Melons Are Powerhouses in Taste, Nutrition
If you're looking for a tasty way to hydrate in warm weather, a juicy melon is the ticket. Melons are low-calorie, high-water content foods that also provide high doses of certain vitamins, minerals and important phyto-nutrients.
Nutrients in Powerhouse Melons
- Cantaloupe: vitamins A and C, carotenoids, folate and potassium
- Honeydew: vitamins B and C, potassium and copper
- Watermelon: lycopene, vitamins A and C, and potassium
To pick the perfect melon, gently rap it with your knuckles. If it makes a dull thud, it's full of juice, and ripe for consumption.
As refreshing as it is to bite into a melon, don't limit yourself to snacking on chunks or wedges. Melons make great ingredients for salads, like the popular combination of watermelon and feta over arugula. Honeydew pairs well with cilantro and lime for a twist on salsa. And there are few easier appetizer recipes than melon and prosciutto, a centuries-old Italian antipasto that's ideal for entertaining.
Here's a crunchy take on this tasty dish to serve at your next cookout or dinner get-together. The ingredients can be multiplied as needed.
Melon and Prosciutto
- 4 slices prosciutto
- 1 small ripe cantaloupe, seeded and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, torn into small pieces
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the prosciutto on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes, until the prosciutto is crispy.
Arrange melon slices on a serving platter. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl and drizzle over the melon.
Crumble the finished prosciutto on top of the melon slices and sprinkle with the mint. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings
Fruits & Veggies More Matters has more ways to savor the flavor of honeydew and other melons.
SOURCES: Daniel Aires, M.D., J.D., director, dermatology, University of Kansas Health System, and professor, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City; Steven Wang, M.D., director, dermatologic surgery and dermatology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Basking Ridge, N.J., and chair, photobiology committee, Skin Cancer Foundation; June 2019, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology