While summer abounds with a colorful harvest of succulent fruits–dribbly peaches, sweet strawberries, blueberries that pop in your mouth–no other warm-weather form of nature’s candy beats the juicy, luscious canteloupe. However, good canteloupe shies away from naive grocery shoppers who snatch a melon at random and throw it in their basket. The requirements for hunting down the perfect melon are fourfold: the scent, the weight, the color, and of course the season. First, stick your nose right into the canteloupe’s “navel,” if you will, or rather where it grew from the vine. You’re searching for a fresh yet musky, fruity aroma that almost perfectly embodies its orange color. Second, hold the canteloupe in one hand to ensure that it feels quite heavy relative to its size, as this translates to a juicier melon. Third, if your farmer or market sells half canteloupes or is confident enough in their product to cleave open a melon, choose those with a deeply orange color–the paler fruits taste like water. Finally, venture outside and look around. Hot? Sunny? Tiny children running around and selling lemonade? Well, then it’s probably summer, more specifically late July to mid August, and canteloupe season has reached its peak.
On this particular Sunday morning, I craved two breakfast items: a smoothie and the second half of canteloupe left over from last night’s dinner. “Canteloupe smoothie? I’ve never even heard of such a thing! Do I dare tempt the culinary gods with my radical creation?” Yup.
Cantaloupe Smoothie (Gluten Free, Oil Free)
- 1/4 large canteloupe, peeled (about 1 1/2 cups.)
- 1 banana (frozen is best for smoothies.)
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1 tbsp flaxseed meal
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
Chop fruit enough to fit in blender. Puree all ingredients until smooth.
Encompassing the essence of summer, this smoothie verily impressed me. The consistency was a bit looser than my usual smoothies thanks to the juiciness of the cantaloupe, but the impeccable flavor catapulted this recipe to the top of my favorite breakfasts list. Next time I make this smoothie, I may add a couple leaves of kale and less soy milk to thicken it up. I served this with a handful of fresh strawberries and a cranberry-orange oatmeal scone from Chris and Lori’s Bakehouse that I picked up at the Dane County Farmers Market yesterday.
Breakfast Checklist: Protein–soy milk, flax seeds, chia seeds. Whole Grain–whole wheat scone with oatmeal. Fruit–cantaloupe, banana, strawberries, cranberries.