By Pamela Redwine
How about a little melon trivia.
Can you guess what I am?
· My skin is netted, rough and scaly.
· I am very fragile
· I have a sweet smell
·Another name for me is muskmelon
·This is another term for not running off and getting married? (Can’t elope)
If you guessed Cantaloupe, you are correct.
Can you guess what I am?
I am 93% water
I love to go on a picnic
I get thumped a lot
I prefer the south because of its hot, dry climate and sandy soil.
If you guessed honeydew, then you are incorrect.
The correct answer is watermelon!
Few other foods say summer quite like the melons do and especially water melons. Melons are a light and sweet. And the perfect addition to summer snacks and meals.
Did you know that if you are trying to lose weight or if you are just watching your weight, it is a good idea to have melons on hand for desserts and snacks. Compared to regular snack foods, melons are much lower in calories when compared ounce for ounce. This means melons, along with other fruits and vegetables, will fill you up on far fewer calories than processed foods. For example: Cantaloupe has 9 calories per ounce, Watermelon 9 calories, Honeydew 10 calories, Frozen yogurt 40 calories, Ice Cream 68 calories, Bagel 77 calories, Cinnamon roll 105 calories, Pretzels 108 calories, Oreo cookies 137 calories, and Potato chips 152 calories. Another good thing about melons is that they are easy to prepare and last up to 4 days when sliced fresh.
According to the Berkeley Wellness Encyclopedia of Foods & Nutrition, Cantaloupe is the most nutritious melon, followed by honeydew and then watermelon. Check out some of these melon facts:
· A quarter of a cantaloupe melon contains just 40 calories!! Cantaloupe is rich in vitamins A and C; it is a good source of potassium and folate.
· Select a cantaloupe that does not have a stem. It should be larger than five inches in diameter and have a nice netting or webbing on the outside.
· A quarter of a honeydew contains only 20 calories. It is rich in vitamin C and potassium and it provides B vitamins, calcium and iron.
· Select a firm melon that seems heavy for its size. Honeydew should have a golden, ivory color to their skin. If this melon is picked green it will not ripen on its own.
· Look for a melon that is heavy for its size with a yellow spot on its belly. It should be free from blemishes, holes or cracks. Make sure that you wash the melon with cold running water before you cut the melon. This will wash off any bacteria that could contaminate the melon when the knife cuts through the outer layer of the melon and touches the flesh. You should refrigerate the melon once it is cut. Consider giving yellow watermelon a try – it comes in both seeded and seedless varieties and tastes identical to its red counterpart.
Melon Success Tips
· You can store melon at room temperature for a day or two. If your melon is very ripe you should store it in the refrigerator.
· Try to cut and serve your watermelon within three days of purchase for best results. Cantaloupe, honeydew and other melons can often be stored up to two weeks. Cut melon should always be stored covered in the refrigerator.
· If you are buying several types of melon, cut the watermelon first then when it is gone, cut the other types such as honeydew or cantaloupe. This strategy will ensure fresh melon all week until you can get to the store.
1 uniformly shaped seedless watermelon (7 to 9 inches in diameter)
1/2 container (8 ounces) frozen nondairy whipped topping, thawed
1 container (8 ounces) fat-free lemon yogurt
Strawberries, kiwi, grapes, and blueberries, for decoration
Cut a 3-inch-thick cross section slice from the middle of the watermelon. With a serrated knife, and using a sawing motion, cut all around the slice to separate the white portion of the rind from the red flesh. Lift up the ring of rind and remove. Pat the watermelon dry with paper towels and set on a flat serving plate.
In small bowl, fold together the whipped topping and yogurt. With a narrow metal spatula, frost the top and side of the watermelon cake with the yogurt mixture. Decorate with fresh fruit. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (Can be refrigerated for several hours or up to overnight). Cut into wedges and serve.