A slice of fresh, juicy cantaloupe is one of the tastiest summertime treats, and nothing beats an ice-cold wedge of it for instant refreshment after a long, hot run or your daily workout. But the sweet flesh of this melon is a lot more than just good eating—it’s surprisingly low in calories and high in health benefits. At just 48 fat-free calories per cup, and packed with beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, and potassium, it’s one of nature’s best body-bolstering and cancer-battling foods around.
So how do you select the sweetest and juiciest of these mouthwatering melons? Cantaloupe connoisseurs like me know just how to pick ‘em and how to treat ‘em with care. Here’s what to do:
- Look for an evenly shaped melon, without dents, bruises, cuts, or discoloration.
- Check out the color of the skin under the netting—it should be glowing golden.
- Look for a melon that’s smooth and well-rounded at the stem end. Unlike other ripe melons, which have a bit of vine attached, ripe cantaloupes are free of the stem attachment.
- Choose a melon that’s heavy for its size—the sign of juiciness.
- Give it the sniff test—it should smell sweet, fresh, and fragrantly musky.
Before slicing your cantaloupe, wash your hands and then wash the outside of the melon with soap and hot running water. This will prevent any bacteria from being dragged through the melon with the first cut. And when finished slicing, thoroughly wash your hands, cutting board, and utensils.
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