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Pickled Honeydew And More

Honeydew melon season must be starting as I found them finally reasonably priced the other day in my local grocery store. They’re one of my favourite fruits when I can get one at the peak of ripeness. Sometimes it takes a few days on the counter, but then they’re perfect.

The perfect eye-healthy fruit

One serving of honeydew melon contains 53% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C. They’re also high in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, so altogether a benefit for our eyes. Did you know lutein and zeaxanthin are a help not only for macular degeneration, but also for cataracts? I hadn’t made that connection before now. Studies have found that consuming high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin reduced the need for cataract surgery. The amount used in one of these studies was approximately 6 mg per day.1

Discovering new recipes

So on to one of my new favourite ways to serve honeydew. I discovered this recipe quite by accident. I was preparing a fruit and cheese platter before a family get together. When I cut into the honeydew melon, it was not quite as ripe and sweet as I had hoped. I decided to check on the internet for something to do with the almost ripe melon. The recipe below for pickled honeydew has evolved over time from the original one I found on The Food Network.

Total time: 2 hours | Prep time: 20 min.
Servings: 12

Ingredients for pickled honeydew:

  • 1 ripe honeydew
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar (I sometimes use apple cider vinegar, whatever you have will work)
  • 1/2 cup local honey, or sugar if you prefer, this isn’t an exact recipe.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried mint (to taste) fresh is nicer if you happen to have it on hand
  • 1 tsp dried crushed chilies (to taste)
  • 1 cup water
    You could use any herbs you like and have on hand, these are just the ones I like best. Thyme is another good one.

Directions:

  • Peel and seed the honeydew, cut into chunks and place in a zip lock bag or Mason jar.
  • Bring all the other ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat.
  • Remove from heat. Cool completely.
  • Pour the cooled brine over the melon, seal and chill at least 1 hour.  I like it best if left overnight.
  • Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Additional tips and tricks

I had a couple of slices of prosciutto in the fridge and realized they would go beautifully with the pickled honeydew. After cutting them into smaller strips, I wrapped the melon cubes in them, sprinkled some pecan halves on top and had the perfect eye-healthy appetizer.

Pecans, besides being one of my favourite snacks, are among the top 15 foods with the highest levels of antioxidants. They add a hit of selenium, another huge benefit for our eyes, according to the USDA.

If you’re very frugal like me, when the melon chunks have been devoured, you could use the leftover brine as a marinade for chicken. A few hours to overnight. It gives a bit of a sweet tang. You can then either roll them in your favourite coating and fry them or just dry them off and bake, whichever you prefer. It makes the meat very moist and nicely seasoned.

Hope you enjoy some of my favourites!

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Nutrition facts

Per serving (4)

  • calories: 160
  • carbohydrates: 39.9g
  • fat: 0.1g
  • fiber: 0.7g
  • potassium: 196mg
  • protein: 0.6g
  • sodium: 594mg
  • sugar: 28.4g

Disclaimer: We recognize that some ingredients listed in this recipe may not adhere to some diets or may include allergens for some people. Please feel free to omit or substitute any ingredients that don’t work for you.


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