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Farmers Market Fresh Item

Week 14: Melons

MelonsAll About It:

August is the beginning of peak melon season in Minnesota. Melons offer a lot of sweetness and Vitamin C — but without lots of calories. They also are very versatile in that you can serve them as an appetizer, a salad or as a dessert.

For those really wanting to give their taste buds a workout, try our recipe for Melon Salad with Prosciutto. You wouldn’t normally think that pairing a sweet fruit with the salty prosciutto would work, but for some reason the two go together perfectly.

Maybe the toughest thing about melons is picking the right one. Here are a couple of quick tips to help you identify the best of the best.

  • Melons should not have any bruises, soft spots or cracks
  • Ripe watermelons and honeydews should actually look a little dull in color. If the fruit is shiny, it’s a sign that it’s not quite ripe.
  • Also, find the part of the watermelon where it was sitting on the ground. Ripe watermelons should be yellow in color. Not white.
  • Avoid green honeydews and cantaloupes. Honeydews should be pale yellow in color and cantaloupes should have a golden or orange rind (that’s the part under the textured surface).
  • Ever tried tapping a watermelon, but don’t know what to listen for? It should have a deep hallow sound. If it sounds dull, put it back. That’s a sign that the flesh on the inside is soft — which you don’t want.
  • For cantaloupes and honeydews, use the smell test. A ripe fruit should smell sweet and fresh.

Recipes:

Grilled Watermelon and Shrimp Salad

Spicy-Sweet Melon Salad

Melon Salad with Prosciutto

Fresh Food Links:

MFMA: Find a Farmers' Market Near You

Minnesota Grown

University of Minnesota Extension: Growing Melons (Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Honeydew) in Minnesota Home Gardens

Farmers Markets at CentraCare Health

Farmers Markets are available at the following CentraCare Health locations:

St. Cloud

Every Thursday through Oct. 13 at CentraCare Health Plaza, from 3 - 6 pm

Long Prairie

Every Friday through Oct. 14 at CentraCare Health—Long Prairie from 2 - 6:30 pm

Paynesville

The 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month through Oct. 27 at CentraCare Health—Paynesville , 11 am - 1 pm