Some great summer fruit is available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market including cantaloupe melon. I bought the first melon of the season from Stannard Farm, and it was deliciously sweet, juicy and full of flavor.
Cantaloupe melon, also known as muskmelon, is an excellent source of vitamin A, as you might guess based on its orange color, and an extremely good source of vitamin C. One serving supplies over 100% daily value for each making it one of the most nutritious of the melons.
Look for a cantaloupe melon with a slightly golden color (not too green) under the mesh-like “netting” that covers the skin. The melon should be firm, not soft and have a sweet smell. Melon will get softer and juicier when left at room temperature for a few days. After cutting a melon store it in the refrigerator wrapped or stored in plastic to protect other produce from the ethylene gas that it gives off.
If you have more cantaloupe than you can eat, puree it and freeze it in ice cube trays. After it’s frozen, pop out the cubes and store them in a plastic bag. Frozen melon cubes can be pulsed in a blender for a summer-time sorbet, or combined with milk and cinnamon for a delicious smoothie. The recipe below is called a soup, but it can be served at breakfast, for an afternoon snack or for dessert.
This recipe is from the “Farmers’ Market Favorite Recipes” cookbook available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market and other retail outlets, as well as Cornell Cooperative Extension.
1 large ripe cantaloupe melon*
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup honey* (optional)
¼ cup cream* (for a fat-free version substitute evaporated skim milk)
sprig of fresh mint* & cinnamon for garnish
Cut cantaloupe pulp from the rind, place in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
Add orange juice, honey and cream or evaporated skim milk. (If the melon is very ripe and full-flavored, the honey can be omitted. Taste before adding.) Pulse to blend.
Serve chilled in soup bowl. Garnish with a small sprig of fresh mint and a light sprinkle of cinnamon.
Makes 4, 1 cup servings.