When it comes to healthy drinks, cantaloupe juice packs a punch. The nutrient dense cantaloupe juice makes for a very healthy drink to add to your diet regime.

It is thought that the fruit was named “cantaloupe” for Cantalupo. An Italian town near Vatican City, where melon seeds brought from Armenia were planted in the papal gardens. According to World’s Healthiest Foods during the Renaissance.

Cantaloupes are in the Cucurbitaceae, or gourd family.

Which includes other plants that grow on a vine. Such as watermelon, honeydew and casaba melons, as well as pumpkins, squash and cucumbers.

Cantaloupe or Muskmelon?

About melons:

Melon Varieties

According to the University of Illinois Extension, the cantaloupe is a variety of muskmelon. North American cantaloupes (Cucumis melo reticulatus) are known for their uniform “netting” over the rind. Meanwhile, European cantaloupes (Cucumis melo cantalupensis) have greener skin. Very little netting, deep grooves and would surprise most Americans by being called cantaloupes.

Cantaloupe and juicer

Apparently, Muskmelons are confused with cantaloupes quite often. 

Jennifer Schultz Nelson, who works with the University of Illinois says, “there is technically a difference. But often the names are used interchangeably. The term cantaloupe refers to two varieties of muskmelon. What we typically call a cantaloupe is Cucumis melo reticulatus, also called the North American cantaloupe.

Muskmelon

This variety name reticulatus refers to the net-like appearance of the skin, also called reticulated. While it’s European counterpart (European cantaloupe), Cucumis melo cantalupensis, has ribbed light green skin. And looks nothing like what we commonly call cantaloupe. While both of these cantaloupe varieties are muskmelons, not all muskmelons are cantaloupes.

It’s name muskmelon comes from the sweet fragrance of the ripe fruit.

The term musk comes from a Persian word for perfume. And melon is a French word derived from the Latin melopepo, which means ‘apple-shaped melon’. There are many different types of muskmelons. With a wide variety of shapes, sizes, flesh color and flavor. Muskmelons, including cantaloupe are native to Persia, which is present-day Iran.

Sliced muskmelon

what could be more refreshing than an icy glass of Cantaloupe Juice, with juicy bits of shredded melon or a little pulp. Depends on how you make it. Whatever you do don’t throw away the seeds. Sometimes I sun dry them, I also enjoy them toasted. They are great as a snack. This time I blended them to increase the nutritional profile of my juice 🙂

Into the sieve went my scoops of melon seeds and the sweet pulp around it.

Healthy Drinks – Cantaloupe Juice

Tips for cutting cantaloupe

  • Purchase melons without any visible bruises, cracks or soft spots on the skin.
  • Wash hands with soap and water before handling cantaloupes.
  • Scrub the outer surface of the melon with a vegetable brush under cool tap water before eating the fruit. Pat the fruit dry with paper towels to remove excess water.
  • Cut off the stem end (where the fruit was attached to the vine) of the cantaloupe and throw it out. Studies have found that this area is most likely to have bacterial contamination. Use a clean knife and cutting board.
  • Divide the entire melon in half and scoop out the seeds and strings. Using a knife or melon baller, cut up the orange flesh.
  • After cutting up the melon, wash utensils and cutting boards in hot, soapy water and refrigerate the sliced melon.

cantaloupe juice seeds
Healthy drinks – CANTALOUPE JUICE – Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 ripe cantaloupe, halved

ice

3 cups water

11/2 cups honey

INSTRUCTIONS
Combine water and honey in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat or just until honey is completely dissolved. Cool completely.

Grater

Method 1 – Grater

Place the melong seeds into a sieve and set over a bowl. Run about a cup of cold water through the seeds. Pressing with the back of a spoon to extract any juice. Using a scraper or grater, shred the cantaloupe into long strips into the bowl along with any juice. Then put the melon strips and juice into a pitcher with lots of ice. Flavor to taste with cooled honey water. Add more water if it is too sweet.

Healthy Drinks – Cantaloupe Juice

Picking a ripe Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is at it’s freshest and sweetest in the summer. Selecting a fresh cantaloupe can be tricky because you can’t see the inside the melon.  Freshness is critical to it’s sweet flavor.

Pick up a cantaloupe and if it feels heavier than you expected, it’s likely ripe. A ripe melon should smell sweet when you place your nose next to the fruit. And you should be able to push in the skin a little bit with your thumb. The color should be creamy, light yellow-orange with little to  no green.

