Melon Mania!

by Kathy Hamlin, RD, LD

On July 28, Hy-Vee Crossroads dietitian Kathy held melon sampling in the produce aisle.  A variety of melons were sampled along with a few fun facts about each melon:

Santa Claus melon

This melon is green and gold to bright yellow-striped and somewhat resembles a small watermelon. Inside is a mellow and mildly flavored flesh very similar to that of a honeydew. The ripest Santa Claus melon will have soft blossom ends that yield to gentle pressure and a vibrant yellow hue. Because of its thick skin, this melon does not release a tell-tale aroma when ripe.

This melon was named for its long-keeping qualities, i.e., “until Christmas.”

Hami melon

This melon is referred to as the Chinese Hami melon or the snow melon. The outer color is generally white through pink or yellow through green. The inside flesh is sweet and crisp and taste is similar to cantaloupe. It has sweet/crisp flesh and can be frozen for later use in desserts and the seeds can be roasted.

Canary melon

This melon has a sweet flavor that is slightly tangier than a honeydew melon. The flesh looks like that of a pear but is softer and tastes a little like a cantaloupe. When ripe, the rind has a slightly waxy feel.  It is an excellent source of fiber: 10 grams per ½ cup serving.  It pairs well with citrus or ginger flavors and it makes a good cold soup.

The name comes from its bright yellow color, which resembles that of the canary

Golden Dewlicious melon

This melon is a hybrid honeydew with crisp white flesh that is juicy, sweet and consists of 90% water. It’s indicator of ripeness is its faint aroma and slight opening at blossom end.

Traditional honeydew melons look the same whether they are ripe or not. Dewlicious melons gradually start to turn a golden yellow 8 to 10 days before maturity in the field. The change in color provides growers an indication of when to pick the melon at peak ripeness, taking out the guesswork for the grower as well as the consumer and providing a consistently delicious flavor experience.

Kathy Hamlin, RD, LD is your Rochester Hy-Vee South registered dietitian.  She grew up in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  She completed her dietetic internship at St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Center (now Regions Hospital) in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Kathy has worked in various areas of clinical nutrition, including at Mayo Clinic, and the majority of her career spent working in school nutrition.  In her free time, she enjoys being active outdoors, gardening, cooking and spending time with family. She is passionate about food and nutrition and helping people live a healthier and happier life! For more posts from Kathy, click HERE.

Beat the Heat! Quick Tips on Staying Hydrated

by Zach Shivers, Dietetic Intern

Plain water is the best choice for hydrating yourself. Listening to your body cues is important. Be mindful to drink water when you are thirsty; if you are thirsty you are already dehydrated. In order to combat this, carry around a refillable water bottle wherever you go and drink water frequently throughout the day.

Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Hunger
  • Headache
  • Skin tenting

If you are tired of just plain water, change it up by adding ice, fruit, mint or a flavoring agent such as Crystal Light. Most people need 8 to 10 cups of water per day, which is 64 ounces or 2 liters. Some water bottles include a tracker for how many times you have refilled them.

All fluids count toward your hydration goal. Other hydrating sources include iced tea, sparkling water, milk, 100% fruit juice, popsicles and gelatin. All fruits and vegetables contain water, which further helps to keep you hydrated, so eat lots of fruits and veggies!

One method of quickly assessing your hydration is to check the color of your urine; light yellow to clear means you are hydrated. If your urine is darker than light yellow, this means you should drink more water. Another method of assessing your hydration is to weigh yourself before and immediately after physical activity. A good rule of thumb is that for every pound you lose, drink at least 2 cups of water

Lastly, remember to keep your water on ICE – In-Sight, Convenient and Everywhere!