CREAMY CANTALOUPE SMOOTHIE (raw-vegan)
As the weather gets warmer, I am seeing some pretty tasty fruits available. Although I can get cantaloupe pretty much year round here, I can always tell when it is truly in season. The succulent flesh of the cantaloupe is not only beautiful to look at but the taste in divine! Back in the early nineties I was fortunate enough to live next to an old farmer. He grew all of his own organic produce and would sell it on the roadside. I would buy fruit and veggies from him on a weekly basis. Not only did he supply me with fresh organic produce, each time I saw him he would give me a new tip on picking the ripest item. Because cantaloupe is one of those fruits that needs to be ripe for the best flavor, he gave me a couple of tricks…
- be sure the skin is dry and has good texture (can see lots of veins)
- no dark blemishes or soft spots
- the whole fruit is firm when gently squeezed
- scratch the button and smell it… it should smell like sweet cantaloupe, almost floral
If you can not find a perfectly ripe cantaloupe then get one that at least has the first 3 items on the list. Bring it home and place in a large brown paper bag, roll tightly down on set out at room temperature in 24 hour increments. Check the smell of it every 12 hours. Now that you have a perfectly ripe cantaloupe, what do you do with it? There are many recipes I have for cantaloupe but this one is one of my favorites…how about a CREAMY CANTALOUPE SMOOTHIE? This smoothie is a great way to start your day and is a hit at Sunday brunch too. This smoothie is full of nutrients and vitamins to kick start even the sleepy and makes a great alternative to sugary alcoholic drinks at any party. So next time you see a cantaloupe in the market, start seeking out a ripe one, bring it home and enjoy!!
A CHEF’S TIP: be sure to use the ripest organic ingredients and using mature coconut milk will give it the creamiest flavor. I like to open my own mature coconut for the freshest milk.
SERVES 1 LARGE SMOOTHIE or 2 SMALL SMOOTHIES (multiply accordingly)
1/2 cup ice
1 cup fresh mature organic coconut milk
1 1/2 cup fresh ripe organic cantaloupe, small chunked
1 medium ripe organic banana, quarter
In a blender, blend the ice and coconut milk on high for 1 minute. Add the cantaloupe chunks in and blend on high for another minute. Add the banana chunks and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Pour in your serving glass(s) and enjoy immediately.