If the melon is not quite ripe when you buy it, you can set it on a kitchen counter for a few days. But don’t wash the fruit at this point. Wait until you’re ready to cut the melon to wash its outer surface to reduce the chance for bacterial growth.

A cantaloupe will become softer and juicier with time. However, the fruit’s sugar content [and sweetness] will not significantly increase after it is harvested. Use a cut ripe cantaloupe withing 3 days.

Healthy Drinks – Cantaloupe Juice

Method 2 – Blender

Cantaloupe juice blender

Nutrition Facts

Cantaloupe Serving size: 1 cup, cubed (160 g) Calories 54 (Calories from Fat 3) *Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

 
Nutrition Facts: Cantaloupe Serving size: 1 cup, cubed (160 g)  Calories: 54 Calories from Fat 3 *Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Amt per Serving %DV* Amt per Serving %DV*
Total Fat0g 0% Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Cholesterol0mg 0% Dietary Fiber 1g 6%
Sodium26mg 1% Sugars 13g
Protein1g
Vitamin A 108% Calcium 1%
Vitamin C 98% Iron 2%

 

 

 

Straining cantaloupe pulp

Directions:

Blend peeled cubes of your cantaloupe in a blender till creamy and smooth. Then run through a cheese cloth to remove pulp. I don’t mind the pulp so I use the sieve shown above. Pour the puree in the sieve or cheese cloth and squeeze the liquid out. Or mash with the back of a wooden spoon if using a sieve. You can either compost the pulp, feed it to your animals/pets or discard it. Add your cooled honey water, lots of ice and enjoy.

cantaloupe juice sieve

Healthy Drinks – Cantaloupe Juice

Method 3 – Juicer

A major part of the cantaloupe’s nutritional value is in the rindJuicing the rind will provide more nutrition but diminish the taste. When juicing cantaloupe with the rind, thinly cut the very outer netted skin off. Leave as much of the green under-layer as possible. Slice and juice, seeds and all.
Then add ice and your cooled honey water if using. Enjoy!!

Cantaloupe and juicer

Healthy Drinks – Cantaloupe Juice

Cantaloupes: Health Benefits &

Adding fruit of any kind to your diet is beneficial. Cantaloupe, a variety of musk melon, is a particularly good choice. For several obvious reasons.

 Eye Health: Beta-carotene

When it comes to beta-carotene, cantaloupe knocks other yellow-orange fruits out of the park.

DIY cantaloupe juice

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), cantaloupe has more beta- carotene than:

  • apricots
  • grapefruit
  • oranges
  • peaches
  • tangerines
  • nectarines
  • mangoes

An early study determined that orange-flesh melons like cantaloupe have the same amount of beta-carotene as carrots.

Beta-carotene is a type of carotenoid. Carotenoids are pigments that give fruits and vegetables their bright colors. Once eaten, beta-carotene is either converted into vitamin A or acts as a powerful antioxidant. Which then helps to fight free radicals that attack cells in your body.

Cantaloupe Juice

 

Antioxidant power

Cantaloupe is a rich food source of vitamins A and C.

Vitamins A and C are both antioxidants that work to keep your body healthy. Antioxidants can have protective effects by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals can damage DNA in cells and promote chronic inflammation in the body.

They also cause cell damage and disruption that can contribute to diseases. Antioxidants such as vitamins A and C may help prevent conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis.

Vitamin A is important to:

  • eye health
  • healthy red blood cells
  • and a healthy immune system
cubed cantaloupe
Vitamin C

According to the USDA, 1 cup of  cantaloupe contains over 100% of the recommended daily value (DV) of vitamin C. Meanwhile the Mayo Clinic suggests vitamin C is involved in the production of:

  • blood vessels
  • cartilage
  • muscle
  • collagen in bones
    cut muskmelon

However, eating vitamin C-rich foods helps reduce how long your symptoms last the next time you have the common cold.

Cochrane Library review found vitamin C reduced the length of the common cold in adults by 8 percent. In children, the time span of having a cold was reduced by 14 percent.

Folate

Allso known as vitamin B-9, folate is the term used when it’s naturally present in foods. Folic acid is the term used for supplements and fortified foods.

It is also well-known for preventing neural-tube birth defects like spinal bifida.

