By: Leanne Ely
Cantaloupes have been harvested since at least 2400 BC. These juicy, sweet fruits are closely related to watermelon and honeydew. One of the great things about cantaloupe is that they are so readily available. You can find this orange-fleshed melon in markets across North America. And not only are they full of flavor, but they are also loaded with nutrition.
Along with good amounts of Vitamin K, magnesium, Vitamin B, copper, potassium, folate and fiber, cantaloupe has many anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. A cup of cantaloupe contains 105% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin A and 95% of the Vitamin C you need in a day.
I slice cantaloupe into my salads, and I enjoy the salty/sweet combo of cantaloupe wrapped with prosciutto. Cantaloupe also makes the perfect base for a chilled soup on a hot summer day.
Tips for choosing the right cantaloupe
To choose a ripe cantaloupe, start by picking cantaloupes that are heavier than they look. When you have a good heavy one for its size, tap it and listen for a deep, dull sound to indicate that it’s ripe. If the sound is hollow and high, it’s probably not quite ready to be eaten yet.
When you press the stem end of a ripe cantaloupe with your thumb, it should give away a little bit. If it feels squishy, it’s probably overripe.
Smell the bottom end of the cantaloupe, and if it smells like a cantaloupe, it’s probably ripe. If it smells extremely sweet, it’s past its prime. No scent at all? It’s not ready.
Store your ripe cantaloupe in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, and eat it within three days.
If you purchased an underripe cantaloupe, you can keep it on the counter at room temperature for a day or two, but only if it’s whole and intact.
Cantaloupes are a wonderful non-starchy fruit, and they are a staple for Paleoistas! If you’ve been thinking of hopping on the Paleo bandwagon, why not join us for our 30 Day Paleo Challenge? Details can be found here!