Why You Should Stop Throwing Out Those Melon Seeds

I was creating new recipes earlier today when my husband, Curtis, came into the kitchen and said “Wow, you’re making…(hesitation)…some kind of liquid.” After some laughter I explained that I was making a cantaloupe seed juice. At one time Curtis might have raised an eyebrow at my crazy kitchen concoctions, but he enjoys the culinary benefits of having a professional-recipe-developing-wife.

Today, I was making cantaloupe seed juice because cantaloupe seeds are highly nutritious and the seed juice tastes good on its own but quickly becomes even more delicious with a few simple additions. So, before you throw out those melon seeds, let me share with you some of their amazing nutritional benefits:

Cantaloupe and Honeydew Seeds

People in China and the Middle East have been snacking on roasted cantaloupe seeds for centuries, which is a good idea considering they are highly nutritious. Cantaloupe and honeydew melon seeds have a similar nutritional profile: they are rich in vitamins A, B6, B12, D, E, K, niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), thiamine (B1), pantothenic acid (B5) as well as choline. They are also high in the minerals calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc. And that’s not all: only 100 grams of cantaloupe seeds contains a whopping 21 grams of protein. That’s almost identical to the same portion of fish, which has about 22 grams of protein. By comparison, a 4 ounce burger has 28 grams of protein. Yet, few people think of cantaloupe seeds when they think protein.

How to Make Cantaloupe or Honeydew Melon Seed Juice

Cut a cantaloupe in half. Scoop out the seeds and flesh, then add to a blender and add water. I use 4 cups of water with the seeds of two medium-sized melons. Blend on high until the seeds are well ground and pour into a nut milk straining bag (available from most health food stores) or a cheese-cloth lined strainer over a pitcher to collect the juice. Pour the juice over ice or use as a liquid base for your favorite smoothies. The seed juice works especially well with fresh or frozen strawberries.

How to Roast Cantaloupe Seeds

Cut a cantaloupe in half. Scoop out the seeds and flesh. Pull the seeds from the flesh. Don’t worry about perfection here as rinsing and baking will remove some of the flesh as well. Rinse in a strainer under cold water. In a small bowl, combine the seeds with a splash of olive oil and a dash of sea salt. You can use other seasonings if you’d like. Spread the seeds on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with foil and bake in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Check periodically to prevent them from burning. They are chewier than roasted pumpkin seeds but are still delicious. Alternatively, wait until the seeds cool and then grind them in a coffee grinder. Serve on top of soups, sandwiches, stews or curries.

Watermelon Seeds

Like cantaloupe and honeydew melons, watermelon seeds are also edible. Roasted watermelon seeds are found in Middle Eastern diets. Watermelon seeds are high in B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.

How to Roast Watermelon Seeds

Save the black watermelon seeds only. Rinse them and spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt. Allow to dry prior to baking for best results. Bake in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Enjoy!

There’s no need to throw away those melon seeds when you can turn them into delicious snacks and a juice that makes a great base for smoothies.

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