Sweet gourds that have various cultivars are perfect for eating raw as fruits. Casaba Melon, one of the muskmelon varieties that associates with honeydew, grows well in home gardens.
Then, the species gets the name from Kasaba Turkey, although its native region is Asia Minor.
However, this type of melon is not as sweet as other varieties. Its late ripening process and sensitivity of leaf problems have become the main disadvantages. Even so, it will be a great choice to grow due to the easy care.
Here, this article presents several health benefits and mouthwatering recipes with casaba fruit.
Then, if you are curious about how to cultivate the plant, keep on reading the tips on growing this variety in the garden.
What is a Casaba Melon?
The first time of looking at casaba melon, you will think that it is not similar to other common varieties since the fruit has an unusual appearance.
The outer layer is crinkly with a yellow hue. Besides, this gourd comes with an elongated stem at the top part.
Furthermore, Cucumis melo var inodorus is a member of the winter melon group, similar to cantaloupe.
Nevertheless, casaba melon is not as musky and netting as the rockmelon. It comes with an oval shape with wrinkly rind.
How about casaba melon vs honeydew? Cucumis melo var inodorus contains low-sugar, so it is not as sweet as this green gourd. However, both cultivars belong to the muskmelon.
Although this melon has a similar group to cantaloupe and honeydew, it offers a different taste.
Its flavor closely resembles a cucumber with a mild sweet. Besides, there is also a delicate spiciness from the juicy whitish-yellow flesh.
A Good Selection of Casaba Fruit
To enjoy the best casaba melon taste, consider some features that show its good-quality look.
For example, choose the fruit that is large enough and firm. A rich yellowish-green rind with less softness on the top of the stem is preferable.
When casaba melon starts ripening on the vine, the wrinkly texture will appear on the outer layer and have a waxy surface.
Do not worry about a bleached look that may occur because it will not cause a change in quality.
Moreover, do not pick the fruit that is too solid or soft, green color, and dark flawed. Avoid choosing a product with a remaining rough stem since the harvesting time is too early.
These criteria do not offer good quality melon. Then, you can identify the ripeness by shaking the fruit to hear the seeds make a rattling sound because there is not any fragrant while ripening.
It shows you the vined ripen that contains more sugar levels to be more flavorful.
Casaba Melon Nutrition Info
A casaba melon consists of vitamin B6, C, and K. It also becomes a good source of dietary fiber, folate, copper, and potassium.
Other minerals are magnesium and choline. Meanwhile, sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol are the low contents in this fruit.
Additionally, casaba melon calories are about 48 cal. These amounts per serving come from fat, carbohydrate, and protein.
The fruit contains 9.7 grams of sugar and less than 1 mg of iron, and 19 milligrams of Calcium.
Health Benefits of Casaba Melon
Casaba melon benefits are excellent since this fruit provides antioxidant properties, controls blood pressure, helps to lose weight, and offers diabetic supplements.
The vitamin C that inhibits free radicals will be an immune booster. It fends off heart disease, wounds, inflammation, and cold.
Indeed, most people do not get enough potassium to achieve good health. Thus, they should consume several foods that contain this nutrient like avocados, soybeans, bananas, and casaba melon. You can include this fruit in your daily diet to get its health stead.
More benefits that you will get by consuming this melon are supporting bone and muscle strength, maintaining the brain, kidneys, and other organs.
Besides, they include metabolism improvement, water balance, and stress or anxiety reduction.
How to Grow Casaba Melon Plant
Casaba grows well in dry locations with hot weather as well as other cultivars like Galia, honeydew, and Crenshaw melon. It is because the leaves are prone to diseases if they develop in warm and wet areas.
Therefore, cultivating in moist and cold climates is possible as long as you consider taking the necessary precautions.
Prepare some growing requirements to manage the health problems that may happen due to the high temperatures and wet locations.
Before growing casaba melon plants, you can directly scatter the seeds on the ground.
