There’s Still Time to Cool Off With Fresh Cantaloupe
Trust me, you can still purchase a sweet juicy in season cantaloupe, and what a cool treat!!
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!!
Easy Cantaloupe Sorbet
- 4½ cups fresh cantaloupe 1 medium cantaloupe, cubed
- 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. raw honey
- 2 tbsp. water plus more as needed
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place the cubed cantaloupe onto the baking sheet, leaving space in between the cubes to allow for even freezing and not touching so they don’t create a giant glob of frozen cantaloupe.
- Place the tray into the freezer and freeze the cantaloupe overnight, or until completely frozen – at least 4-6 hours. Place the frozen cantaloupe into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the cantaloupe becomes crumbly.
- Add the lemon juice, honey, and water at this time and then pulse again. You may need to add more water until the mixture becomes more fluid, but not slushy. You’re looking for a soft sorbet texture at this point.
- Taste and add any additional honey as needed at this time if it needs to be a little sweeter.
- If the mixture becomes too slushy and does not resemble sorbet, you can return to the freezer for 30 min. to an hour to allow it to re-solidify. Serve immediately, or store in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Serves 4. Each serving contains 93 calories
Cantaloupe Meringue Pie
Crust: (true confession, I purchase the crust)
- 1½ cups finely ground shortbread cookies
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling
- 1 large very ripe cantaloupe
- ½ cup flour
- ¼ cup sugar (increase up to ½ cup if your cantaloupe isn’t very sweet)
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- ½ tsp. water
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp. water
- 1 tbsp. butter
- ¼ tsp. vanilla
For the Meringue: (second true confession, I cannot make meringue, I use Cool Whip)
- 3 egg whites
- ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
- 6 tbsp. sugar
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Mix together shortbread cookie crumbs and melted butter until the crumbs hold together well (you may need to add another tablespoon of melted butter if they don’t). Press evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9″ pie plate. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the crust starts to lightly brown on the top and edges. Set aside to cool.
- Turn your oven up to 400° F. Cut your cantaloupe in half and discard the seeds. Scoop out the pulp (a cookie or ice cream scoop works great for this) and put into a large saucepan.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil, mashing the cantaloupe as it heats to bring out all the juice. Transfer the mashed cantaloupe pulp to a food processor or blender and process for a minute or until smooth. You should have about 2 cups of cantaloupe, if you have more, set aside the rest for another use. Pour the 2 cups of cantaloupe back into the saucepan.
- Mix together flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in ½ tsp. of water. Add the flour and cornstarch mixtures to the cantaloupe and cook, stirring, until thickened.
- Separate your eggs, placing the yolks into a medium bowl and the whites in small bowl. Set aside the whites and let come to room temperature.
- Beat egg yolks until smooth. Add 2 tbsp. of water. Stir a little of the cantaloupe mixture into the egg yolks in order to heat the yolks gradually. Pour the yolk mixture into cantaloupe mixture. Continue cooking for about 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly, until the filling is thick and creamy and can coat a spoon.
- Remove from heat. Add in butter and vanilla and stir until the butter has fully melted. The filling should look like a custard or pudding and in fact you could transfer it to a ramekin and chill to eat it as such. Pour into the baked pie crust.
- Beat egg whites and cream of tartar together until frothy. Continue beating, adding 6 tablespoons sugar (feel free to use less if you prefer your desserts less sweet) gradually, until stiff peaks form. Scoop the meringue on top of the pie filling and smooth with a spatula.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until delicately brown on top. Cool completely. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Store in the fridge, covered in plastic wrap.
Jerk Shrimp Tacos with Spicy Melon Salsa
(Adapted from a How Sweet Eats recipe)
- 1 pound raw peeled + deveined medium shrimp
- 2 tablespoons minced onion
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoons black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Corn or flour tortillas
- Crumbled queso fresca cheese
- 1 cup chopped cantaloupe
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
- ¼ red onion, diced
- ¼ cup freshly torn cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- About 1 hour before serving, whisk together all of the spices (the mixed onion through the salt) in a bowl. Add the shrimp to a large zip lock bag or baking dish, then toss with olive oil and lime juice. Coat the shrimp with the jerk seasoning then marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge.
- While the shrimp are marinating, combine all the salsa ingredients in a bowl, seasoning with the salt. Toss well and let sit until ready to eat.
- After 30 minutes, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a teaspoon or two of olive oil. Add the shrimp (I did not add any remaining marinade that was in the bag) and cook until it is pink and opaque on both sides, about 4-5 minutes. Warm tortillas if desired, then assemble tacos (or even nachos!) with shrimp, salsa and crumble queso fresco cheese.