A fruit with stubby spikes, horned melon is an exotic fruit type that originated in Africa. After going through this article on horned melon nutrition, you will surely love to include this spiky fruit as a part of your regular diet.
Horned melon is one of the least known tropical fruits in western countries. This strange looking fruit is known by different names - African horned melon, kiwano, melano, blowfish fruit, English tomato, hedged gourd or jelly melon. Basically originated in Africa, today this fruit is cultivated in several parts of Australia, New Zealand and California. It is available throughout the year, and shares the same taxonomic family (Cucurbitaceae) with other melons and cucumber. In terms of horned melon nutrition, it provides low calories and nearly the same nutrients as other melons.
Horned Melon Description
A mature horned melon weighs less than a pound, and is consumed as a daily nutritional supplement by melon lovers. At one glance, you can identify kiwano from its characteristic appearance. The golden yellow or bright orange colored skin is impregnated with horn like, spiky projections. Inside the skin, encloses a lime green colored, jelly-like flesh, in which white seeds are studded evenly (similar to that of a cucumber). Truly speaking, a horned melon looks more like a large cucumber, except for the spikes. Its taste is described as both sweet and tart with banana-lime flavor.
Horned Melon Nutritional Facts
This cucumber-like melon contains low calories and low carbohydrates. You will find African horned melon in the exotic fruits section of your local supermarket. A ripe kiwano is brighter and tastes sweeter than an unripe one. Hence, you should have a good eye to select ripe melons only. Being a tropical fruit, they get spoiled very soon at low temperatures. So, avoid keeping them in the refrigerator. Rather store them in room temperature, and they will remain for 1 month and more. For your reference, nutritional values of horned melons are presented below.
The calorie content of horned melon is relatively less, making it an excellent choice for people who are cautious about their daily calorie intake. You will be glad to know that serving 100 g of this melon yields just 25 calories. All these calories come from carbohydrates and fiber, and there are no fats. The best part is, horned melon gives a satiation feeling, and helps dieters in curbing their appetite. So, you can devour this low calorie fruit in between meals, instead of snacking high calorie foods.
Serving a ripe fruit weighing 100 g yields 1 g of dietary fiber and 1 g of protein. The total carbohydrate content in the same serving amount is 3 g, which is comparatively lower than other starchy melons. What's more, studies state that 100 g of this fruit is sufficient to provide 40 percent of the daily vitamin C requirement according to the 2000 calorie diet plan. This banana and lemon flavored melon is a rich source of vitamin A, iron and calcium.
Thus, besides the low calorie tag, horned melon is good for providing dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. The good point for consuming this fruit is, absence of sodium, saturated fats and cholesterol. Despite the horned melon nutrition and its yearlong availability, many people feel hesitant to add it in the daily diet. The reasons may be because of the spikes and presence of large seeds throughout the flesh. These seeds are edible and there is no need to remove them. Remember that ingesting melon seeds is a simple approach to reap the nutritional benefits of iron.
As for eating horned melon, simply halve it and enjoy the flesh directly from the shell by using a spoon. Or else, scoop out the melon flesh and add it in mixed fruit salads. For serving children, try a simple horned melon recipe by adding sugar to the jelly-like flesh. They will surely love having it. What about serving it as a garnish for meaty dishes? In short, the options for serving this melon are many. Also, the bright colored shell can be used for serving ice cream and salads in a decorative way.