The Grow System
We have a bumper crop of cantaloupes, honeydews, and watermelons. I'm considering freezing them for winter smoothies. Is that a good idea or should I do something else?
Try dehydrating some. You could add them to teas.
Of course, my first instinct would be to gorge on them at every opportunity.
Most melons can easily be frozen. Just cut into chunks, put on a towel to a absorb excess liquid, put on cookie sheet, freeze. When frozen place in container. They are great to eat half frozen or to put into smoothies. You can also float them on Sangria or a fruit punch instead of using ice cubes.
Call me. I will come visit! ;) Those would not last long in our house.
As far as watermelons, I have to ask my husband about those. I thought there was an old time way to preserve the whole thing...but I could be mistaken.
I have made a barbeque sauce with watermelon. The original recipe was more like a marinade, so I changed it into something I liked. I would cut down the honey & molasses that I originally added. It is too sweet for my tastes now. Popsicles with blueberries (or freeze juices in ice cube trays), & watermelon lemonade are two more ideas.
Learn to juggle?
Agua Fresa is another great way to use melons (and are watermelon margaritas--you can infuse the tequila with watermelon). It creates a cool refreshing moment during our hot summer days!
I googled melon recipes and found this.
freezing melons has been covered in detail above, but you can also...
make melon sorbet
make melon ice cream (one year that was crowding the freezer)
and there's always the Roll in Proscuitto (or other cured, thinly sliced ham).
I had more cantaloupe at one time so I chunked it and put it in two freezer bags. I'd not heard of that but thought it was worth a try. They are nice to use in various ways but I thought smoothies at a later date would be good. I confess, however, that I have already gotten into one bag to thaw a bit and then eat 🤭
Thank you, @shllnzl . How would you add dehydrated melon to teas? As a sweetener? That's a cool idea.
We have been gorging on them, but that has gotten old since some of us do not feel good with that much sugar in our systems.
Brilliant @OhiohillsLouise ! I love the idea of using them as icecubes! That is pretty, yummy, and healthy all in one. :)
I would love to have you come visit, @LaurieLovesLearning! The idea of popsicles or icecubes with blueberries sounds good, and watermelon lemonade is a cool idea. Thank you!
@Annie Kate I bought some loose tea from Natural Grocers that has dehydrated apple, carrots, melon pieces and beet. It tastes fruity and is good, but I will brew next time with either loose black or green tea to give it a bit more body. It does not require sweetener.
@Annie Kate Its been a while since I have had enough extra watermelon to do this. I think we put in a little lemon juice & sugar too. I imagine you could figure out how to put honey instead.
I think that I looked up watermelon recipes. That yielded very interesting results.
@COWLOVINGIRL All that my dad needed was a scoop of watermelon in a cantaloupe half. "Food for the gods!" Is what he always said. It was one of his favorites.
I enjoy it too, but can't be that indulgent. I have to share with too many household members somehow. 🤔
If you haven't tried dehydrated watermelon, I highly recommend giving it a try.
I cut melons up and freeze them to use them later to make Kombuchas. Watermelon makes very fizzy Kombucha all on its own. The other melons need some help - grapes, pomegranates, dragon fruit will give them a nice fizz.
@Annie Kate 1 agree with @Ruth Ann Reyes about dehydrated watermelon. Also consider dehydrating some of the other melons as well. It takes awhile to dry melons, especially watermelon, but they are wonderful sweet treats. If you do try drying the melons, leave a fairly thick slice of the watermelon, like about an inch, because there won't be much left when you take the 90% water out of it.
I'll have to remember that! I make kombucha!
We've been laughing about the juggling idea, @Acequiamadre! 😊 Hilarious!
I had to look up Agua Fresa, LOL, and it sounds good. Thank you.
Thank you @COWLOVINGIRL! It never occurred to me to google it. Duh!
I've checked out the recipes in those posts--lots of great ideas. We're going on a trip but when we get back I hope to try a melon mouse based on the watermelon pie recipe. (We have food issues and tend to adjust most recipes.) So, thank you very, very much.
That looks like a good tea, @shllnzl. Was it only the fruits and veggies and is that why you will add green or black loose tea? I'd never thought of making my own fancy teas, but you've given me an idea because we grow all of those ingredients except the tea!
I love the idea of melon ice cream. The melon is so sweet you wouldn't even need sugar. Thank you @Ferg, and I'd also not thought of using it with meats. Yum.
I've been chunking mine because I'm in a time bind right now @seeker.nancy - Central Texas. That is quick and easy for when I am in a rush. I was only going to use it in smoothies, but if they taste great nibbled out of the freezer, I'm game. I wonder if they would be good dipped in dark chocolate?
I've tried Kombucha with sugar and it was too sweet. I'm wondering if making it with watermelon would have the same issue. It's worth a try and I thank you for the suggestion @kbmbillups1 .
Thank you for the dehydration tip, @tomandcara and for the encouragement to try dehydrating @Ruth Ann Reyes. It seemed like too much work at first but if it's really that good, I will try it.
@Annie Kate A long time ago someone mentioned 'spiking the watermelon' with your fav...spirits..lol
I wonder what watermelon sherbert or icecream would taste like? A very good drink with lime and mint poss?
@Annie Kate I've found that if I forget the sugar when making the tea to ferment my scoby stays at the bottom. Luckily, I figured out that I'd left it out and was able to add it. My kombucha isn't very sweet. My scobbies feed on the sugar so it's not that sweet.The 2nd ferment with the watermelon or whatever fruit adds the sweetness.
@Annie Kate isn't everything better dipped in chocolate? 😂
I third the melon dehydration or as fruit leather.
Also, baking and snacking on the seeds 😜
hmmm, watermelon soda/syrup?
@Annie Kate Yes the "tea" is only fruits and vegetables. It might be a good way to get kids to drink something warm. I, however, prefer some body to my drinks so will add some plain loose leaf tea to the mix for flavor. I don't know yet whether it will be caffeinated.
@silvertipgrizz watermelon ice cream tastes very ... watermelon. We made waaaaaaayyyy too much of it, though, after the sixth or seventh gallon we all had watermelon ice cream overload <^;
and of course, chocolate over watermelon, or any melon, works. It's served at fancy places with the chocolate fountain LOL.
Or dipped in Fondue. Chocolate, custard, white chocolate fondue is nice with melon. But also, a good cheese fondue is good with melons and sour apples!
@Annie Kate Keep us posted if you do dehydrate your melons. I have never dehydrated cantaloupe, but I am thinking it should be very good