This is a photo of a giantic cantaloupe that I purchased this week. The subject of this post is the reasons why we should all eat more of this delicious melon. First of all, this is no cantaloupe at all but rather, a muskmelon. True cantaloupes are grown in Europe and are much uglier. No really, they have warts and bumps on the outside.
One of the biggest struggles with purchasing produce is knowing how to choose a ripe item. How do I know if a melon is ripe? You'll want to consider the overall shape, the color, and the stem. First of all, it should be uniformly spherical without bruises or indentations. The color should be khaki or tan with no green streaks or spots. A ripe melon has a strong stem area with no tears. If there are any tears, you can be sure that that melon was harvested too early. When they are ready to be harvested, cantaloupes come very easily off their vine.
What about storing this delicious fruit? It should be noted that once the melon is picked, it doesn't continue to produce sugars or get sweeter. If you leave it on the counter at room temperature, it will get softer and sweeter but it won't continue to ripen. Once sliced, it should be refrigerated and consumed within 2 days.
Cantaloupes are a good source of betacarotene, potassium, and Vitamin C. It's especially good to eat on a really hot day because of its high concentration of water.
Nutrients per 1 cup of raw cantaloupe:
Calories: 56, Fat: 0, Carbohydrate: 13g, Protein: 1.0g, Fiber: 1.0g, Sodium: 14mg, Potassium: 494mg, Vitamin C: 68mg, Vitamin A: 515 RE or 5158 IU, Water: 144g