While preparing to write the original Horned Melon/Cucumis metuliferus article ( http://garden.org/ideas/view/g... ), I ate the green "jelly" part of the fruit and spat out the seeds. One Horned Melon gave me a single serving of fruit and some seeds. That's all. No more. Unless you count what I tossed into the compost bin. There was so much wasted that I simply did not "see" as food.
My friend Plant Sister, who lives in southeast Asia, thought my article could have been more complete. She shared with me what she had learned from her mother. Plant Sister wrote the instructions for this article and provided photos and original drawings; I did the editing, adding three photos and a few comments, and I learned a lot in the process!
From a single Horned Melon fruit, Plant Sister can get:
One small bottle of the green Horned Melon juice (approximately 30% juice/70%water),
One small cup of green Horned Melon "jelly,"
One tablespoon of orange Horned Melon "meat,"
Seeds... "for sharing with people who love to grow their own food,"
Horned Melon Peel, to be dried and later used as tea.
Plant Sister thought it would be good to explain how to utilize the many parts of the Horned Melon so that more people could learn how useful this fruit is.
"Thank you for letting me have a chance to tell you my experience with the method. I took the fruit in my hand and ...did it step by step by each step...learning by doing."
---Use scissors to cut each tip of the sharp horn of the Horned Melon as my drawing shows. Please cut only the hard horn at the tip of each horn to avoid getting jabbed with the sharp points.
---Wash the Horned Melon in a salt solution (about 1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in 3 cups of water). Do not rinse.
---Let air dry.
---Cut the fruit, scoop out the green jelly and seeds; each seed is inside a sac.
---Place a colander into a bowl.
---Put the green seed sacs into the colander.
---Prepare 60 ml. water. Please use water that has been boiled and allowed to cool to room temperature.
---Pour the water onto the seed sacs. Using a teaspoon, "stir lightly but quickly to separate the seeds from the sacs."
---Reserve the water and use this water to repeat the sieving process again and again until the seeds have separated from the sacs.
---After the last sieving, save the water, which will be approximately a 30%/70% Horned Melon juice/water mixture.
---Remove everything from the colander.
Once the seeds and the green sacs/solids/jelly are separated, place each part in a cup: seeds in one cup, solids in another cup.
"Now we have one amount of the seeds and one amount of green sacs/solids/jelly each in a small cup."
Here is a bowl of the green "jelly" after the seeds have been removed.
When I was preparing my Horned Melon, that was my stopping point.
Plant Sister takes this a bit further, obtaining more food from the single fruit. She has kindly included her own drawings to show the process.
---Use a tablespoon to scrape the orange-colored "meat" from inside the peel/rind as the photo shows.
The Horned Melon meat is mixed with the water and some coconut sugar and a bit of salt are added.
Plant Sister says: "It had a sweet smell of the coconut sugar."
---Using scissors, cut the outer peel of the Horned Melon fruit into julienne strips. Allow to dry for later use as tea.
"This is the photo of the dried sliced peel, which we can use for tea".
"I am very happy I can tell the method to other people. This method will be useful to them, and greene's article about the Horned Melon will be more complete. Thank you for letting me have a chance to tell you my experience with the method. Please have a good day today. I hope you like 'all' the Horned Melon today!"
Plant Sister's mother, who is over 90 years of age, will be smiling today, knowing that more people have learned not to let food go to waste.
Photos, instructions and original drawings by Plant Sister.
Photos by greene: Horns, Pulp with seeds, Seed in Sac.
Edited by greene.