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How to pick the perfect cantaloupe

Is there anything more disappointing in the world of food than getting home from the supermarket with a bunch of fresh produce only slice it open and find you’ve literally picked a bad apple… or pineapple.. or cantaloupe. Cantaloupe can be particularly tricky because they pretty much all look the same from the outside. So how do you tell what’s happening underneath that rough, tannish-grey skin? With a few tips you can actually get a pretty good idea. Here’s what you need to know: Buy only in season You just aren’t going to get the juicy, sweet cantaloupe you crave if you’re shopping in January. In the off season, cantaloupe are shipped from South America, meaning that by the time they make it to your mouth, they’ve been off the vine for quite some time. In the U.S., cantaloupe are at their peak from June until August. So if you’re…

Cantaloupe salsa sweetens up end of summer celebrations

My oven broke last week, and I’ve been waiting for two weeks for the new one to arrive. But with this summer heat dragging on, I actually don’t mind the inconvenience one bit. Ive been using this time to get creative with foods that don’t require a heat source. That’s how this bright and cheery cantaloupe salsa came to be. I’ve always been a big fan of fruity salsas, whether on their own, or over fish or chicken. Mango salsa is the king of sweet salsas, closely followed by pineapple salsa — but this melon version is right up there. The cantaloupe and jalapeño create that delicious sweet heat I can’t get enough of. Tortilla chips and salsa might not seems like much of a dinner, but when it’s this delicious — and the weather is this hot — sometimes, it’s all you can handle. And don’t forget this fun…

5 watermelon recipes to try before the end of summer

What would warm weather be without big, sloppy slices of watermelon? Given that this summer essential is more than 90 percent water, it’d be easy to assume that it has little or no nutritional value. But the low-calorie fruit is filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that soothe sore muscles, improve cardiovascular health, and pack about one-third of the daily recommended vitamins A and C, and lycopene that can even combat cancer. August through October is watermelon harvest in most of the country, so there are usually lots of great, local picks at farmers markets and grocery stores this time of year. But how can you be sure you’re selecting the perfect melon? To avoid mushy melons, a good rule of thumb states that you should choose the one heaviest for its size. The melon should also have a deeply colored cream spot on the bottom — the color signifying the watermelon had plenty of time to…

Simple watermelon salsa is sweet, mildly spicy

Who would have thought watermelon and jalapeño would be such a delicious pair? What’s better, is that this quick condiment only requires six ingredients. I’ve been experimenting with a lot of watermelon lately, so get ready for quite a few juicy recipes coming up.. This one was one of my favorites, since it’s a perfect match-up of sweet and spicy, combined with saltiness from the chips. I’ve only tried it as a salsa so far, but I could see this going great with grilled chicken or fish, or atop a grilled vegetable dinner. Watermelon Salsa Serves 6-8: Prep time 10 min Ingredients 4 cups watermelon (seedless, or seeds removed and chopped) 1 cup cucumber, chopped 1 cup red onion (about 1/2 large onion, chopped) 2 medium jalapeños (remove seeds for less heat, chopped) 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 1 lime, cut in half salt (to taste) Directions Add watermelon, cucumber, onion,…

Watermelon salad perfect for summer

It’s unlikely that you’ll make it through the next five months without finishing a meal with watermelon juice running down your arm. Nothing says ‘warm weather is here’ quite like a thick slice of this quintessential summer fruit. You’re likely very familiar with watermelons sliced or in slushies, but chances are you’ve never had one in a salad. While it won’t go running down your sleeve, this sweet and savory, salty and spicy salad will definitely make it on your menu rotation this summer. It would also be a great dish to take to any summer get together. Watermelon is about 92 percent water and six percent sugars, but you benefit so much more than those figures let on. Adding more melon to your diet means a lots of vitamin C and A and betacarotene. Watermelons are second only to tomatoes for lycopene content — an antioxidant effective in preventing some types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The thick-rinded fruit is also low…