Cantaloupe is a member of the gourd family and is sometimes called muskmelon. Some people believe that it was introduced to the Americas by Christopher Columbus.
Like all melons, cantaloupe is 90 percent water, so it is great when you are parched from outdoor activities. One cup has only 62 calories, but it is full of nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, magnesium, potassium, beta carotene and the polyphenol antioxidants that may protect our cardiovascular and immune systems.
The best way to pick a cantaloupe is to smell it. It should have a heavy, sweet smell like a cut cantaloupe. If it doesn’t smell, it probably is not ripe. You can also press lightly on either end of the melon, and if it gives slightly, it is probably ready to be eaten. You can refrigerate ripe melons up to one week.
To protect yourself and your family from food borne illness, be sure to thoroughly wash the cantaloupe in cool, running water and scrub it with a clean vegetable brush before cutting it. Then store all leftover melon in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Recipe: Cantaloupe Boats
Here is a quick dessert featuring cantaloupe that you can serve your family or guests:
- 1 large cantaloupe
- 3 cups of your favorite sorbet
- Cut the cantaloupe into 6 equal slices.
- Top each slice with 1/2 cup scoop of sorbet.
- Serve immediately.
Calories: 193, carbohydrate: 48 grams, protein: 0 grams, fat: 0 grams, sodium: 30 milligrams, fiber: 1 gram