Cantaloupes belong to the cucumber family.
How to determine ripeness
- ripe melons will feel fuller and heavier than you would expect
- tap on the cantaloupe, a dull deep sound indicates ripeness
- a higher hollow sound may mean the cantaloupe needs a few more days to ripen
- press gently on the top of a ripe cantaloupe (the stem end, where the vine was attached) with your thumb, it should give way very slightly. If that spot gives way substantially, to the point of feeling genuinely soft or even squishy, the cantaloupe is probably overripe
- check the rind (the outermost layer beneath the netting), a ripe cantaloupe is typically cream-colored, yellow or golden but not green or gray. The rind of an unripe cantaloupe is more likely to contain some green or gray. (however, some varieties have rinds that stay green or gray.)
- Smell the bottom (the blossom end, opposite from the stem end where the vine was attached). Unripe cantaloupes will have a very faint smell, or no smell at all. Ripe cantaloupes will have a strong cantaloupe aroma—but not overpowering way as this may indicate it is overripe.
How to Store
For ripe cantaloupes:
Do not wash. Place immediately in the refrigerator, ideally in a crisper bin. Three to four days is the maximum amount of time that you’ll want to store whole ripe cantaloupe in the fridge.
For unripe cantaloupes:
Do not wash. Leave it out at room temperature (non-refrigerated) for a couple of days to allow the texture of its flesh to become softer and juicier. Once it reaches peak ripeness, refrigeration is mandatory.
- wash your hands and all utensils before and after cutting cantaloupe
- rinse a whole cantaloupe under cool running water, gently scrub the rind with a natural bristle brush, and then pat dry before you slice it open.
- place the whole cantaloupe on a clean cutting surface
- Cut off the top (stem end, where the vine was attached) of the cantaloupe and discard. (Research shows that bacterial contamination is more likely to occur in this spot.)
- Next, scoop out the seeds and slice your cantaloupe in whatever size sections you like, then cut off the rind
- juice the cantaloupe and add sparkling water
- whip cold cantaloup slices in a high speed blender until creamy
- cut in half, scoop out seeds and fill with berries
- cut cantaloup can be kept at room temperature for no more than two hours
- Place the seeds in a fine mesh wire strainer and rinse under cool running water while gently pressing the seeds against the mesh to help remove the pulpy fibers.
- Once they are thoroughly cleaned, drain well an pat dry
- Place the seeds in a single layer on a cookie sheet and lightly roast them at 160-170°F (about 75°C) in the oven for 15-20 minutes to help minimize damage to their healthy oils.
- excellent source of vitamin A and beta-carotene
- excellent source of vitamin C
- a very good source of vitamins B6, B3 and B1
- contains high amounts of potassium, folate, fiber and magnesium
- promotes health of the respiratory tract
- helps in the prevention of cardiovascular disease
- helps to reduce stress