Ripe melons

It may also help:

  • reduce the risk of some cancers
  • address memory loss due to aging, although more research is needed

When it comes to cancer, folate may be a double-edged sword.

According to studies on the vitamin published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, folate may offer protection in early cancers. Also in people with a folate deficiency. However, vitamin B-9 in high doses, such as excessive supplementation, may stimulate or worsen later-stage cancers.

According to the Mayo Clinic, pregnant women and women of childbearing age need to consume 400-600 micrograms of folate daily.

Males over age 13 should consume 400 micrograms. Two cups of balled cantaloupe have 74 micrograms of folate, or around 19 percent of the daily value.

cantaloupe salad

Water

Like most fruits, cantaloupe has high water content, at almost 90 percent. Eating cantaloupe helps you stay hydrated throughout the day, which is important for heart health.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is linked with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. And can also lower blood pressure, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Food is medicine

When you’re hydrated, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood. Good hydration also supports:

  • digestion
  • healthy kidneys
  • and a healthy blood pressure

Mild dehydration may cause:

  • dizziness
  • headache
  • less urination
  • dry skin
  • constipation
  • and dry mouth

Severe cases may be serious and lead to:

  • rapid heart rate
  • confusion
  • low blood pressure
  • shriveled skin
  • unconsciousness

Dehydration is also a risk factor for developing kidney stones.

water salad

Plain water is your best bet for staying hydrated, however eating water-rich fruits like cantaloupe can also help.

Digestion: Fiber

The health benefits of fiber go beyond preventing constipation. A high-fiber diet may:

  • reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes
  • help you lose weight by making you feel fuller longer

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015–2020, the recommended intake of fiber is the following:

Men under 50 Men over 50 Women under 50 Women over 50
34 grams 28 grams 28 grams 22 grams
cantaloupe bowl

One wedge of a medium-sized cantaloupe provides 4 percent of your potassium daily value. Potassium is an essential electrolyte mineral.

According to the American Heart Association, potassium helps keep the right water balance between cells and body fluids.

Potassium is also vital to nerve health and proper muscle contraction. Eating a potassium-rich snack like cantaloupe after exercise helps replenish depleted electrolytes.

 Other vitamins and minerals | Other vitamins and minerals

healthy cut cantaloupe for juice drink

One cup of cantaloupe contains 1.5 grams of protein. It also has small amounts of many other vitamins and minerals, including:

  • vitamin K
  • niacin
  • choline
  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • phosphorous
  • zinc
  • copper
  • manganese
  • selenium

These healthy benefits make cantaloupe a well-rounded, nutritious fruit choice.

Ways to use cantaloupe
healthy cantaloupe smoothie juice drink

Cantaloupes are delicious on their own or in fruit salad, but there are other surprising ways to use them. Here are a few examples:

  • Cantaloupe smoothie. This nutritious drink is made from cantaloupe, Greek yogurt, and natural sweetener. It makes a great breakfast or snack. View the recipe.
  • Cantaloupe salad. Combining cantaloupe with basil, mozzarella, onions, red wine vinegar, and olives gives it a savory kick. View the recipe.
  • Cantaloupe sorbet. You only need four ingredients to make this frosty treat: cantaloupe, lemon, honey, and water. View the recipe.
  • Roasted cantaloupe. Most people wouldn’t dream of roasting cantaloupe, but it brings out the melon’s natural sweetness. View the recipe.

The takeaway

roasted cantaloupe

When it comes to melons, you can’t do much better than cantaloupe. It’s nutritious, delicious, and versatile.

If you typically buy watermelon or honeydew melon and shy away from cantaloupe, you’re missing out.

One cup of cantaloupe contains only about 55 calories and no fat. Calories are due to it’s high water content but offers over 100 percent of your daily needs for vitamin A. Over 50% of the daily needs for vitamin C, 1.5 grams of fiber and is a good source of potassium

Fun facts

Cantaloupe seeds can be roasted and eaten as a snack or added to salads. Can also be ground and added to soups and sauces. It is a common ingredient in Cameroon cuisine. We call it egusi, check out egusi soup. Also added to cabbage, greens, spinach and other delicious African dishes.

muskmelon seeds

California is the largest cantaloupe-producing state in the country. Over half of all U.S. cantaloupes are grown there. The next six states are Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana and Texas.

The United States also imports cantaloupes each year, primarily from Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and Mexico.

Share any delicious juice ideas you have in the comments below 🙂

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