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What’s in Season – Florida Cantaloupe

June 2, 2011

Florida cantaloupe is harvested primarily from March through July, and is grown down the middle of the state and in the Panhandle. The orange flesh of a cantaloupe has a perfumey fragrance and a sweet taste. It’s texture is firm enough to hold it’s own in salads and other dishes, but is also easy to blend into smoothies and sorbets. No matter how you eat it, though, it is refreshing!

According to the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory, 1 cup of cantaloupe cubes has only 54 calories, 1.4 grams of fiber, 5411 IUs of vitamin A, and 3232 micrograms of beta carotene.

While there are many ways to enjoy Florida cantaloupe, this Cantaloupe with Chicken Salad recipe sounds divine. (FYI – the chicken, celery, blueberries and pecans are also Florida items that you can find in stores!)

Cantaloupe with Chicken Salad
2 cups chicken cooked, shredded
2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
1 cup celery, sliced
1 cup green grapes seedless, halved
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
3 cantaloupes, halved and seeded
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice fresh
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest grated
1 1/2 teaspoons natural sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger root, ground
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine chicken, blueberries, celery, grapes and pecans. In a small bowl, mix dressing ingredients. Pour over the chicken mixture and toss gently. Spoon into cantaloupe halves.Yield
6 servings


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