At the time of writing this, it was the second season from first planting my cucamelons. I’m not sure if this current vine is from the original plant or from some fallen fruit that’s germinated this season.
You see, it appears to be that after the fruiting season ends, the plant can be cut back and it re-grows next season, bearing more of these little tid-bits to please the palate.
The cucamelons in the photo are on a bread and butter plate with a standard knife and fork set just to show you what size these little gems grow to (much the same size as a grape).
They’re extremely easy to grow and make a delicious snack, straight off the vine or with a salad. They taste like cucumber, but look like a miniature watermelon and carry all the goodness and nutrition you’d expect in eating healthy.
They’re hardy, frost and pest resistant and last well in the refrigerator once picked and they can be grown quite well in large pots. They’ve become one of my favourites, along with my Lemonade trees, also growing in large pots.
Not only do they taste good, straight from the peel, there are some other exciting ways to enjoy your bananas as well.
We all know that a banana tastes great on breakfast cereal and a banana sandwich never goes astray, either, but did you know that a banana smoothie is a nice, healthy and tasty drink too. It’s just a matter of peeling the banana and popping it into your blender with a little (around 300ml of water) and go for it. This will give you a ‘thick shake’ type drink, but if you’d like it a little less thick, add a little more water. Just experiment here.
How about banana ice cream? After peeling your bananas, break them off into 2.5 cm (1″) lengths and freeze them in a plastic freezer bag (or your Tupperware container). Once frozen, take them out and throw them into your blender and let them sit for a few minutes to thaw a little.
Some people suggest adding a little water instead of thawing, but you don’t want your banana ice cream too runny, so play it by ear. Once blended into a smooth paste, you have your ice cream! No need to add sugar or flavouring (unless you feel you really have to…. We don’t).
You can also add fresh fruit, such as blueberries, strawberries or whatever you wish and you’ll still end up with a nice, healthy ice cream.
Most people avoid bananas once they start losing their yellow to dark spots (the signs of ripening). The ‘blotchy’ banana is perfect for smoothies or ice cream however. If you have bananas get a little too ripe, they will taste slightly bitter. Don’t toss them out. These go great in banana cake.
When I was a kid, I remember my mother telling me that I should never eat the seeds or skin of the watermelon because I’d get a really bad tummy ache. A bit of wise advice, no doubt, but also a little misguided.
You see, I don’t doubt that eating the seeds and skin may have been bad for the stomach because trying to digest it would end in a bout of pain at the very least. It’s probably the same as eating an unripe apple… possibly very painful.
Juicing the melon… seeds, skin and all, is a different proposition though. A good juicer will break everything down to a cellular structure, leaving no undigested ‘large bits’ to push their way through to the intestines as solid pieces. Also, all the goodness and nutrition in the skin and the seeds can then be taken into our system with all the ‘hard work’ already done in the digestive process by the juicer.
Some of us grew up enjoying the taste of a juicy slice of rockmelon with white sugar sprinkled all over it. A bit of healthy combined with not-so-healthy.
Well, here’s the perfect way to enjoy your rock melon if you have a juicing machine. First, cut it in half. Next, scrape out all the seeds. Leaving the skin on (washed first, of course), run it through your juicer, skin and all.
It may go against all the rules about not eating the skin of the rock melon, but this is where a lot of the essential nutrients are.
-Special Note- Don’t include the seeds in the juicing. Keep them for the garden to grow new melons next season. The seeds tend to have quite an overpowering flavour and this could spoil the taste of your juice.
Rockmelon seeds can be roasted and eaten as a snack though and are a good protein source.