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Honeydew Melon

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Preview of Honeydew Melon

Available

August 1 - September 15

Harvest Period

August 1 - September 15

The sweetest of all the melons and averaging five to six pounds, honeydew melons have a creamy yellow rind when ripe and pale green flesh.

 

What to Look For

 

Choose a firm, symmetrical melon that is free of bruises, cuts, and dents. Maturity can be hard to judge, but a creamy yellow rind indicates a riper melon than a greenish white rind. A good quality honeydew melon will feel heavy for its size and have a waxy (not fuzzy) surface. Look for cantaloupes that have a smooth stem end, which indicates that the melon detached from the stem of the plant naturally, with little effort, and therefore was not picked too early.

 

If you purchase cut melon, make sure it has been properly refrigerated (not simply stored on ice) and doesn’t look slimy.

 

Cleaning and Preparation

 

Because melons are grown on the ground and the rind can easily become contaminated by pathogens in the soil or from manure, it is imperative that they be handled properly before consumption. Scrub the rind briskly with a produce brush before cutting. Though we do not eat the rind, bacteria can be transferred from the rind to the flesh of the fruit when cutting. After cutting, thoroughly wash all implements used (cutting board, knife, etc.) with hot soapy water.  

 

The easiest way to prepare a melon is to cut it in half, then into quarters and remove the seeds.  The quarters can then be sliced into smaller wedges. Or, the rind can be removed and the quarters cut into chunks.

 

Storage

 

Melons will ripen after they are picked but their sugar content won't increase. It will take up to four days for melons to ripen at room temperature. Since melons are ethylene sensitive, they will ripen more rapidly in the presence of ethylene-producing fruit such as bananas and pears. Whole melons can be stored at room temperature for up to four days or in the refrigerator for up to one week. Cut honeydew should be wrapped and stored in the refrigerator.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

 

To freeze, cut ripe, firm  melon into chunks or balls and flash freeze (spread on a pan in one layer and freeze solid), then pack into a freezer bag or container.

 

Nutritional Information

 

Honeydew melon is high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, and potassium.  Due to its high water content, it is a great rehydrator in hot weather.

  

One cup (170g) of diced honeydew melon provides 61 calories, 0g fat, 15g carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber, and 1g protein.

 

How to Use

 

Honeydew makes a wonderful dessert all by itself, or can be mixed and frozen with a light syrup to form a refreshing sorbet. Thread a few onto a skewer with other summer fruits for a healthy dessert.  Dice finely and use instead of tomatoes for a twist on everyday salsa. Honeydew can be paired up with tomatoes, cucumbers and middle eastern spices to create a lovely summertime salad.  Although melons don’t particularly freeze well, the addition of several chunks of frozen melon to a smoothie can add a lot of texture.