Melon Mania

Nothing screams summer and the Fourth of July like melons. Melons make for a refreshing and lower-calorie treat this time of year. Folic acid, potassium, vitamin C and fiber are just a few of the nutrients found in a variety of melons. Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian, Jen Haugen, will demonstrate to your audience how to choose a good melon, make a tasty, cool treat and discover the health benefits of melons.



Smell the cantaloupe. If it doesn’t have a smell, it likely 

doesn’t have a taste either. You want a musky sweet smell.

Touch the cantaloupe. You want the skin to give a little, but

not feel mushy. Cantaloupe are high in beta-carotene and 

vitamin C.


This melon should have a golden color; brownish freckling is fine

and indicates a very sweet melon. Honeydew should have a 

sweet smell. Excellent source of vitamin C.


Look for the “yellow belly”- a flatter yellowish spot, which 

Indicates it sat on the vine to ripen. Watermelon is an excellent 

source of vitamins A and C, as well as high in antioxidants.

All tropical fruits are a good source of fiber.  Fiber 

helps one feel full longer and less likely to overeat.

High-fiber foods may be beneficial for lowering the risk 

for diabetes, heart disease and maintaining a healthy


Watermelon Cooler

Serves 3-4

This watermelon cooler is a refreshing drink for a hot summer day. 

All you need:

  • 4 cups seeded watermelon cubes
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar 

All you do:

  1. Place 2 cups of the watermelon and the ice cubes in a blender and pulse until a chunky mixture forms. 
  2. Add the remaining 2 cups of watermelon, lime juice and sugar. Blend until frothy.  Serve immediately.      


Source: Cooking With Kids


Melon & Chicken Pasta Salad

Makes: 6 servings (1 1/3 cups each)


All You Need:


  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup low-fat buttermilk
  • ¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp. chopped, fresh tarragon, or 1 tbsp. dried
  • 1 tbsp. Hy-Vee distilled white vinegar

Pasta Salad:

  • 8 ounces (about 3 cups) whole-wheat bowtie pasta
  • 2 cups cubed cantaloupe or honeydew melon
  • 2 cups thinly sliced baby spinach
  • 2 cups cubed or shredded cooked chicken
  • ¼ cup Hy-Vee dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup (about 3 ounces) chopped prosciutto
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

All You Do:

  1. To prepare dressing, mash garlic and salt in a medium bowl with the back of a spoon into a chunky paste. Add the buttermilk, mayonnaise, tarragon, and vinegar; whisk until combined.
  2. To prepare pasta salad, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water, according to package directions. Drain, transfer to a large bowl, and let cool. Add melon, spinach, chicken, cranberries, prosciutto, pepper and the dressing; toss to coat. 
  3. To make ahead, cover and refrigerate, undressed, for up to 1 day. Toss with dressing about 1 hour before serving. 

Nutrition Facts per Serving:
294 calories; 6 g fat (2 g sat, 1 g mono); 54 mg cholesterol; 633 mg sodium; 38 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 3 g added sugars; 25 g protein




Jen Haugen represents Hy-Vee as a nutrition expert promoting healthy eating throughout the community.  Jen  is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.



Photo: ABC 6 News