Turning Blah Melons into Amazing Dishes

Enjoying a cantaloupe slushie while working

After I lugged home two heavy melons from the nearest city on my recent frugal grocery shop, you would think they'd have the decency to actually taste good, but unfortunately both my watermelon and my canteloupe would best be described as "eh". They weren't bad, per se, they didn't taste gross or anything like that, they just didn't taste particularly yummy. They were lacking any oomph. Their flavor was mild and bland. The best descriptive word I could come up with to describe my melons is insipid. They were just sitting in my fridge, without anyone particularly wanting to eat them, since they didn't give the flavor satisfaction that you'd usually expect to have when eating watermelon.

But I don't want to just throw out food that isn't spoiled. So I tried to see what would make my watermelon and my cantaloupe taste good.

I thought the perfect solution for my watermelon would be in tomato watermelon salad, because that isn't expected to taste like regular watermelon, the flavor is supposed to be sweet, sour, salty, etc... and I thought maybe the tomatoes and vinegar and spices would add the oomph that the watermelon lacked. 

Unfortunately that was a dud, because the tomatoes were also not as flavorful as they typically are. The whole thing was a bland affair. I tried adding more vinegar, more salt, some sugar, but nothing really made it taste great. It was ok to eat, but again nothing actually satiating.

I almost despaired of finding a good solution to my watermelon (since the tomato watermelon salad only used up less than a quarter of my watermelon), but then I thought about tomato watermelon gazpacho. I based mine off this recipe while adding tomatoes to it. At first it, too, was a little bland, but with enough garlic, salt, and wine vinegar, it ended up tasting wonderful. My son had bowl after bowl of it, so that was a great hit.

With the last half of my watermelon I decided to try another tactic. My kids absolutely adore slushies and always want to go buy some at our local store, but, though cheap, they aren't exactly what I'd call nutritious. I decided to make some watermelon slushies, and it was quite easy! 

I chopped up the watermelon into smallish pieces, put it together with lemon juice, sugar, and mint into my high powered blender together with a large amount of ice. I used the tamper to push down the melon and ice, and in less than a minute I had the most amazing slushies. The entire family enjoyed them and I was in summer heaven. It was legitimately the perfect transformation from bland and flavorless fruit to a terrific treat.

Once I saw how amazing the watermelon slushies were, I decided to do the same with my bland cantaloupe. 

This time, instead of making mine with mint, I first blended up the cantaloupe with lemon, sugar and ice cubes, and tasted it to see how it was. While these slushies were pretty good, I wanted to make it even more awesome, and decided to spice them up by adding a little bit of fresh ginger. This took the dish from being wonderful to stupendous.

I'm so glad I found ways to use up my less than perfect fruit. Yes, we can eat something that isn't appealing because we don't want to throw it out, but we aren't garbage cans, and we deserve to eat food we enjoy and not just shove things down our throat to "not waste money". Finding a solution to my melon problem allowed me to not waste money but also respect my body and myself by sticking to eating food that I enjoy.

What do you do when you have melons that aren't so tasty? Do any of these ideas sound like things you'd try?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. I usually just eat them...but watermelon gazpacho sounds delicious right now. Off to the grocery store I go. I think they're still cheap here. Watermelons, not grocery stores.

  2. Those smoothies sound amazing! I would definitely try them.

  3. That's awesome! I'm so glad you found recipes from the melons that your family enjoyed. Good job on the perseverance! :)

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