What are Canary Melons?

I got turned on to this wonderful melon some years ago when they were offering free slices in a supermarket. The melon was so delicious that I went immediately to the produce department and bought one.

The Canary melon is a Casaba type variety also known as the Juan Canary and Spanish melon. It is called a winter melon because it matures in late summer. The name comes from the fact that it has a bright yellow skin the same color as a canary. Canary melon season is late summer into early September, Specialty Produce said.

Although it is said to taste like a good cantaloupe, in my experience, I have never tasted a Canary melon that was not more delicious than the best cantaloupe I ever ate.

“Canary melon pairs well with citrus, ginger, honey and other more flavorful melons. Use Canary melon in fresh preparations such as cold soups and salads. The mellow sweetness and slight tart flavors are enhanced with herbs such as basil, mint, cilantro as well as hot chiles and nuts. You can also process the melon for granitas, sorbets and popsicles, though the addition of sugar may be required to enhance its flavor. To store, keep uncut melons at room temperature until fully ripe then refrigerate up to five days. Refrigerate cut melon in a covered container for up to three days ,” Specialty Produce suggested.

As I am scheduled to have surgery next week, I was pleased to read, “A great time to incorporate canary melon into your diet is right before any type of surgery or after you cut yourself. The vitamin C — 50 percent of the recommended daily intake — in this melon helps your skin heal quicker, in part because it encourages your body to produce collagen. Vitamin C also helps repair all the tissues in your body, making it healthy food to speed the healing process, at Livestrong.com.

It is low-cal, too. A serving of Canary melon,one cup, contains only 80 calories. This is a very small size for such a tasty and healthy snack.

A serving of Canary melon also contains around 20 grams of fiber, or around 20 percent of your daily requirement.

It is even better for your eyes. A serving contains around half of the vitamin A you require each day. Livestrong.com said, “Evidence released in the December 2009 edition of “Advances in Ophthalmology” indicates that not getting enough vitamin A in melons and other foods can trigger a degradation in night vision, but with the correct nutrition, night blindness becomes less severe.”

So, check them out at your local market. There is only about a month left to the Canary melon season.

My favorite thing is buying two and placing them on the checkout counter and entoning, “Juan Canary, two Canary…”

Tony

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Filed under calories, Fiber, general well-being, healthy eating, portion size, Weight

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