You know I’m a “no waste” kinda gal, right? In fact, juicing gave me a bit of stress until I came up with seven creative solutions to re-purpose the glorious (and expensive) pulp yielded from all of that liquid gold. You can check out that conundrum and its happy ending here. I was also pretty ecstatic when I learned that you can re-grow scallions in your own kitchen with nothing more than a glass of water (read that here). It really doesn’t take much. I’m such a cheap date.
So when I discover yet another way to avoid waste, I feel compelled to shout it from the rooftops (or my equivalent, this blog). What’s all the fuss about, you ask? Cantaloupe seeds, that’s what.
If you’re like most people (present company included, until recently), how do you go from point A (untouched) to point B (sliced and diced) with a cantaloupe? You likely:
Step 1: Slice it down the middle, and then perhaps in quarters.
Step 2: Scoop out the seeds, and toss them (ideally in the compost bin – but I’m not here to judge)
Step 3: Proceed with your preferred slicing technique.
Am I right? Sadly, the seed tossing that takes place in step #2 is the equivalent of throwing out a perfectly good batch of fresh quinoa, as they are loaded with nutrients and health benefits. Who FREAKING knew?!
Check out these awesome health benefits of cantaloupe seeds:
1. Great Source of Protein
For a food that is neither meat or dairy-based, the seeds of the cantaloupe provide an extraordinary source of plant-based protein, a whopping 21%. More good news for vegetarians and vegans! In a study published in the “World Applied Sciences Journal,” researchers found that the protein content in cantaloupe seeds is similar to that of soy milk. Now y’all know I’m not a fan of anything soy (read that rant here), particularly soy milk, but one cannot argue that it is a good source of protein.
2. Good for the Gut
The seeds of the cantaloupe and the “netting” around them are high in fiber. As you know, fiber is key for proper digestion and elimination, and frankly, something I’m kinda obsessed with – but I digress. In addition, the seeds are thought to have the ability to purge excess phlegm and congestion from the body.
3. Vitamin & Mineral-Rich
These glorious seeds are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and E, along with magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. This bodes well for cold and flu season, when our reserves of immune-boosting vitamin C are typically low, as well as the very important magnesium, which regulates blood pressure, cardiovascular function, improves bone density, decreases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and has been used in the treatment of migraines, insomnia, and depression. According to Mark Hyman, MD, up to half of Americans are deficient in magnesium and don’t realize it.
I’m Saving My Seeds, Now What?
I’d like to say that the possibilities of cantaloupe seed consumption are endless, but that’s just a big fat lie. You’ve pretty much got three options:
1. Consume them raw.
2. Roast them in the oven to snack on. Honestly, this is kind of a pain in the arse – with all of the aforementioned “netting” around the seeds, getting the seeds separated enough to roast is a part-time job that this busy mama doesn’t have the patience for. But if you do, have at it. Here’s a nice tutorial to get you on your way.
3. Toss them into a smoothie. This is my preferred consumption method. It’s super easy, and with my BFF, the Vitamix, it gets the job done so the end result is smooth as silk, and I’m not walking around with seeds in my teeth. The seeds make a great addition to just about any fruit or greens-based smoothie, with the exception of chocolate. That’s not a combo I’m ready to dive into.
What are some pleasant “no waste” surprises that you’ve stumbled upon? I’d LOVE to hear! Please leave a comment.