Melon Mania

Melon is a delicious fruit packed with tons of nutrition. With 25 varieties of melons to choose from you can pick your favorite and use them in juice, desserts, fruit salads or custards. Chef and author Robin Asbell shared some of her favorite melon recipes.

Cantaloupe and Cavatappi Salad
Makes 8 cups

8 ounces cavatappi pasta
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon coarsely cracked black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 medium cantaloupe, cubed
1/2 cup fresh basil, divided
1/4 cup red onion, slivered
2 ounces Romano cheese, shaved with a peeler
edible flowers, for garnish

1. Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions, rinse with cold water and reserve.

2. In a cup, whisk the olive oil, champagne vinegar, peppercorns and 1/2 teaspoon salt, reserve.

Place the pasta in a large bowl and add the cantaloupe, half of the basil, and the red onions, and drizzle with the dressing, toss to coat. Transfer to a serving bowl and cover with shaved Romano and reserved basil, and edible flowers. Serve immediately.

Honeydew Salsa with Chips
Serves 4

3 cups honeydew melon, diced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 small jalapenos, minced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
4 scallion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces tortilla chips

Remove seeds and finely cube the melon. in a medium serving bowl, mix the melon with lime, jalapeno, cilantro, scallions and salt. Let stand a few minutes, but don’t make the day before. Serve with chips.

Watermelon Gazpacho with Feta
Serves 4

4 cups watermelon, diced
1/2 large cucumber, diced
1/2 small red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, or fresh mint leaves
4 ounces sheep’s milk feta

1. Chop the watermelon in small pieces, and put it in a medium bowl. Save the juices as you go, adding them to the bowl. Peel, seed and finely chop the cucumber, red bell pepper and red onion and add to the bowl. Add the salt and lime juice.

2. Stir to mix, then transfer about 1 1/2 cups to a blender and puree, pouring in the olive oil with the machine running. Stir the puree back into the bowl with the chopped watermelon. Serve garnished with crumbled feta and cilantro or mint.

Warriors Blood Juice
(Reprinted from 300 Best Blender Recipes to Make in Your Vitamix by Robin Asbell (Robert Rose)

Beets and watermelon are both rich in nitrates that convert into Nitric Oxide, a molecule that relaxes the lining of your circulatory system, and measurably improves athletic performance. Non-athletes can benefit, too, as it lowers blood pressure and boosts energy.

Makes 2 servings

1 cup kombucha 250 mL
1/2 medium beet, cubed 250g
2 cups cubed watermelon 500 mL
1 slice fresh ginger

1. Place the kombucha, beets, watermelon and ginger in the Vitamix Container. Secure the lid, remove the plug and insert the tamper. Select Variable Speed 1 and turn on the machine.

2. Use the tamper to push down the contents of the blender as you turn the speed from 1-10, then high. Blend for about a minute, until there are no visible bits. Serve immediately.

Tip: Peel and cube beets right before making this juice, as the antioxidant levels in beets start to decrease as soon as they are cut.

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