Honeydew makes August worthwhile

EATING WELL

August 17, 1993|By Colleen Pierre, R.D. | Colleen Pierre, R.D.,Contributing Writer

August is a lot like February. It's one of those months you just get through. Summer's not quite over, but the thrill is gone. School hasn't started yet, but it's on your mind. And there are no official holidays.

For me, August has one saving grace. Honeydew melons. True, lots of other summer fruits peak now, but none reach honeydew's flavor perfection.

August honeydews are creamy yellow on the outside and so fragrant they tantalize as you walk by. The flesh is medium green, unbelievably sweet and so succulent the juice drips off your chin.

Through the miracles of modern transportation, refrigeration and forced harvesting, honeydew melons are available year-round. But let's face it, most of the time they're barely green, crisp like apples, slightly sweet and fragrance-free.

While they add color and variety to fruit buffets, they're in the same league with winter tomatoes. They just don't cut it.

Nutritionally, honeydews are nat-urally fat free and low in sodium. They provide only 60 calories per cup, along with two-thirds of the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C. But who cares?

If August honeydews weren't so good for you, they'd be considered sinful revelry. They'll really satisfy your sweet tooth.

August is definitely "good and plenty" month when it comes to other fresh fruit as well. Take a look at the luscious offerings at your grocery store or roadside stands.

Find the brightest and the best. Then let aroma be your guide. When fully ripe, each fruit should tempt you with its signature fragrance.

Hand-held fruits make irresistible snacks when displayed in attractive baskets.

Melons take a little extra work.

No one at my house would ever bother to cut a melon. Left whole, they sit for weeks. But if I cut and seed them, and especially if I remove the rind, they disappear like magic.

So tempt your gang with a confetti-colored fruit salad. Grate some lime peel into fat free vanilla yogurt for a surprisingly simple yet complimentary sauce.

August is a great time to indulge in healthy habits like eating two to four servings of fruit a day. Summer's bounty makes it pure pleasure. Good, not just good for you.

Colleen Pierre, a registered dietitian, is the nutrition consultant to the Union Memorial Sports Medicine Center in Baltimore.

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