This week’s plant based ingredient is: Cantaloupe!
Cantaloupe is really nutritious, high in Vitamins C, A, several of the Bs and K. It is also high in potassium, magnesium and fiber.
We eat a lot of cantaloupe in this house. It’s a favorite of the kids and they like to eat it in bite-size cubes. The beginning of the week almost always finds a container of cantaloupe cubes in the fridge. A mere 2-3 days later and the kids have licked it clean. While we did enjoy a good amount of plain cantaloupe cubes this week, I decided to see just what else this juicy orange fruit might be good for. As it turns out, it’s pretty good in pasta, smoothies, salsa and even bread!
Orechiette w/ Cantaloupe and Avocado
I left out the mozzerella and used walnuts in place of the pine nuts. I loved it. A perfect light summer meal.
- 1/2 medium cantaloupe
- 2 frozen bananas
Cantaloupe Quick Bread
I was intrigued by a recipe I found on Pinterest, but it contained eggs, oil, white flour and 2 full cups of white sugar. Yikes! I didn’t think it would be too hard to veganize and I was right. I replaced the oil with smashed banana and because of the sweetness of the banana, I was able to cut down the added sugar to only 1/2 cup of maple syrup. I replaced the eggs with “flax eggs” and swapped out the white flour for whole wheat pastry flour. Here is the new, healthier version.
- 2 tbsp flaxmeal (ground flax seeds)
- 6 tbsp warm water
- 1 cup smashed ripe banana
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups pureed cantaloupe
- 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- Mix the flaxmeal and warm water and set aside for a few minutes to thicken.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 9×5 loaf pans.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flax eggs, smashed banana, maple syrup, vanilla and cantaloupe puree. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger. Stir flour mixture into cantaloupe mixture and combine, but do not overmix. Pour batter into prepared pans.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool in pans on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pans and enjoy.
This bread is delicious and just sweet enough. It has gone great with my morning coffee as well as acting as dessert. The kids all love it too! You can’t really taste any cantaloupe flavor, however. This quick bread would be a great use for that overripe cantaloupe you let sit on your counter for one too many days.
I’m a huge fan of peach salsa, so when I came across this recipe for cantaloupe salsa, I knew I just had to try it. It’s light and refreshing…perfect for a summer appetizer. We ate it with tortilla chips, but if you are an omnivore, check out the link to see how the original recipe was paired.
And now for an exceprt from my girls’ favorite book (for the moment anyway), What Color Is Your Apple?:
“Fruits and vegetables come in many colors.
Each one a yummy treat!
Red, orange, yellow, purple, green.
Crispy, crunchy, sweet!
What is your favorite color food to eat?”