
1/4 cup(s) crystallized ginger, chopped
1 Peeled Garlic, chopped
Place all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and cook, stirring frequently, over moderately low heat for 1 1/2 ‑ 4 hours until syrup thickens.
Ladle into hot jelly or canning jars and seal immediately. Or let cool and store in a refrigerator. Serves 7.
**Be sure to use proper canning methods for your safety**
Cantaloupe Yogurt Smoothie
3 cups cantaloupe chunks (from 1/2 cantaloupe)
2 cups low-fat plain yogurt
2 to 3 tablespoons honey
Ice cubes, for serving
In a blender, place cantaloupe, yogurt, and honey. Blend on high speed until smooth. Serve over ice. Serves 2.
Cantaloupe and Pineapple Soup
3 – 5 peach, peeled and chopped
4 ounces crushed pineapple, in its own juice
4 ounces pineapple chunks, in its own juice
8 ounces Orange Juice
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 medium to large cantaloupe, cut in cubes
fresh basil, for garnish
Place chopped peaches into a blender along with the pineapple, orange juice, lemon juice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pulse to blend coarsely. Add cantaloupe; start with 1 cup until you have a decidedly cantaloupe flavor, rather than a pineapple taste. Refrigerate overnight so all the flavors blend together. Stir before serving.
Cucumber, Cantaloupe, and Squash Salad
For the Dressing
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
For the Salad
3 yellow summer squashes (about 1 pound), unpeeled
1 cucumber (about 10 ounces), unpeeled
1 1/2 tablespoons unseasoned rice-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 large cantaloupe, rind removed
Make the dressing: Combine yogurt, lime zest and juice, salt, cumin, and pepper. Cover, and refrigerate 20 minutes.
Make the salad: Using a vegetable peeler or mandolin, shave squashes and cucumber into wide ribbons, stopping when you reach seeds. Toss with vinegar and salt. Cover, and refrigerate. Shave cantaloupe into ribbons, and refrigerate.
Just before serving, drain cucumber and squash ribbons, and toss with cantaloupe. Drizzle with dressing. Serves 4.
Cantaloupe, Chili Soup
3/4 teaspoon Asian chili paste
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
Cut flesh of cantaloupe into large chunks. Puree with chile paste, lime juice, and salt in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. Stir well, and swirl in more chili paste if desired before serving. Serves 3.
Cantaloupe Custard with Blueberries
1 cantaloupe, peeled, seeded, cut into large pieces (about 6 cups)
3 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin (from 2 packets)
1/2 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons honey
2 cups blueberries
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
In a blender, puree cantaloupe until smooth. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a 4-cup glass measuring cup or heatproof bowl, pressing lightly on solids (you should have about 2 cups puree); discard solids. Pour 1/3 cup juice into a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the top; let sit 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk yogurt into remaining juice.
In a small saucepan, bring cream, 2 tablespoons honey, and pinch of salt to a simmer over medium. Whisk in gelatin mixture and cook until gelatin dissolves, 1 minute. Whisk cream mixture into yogurt mixture and divide among six 6-ounce glass bowls or ramekins. Refrigerate until set, about 2 1/2 hours (or overnight).
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon honey, blueberries, and orange juice. With the back of a fork, lightly mash berries to release their juices. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
To unmold custards, run a small knife around the outside edge of each bowl and invert onto a serving plate, gently shaking side to side to release. Serve with berries and juices. Serves 6.