CantaloupeFor the month of March, also known as Nutrition Month, we’re featuring the delicious cantaloupe. If you’d like to eat your cantaloupe right after you pick it in the store, look for these signs of ripeness: the other skin should be a golden colour under the netting, the end where the stem used to be attached should be slightly indented and beginning to soft.  The melon should also feel heavy and have a sweet aroma.  As a final test, shake the melon. If you don’t hear the seeds rattling around inside you’ve found your perfect match.

When a cantaloupe feels a little on the hard side, store it at room temperature for a day or so and then put it in the fridge. You can store ripe cantaloupe in the fridge for up to 5 days. Once you’ve cut into the cantaloupe the remainder should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge.

To prepare your cantaloupe, wash the outside of it. Slice the fruit in half and scoop out the seeds. Next, slice the halves into crescent-like strips which can be served as-is. Or, the rind can be removed from the strips and the soft fruit can be cut into cubes. Alternatively, rather than slicing up the melon halves, a melon baller can be used to scoop fruit balls directly from the cantaloupe halves.

Cantaloupe is usually eaten raw, either on its own or part of a fruit salad. But its sweet and refreshing flavour and soft texture make it a popular addition to vegetable salads and appetizers with salty meats or cheese. A half cup of cut up cantaloupe has only 85 calories and is an excellent source of Vitamin A and C.

Spicy Cantaloupe Gazpacho

Photo from Veggie Primer

Here are some of our favourite cantaloupe recipes!

Cantaloupe Cottage Cheese Bowls from Daily Burn: A high protein sweet snack that takes no time to prepare.

Spicy Cantaloupe Gazpacho from Veggie Primer: A hot and zesty and cool and refreshing soup.

Fresh Melon Bruschetta from Wisconsin From Scratch: Sweet from the melon, heat from the chiles and fresh from the herbs are the perfect accompaniment to crunchy toast.

Grilled Cantaloupe Salad with Blueberry Ginger Vinaigrette from Make Healthy Easy: A beautiful sweet salad for a perfect side.

What are your favourite cantaloupe recipes?

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