Chilling with nutritious melons

It’s hot’very hot’in my downtown neigbourhood these days (and forecast to last the week). But for me steamy weather means

littlegirlwatermelon

It’s hot’very hot’in my downtown neigbourhood these days (and forecast to last the week). But for me steamy weather means one thing’it’s watermelon season!

A thick red slice of watermelon makes a perfect hot afternoon snack, or a container of cantaloupe chunks a great ‘dessert’ for lunch (although local ones won’t be available at my farmers’ market until later in July). While I’ve always enjoyed melons, it wasn’t until I was researching the article ‘Chill out with melons’ for the Summer issue of Best Health (on newsstands now) that I realized that they are packed with nutrients (see The health benefits of melons).

Watermelon, for example, is loaded with lycopene, the same plant pigment that gives tomatoes their rich red colour and health-inducing reputation. A study showed the risk of cardiovascular disease dropped by 50 percent in women with the highest blood plasma levels of lycopene compared to those with the lowest amounts.

Melons are also amazingly versatile (see, 9 things to do with melons and Citrus-grilled chicken with melon salsa). One of my summertime favourites is Watermelon and Feta Salad. I like to jazz it up by sprinkling on a small handful of toasted pine nuts and lots of chopped fresh basil leaves’the taste of summer.

What’s your favourite way to enjoy melons?

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