Honeydew

Honeydew has a round to slightly oval shape, typically 15–22 cm (5.9–8.7 in) long. It generally ranges in weight from 1.8 to 3.6 kg (4.0 to 7.9 lb.). The flesh is usually pale green in color, while the smooth peel ranges from greenish to yellow. Like most fruit, honeydew has seeds. Honeydew’s thick, juicy, sweet flesh is often eaten for dessert, and is commonly found in supermarkets across the world. This fruit grows best in semiarid climates and is harvested based on maturity, not size. Maturity can be hard to judge, but is based upon ground color ranging from greenish white (immature) to creamy yellow (mature). Quality is also determined by the honeydew having a nearly spherical shape with a surface free of scars or defects. Also, honeydew should feel heavy for its size and have a waxy (not fuzzy) surface.

In California, the honeydew is in season from August until October.

Honeydew” is in fact the American name for the White Antibes cultivar which has been grown for many years in southern France and Algeria.  Honeydew plants thrive in a hot dry climate.

In China, honeydews are known as the Bailan melon; they are a locally famous product near Lanzhou, the capital city of Gansu province in China’s northwest.

According to Chinese sources, the melons were introduced to China by a Mr. Wallace, who donated melon seeds to the locals while visiting in the 1940s (probably 1944). Henry A. WallaceVice President of the United States under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, had founded a major seed company (Pioneer Hi-Bred) and otherwise had a general background and interest in agricultural pursuits. As a result, in China the melon is sometimes called the Wallace

Perhaps the most well-known of winter melons, the honeydew has a smooth, firm pale cornflower colored skin that encases sweet, pale green flesh. Round to oval and somewhat larger than a Cantaloupe, this melon’s skin turns from green to white to yellow as it matures. As the honeydew ripens, its skin transforms from very hard and smooth to a velvety texture and often develops a slight stickiness. If the blossom end yields to gentle pressure, the melon is ready to eat. Honeydew melons range in weight from four to eight pounds. Once a melon is picked, it can no longer get any sweeter. When it is harvested determines how sweet the melon is. Vine-ripened melons picked at their peak maturity have the best flavor and highest sugar content.

Application
Honeydew melon is most often used in fresh preparations such as fruit salads or cold soups. Honeydew pairs will with lime, mint and fresh berries. Substitute honeydew for any green-fleshed melon in recipes. Store unripe melons at room temperature. Refrigerate ripe melons in a plastic bag for two to three days. Once cut, cover and keep refrigerated.

Health & Wellness Fun Facts:     Honeydew Melon
Honeydew is a member of the melon family of fruits and usually has pale green sweet and juicy flesh inside a hard rind. Honeydew melons are a nutritious addition to your diet because they contain several vitamins and minerals. With only 60 calories per half cup, honeydew is a nutritionally beneficial fruit to add to your menu.

A potassium deficiency can result in an irregular heartbeat or inefficiency at pumping blood throughout your body. Many fruits supply a good dose of potassium and a 1-cup serving of honeydew will provide you with 12 percent of what you need each day, the water-potassium ratio on honeydew may also help prevent an increase in blood pressure. Add some cubed honeydew to your breakfast or lunch as a healthy side dish or mix with cantaloupe and watermelon chunks to create a mixed melon fruit salad.

Vitamin C
Healthy skin and collagen rely on an adequate consumption of vitamin C and honeydew supplies you with a good dose,  The American Dietetic Association note in their research, “American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide.” A 1-cup serving of honeydew will provide about half of your daily vitamin C needs. Vitamin C can also boost your immune system so you can help prevent illness and infection.

Copper
Copper is essential for healthy skin because it helps aid in skin cell regeneration. Honeydew is a good fruit source of this trace mineral, Your body’s ability to repair its muscles and tissues also relies on a sufficient intake of copper and adding honeydew to your diet may help you increase your levels of this important mineral. Add honeydew chunks to a smoothie or add some chopped honeydew to a bowl of oatmeal or carton of yogurt.

B Vitamins
In addition to supplying potassium, vitamin, and copper, honeydew is also a good source of several B vitamins, including thiamine and niacin. B vitamins help your body get rid of toxins that can cause illness and disease. B vitamins may also reduce your risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

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