Featured food: cantaloupe

cantaloupeThirdWhere fresh fruit is concerned, cantaloupe is pretty easy.  Cut it in half, scoop out seeds and eat with a spoon.  It even comes with its own bowl, so to speak.

These days, you can probably find cantaloupe in stores all year, but I stick to in-season melons, which means summer only.  The taste and texture of locally grown melon will be far superior.   The season is short, making cantaloupe more like Nutrition Shooting Stars.  They don’t last long, but well worth the effort.

 Nutrition facts for one-half of 1 large* (6-1/2 to 7 inch diameter) melon:

  • 140 calories
  • 3.5 grams fiber
  • 1000+ mg potassium
  • 150 mg vitamin C
  • 13,000 IU vitamin A
  • significant amounts of vitamin K, niacin, folate and magnesium
  • negligible fat and sodium

Cantaloupe is 90% water, which makes it filling, a good thing if you’re trying to curb appetite.  Bingeing on cantaloupe would be difficult.  After eating half of a large melon, you’re full, and you only ate 140 calories.

Cantaloupe slices are a nice accompaniment to a spicy meal in place of salad.  Add melon chunks to a fruit salad.  These melons also work great for smoothies.  Blend cantaloupe chunks with a squeeze of lime juice and a few pieces of ice for a refreshing summer drink.  You can add chia seeds for a little fiber and nutrient boost.

Summer is cantaloupe season; enjoy them while you can.

*I cut up a purchased melon and weighed the edible portion, so my numbers may differ from the average USDA numbers for a “large” melon.

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