The best soil condition is well-drained, sufficient light exposure, and at a temperature of 18 degrees Celsius. However, if you prefer a shorter planting season, sowing them indoors is the best option.
You can plant the seedlings in garden beds or containers. Do not forget to add spacing about 45 cm apart. Thinning is necessary when the vines are dense, so each plant is not too close to each other.
Casaba Plant Care
Even though a wet condition may cause some health problems, routine watering is a must.
One proper way to prevent diseases is by covering the topsoil with black plastic mulch. It keeps the ground moist and protects the plant from diseases and rots.
Harvest and Storage
Every type of gourd has a different harvesting technique, and so does casaba melon. Some varieties may slip or disengage after ripening, but you should cut the stem of the ripe fruits when they are nearly at maturity.
The melon continues ripening if you keep the yield at room temperature. This process takes about four days to make the flesh juicier.
Then, the underripe fruit is ready to consume if the blossom end softens. Remember! Do not store them in the fridge.
However, keeping in the fridge is useful for overripe casaba melon. The slicings also should be store at a temperature of about 4 to 7 degrees Celsius.
They can stay fresh for about five days. As the fruit is sensitive to ethylene, separate it with other products that produce this gas.
While storing slicing melon in the fridge, keep the seeds inside the flesh and wrap the fruits or place them in containers for good taste.
Importantly, do not put the product in the freezer since freezing will decrease the flavor and nutrients.
Casaba Fruit Serving Suggestion
Enjoying the vine-ripened casaba melon will be more tasteful. However, you can keep the underripe one on the counter until three days to get ripe. Then, you can serve the fruit.
Preparing to serve the melon is very easy. Start splitting the fruit and spooning the seeds. Peel the rind since it is not edible. You can wrap the remaining portions to keep in the fridge for later use.
A simple way to consume the melon as a snack is by scooping the flesh directly without peeling the skin.
Make sure that you remove the seeds before eating. Then, add a variation by squeezing lemon juice to enrich the flavor.
Delicious Casaba Melon Recipes
Casaba melon is perfect for raw snacks and savory or sweet dishes. Its puree works best for smoothies, soups, sauces, and sorbets.
Pair this low-sugar fruit with chilies, basil, cucumber, coconut milk, curry, and cheese to enhance the taste. Then, use the hard rind as a serving bowl if desired.
Spicy and Cool Melon Soup
This recipe is suitable for your hot summer day. Modify the soup by adding coconut milk for a creamy texture and grated ginger to give a little spiciness.
The first step is preparing the materials. Some ingredients are 900 grams of casaba melon, 177 ml of coconut milk, six teaspoons of lemon juice, 3 tsp of grated ginger, and salt. Then, cut the fruit into small cubes before making a puree.
Pour the cubed melon, lime juice, ginger, coconut milk, and salt into a blender. Blend these ingredients for two minutes to get the puree. Next, put them into a serving bowl. You can add toasted coconut for topping.
Melon Salad with Mint and Lime
You can make a summer fruit salad with four simple ingredients, but it tastes great. Use casaba melon, cucumber, mint leaves, and lime juice. Then, get the cool sensation of this healthy recipe for your dessert dish.
Therefore, enjoy this recipe for the afternoon snack or include the melon salad in your next summer picnic. The delicious and refreshing dish might be a new favorite dessert.
Firstly, peel off the melon’s skin and cut the flesh into 3-cm cubes. Then, dice the cucumber into small pieces. After that, chop the mint leaves finely.
The next step is mixing all ingredients in a large bowl. Marinate them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Now, you can enjoy the salad. The cucumber becomes a perfect addition while pairing with casaba melon.
Also, combining the fruits with lime and mint will enhance their low sugary flavor. Interestingly, trying to create a new recipe with other varieties will taste delicious too.
In conclusion, casaba melon serves less sweetness rather than other sweet gourds, but it contains many nutrients to make you healthy.
Get ready to grow the plant in your home garden and try some tasty recipes from this low-sugar product.