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What’s in Season: Cantaloupe Creamsicle

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Cantaloupe Creamsicle on www.virginiawillis.com

Summer Melon

Cantaloupe responds well to hot summer heat and is currently in high season across much of the US. Generally, this time of year we keep cantaloupe freshly cut and cubed in a container in the fridge. Cantaloupe is one of those fruits that is always found in the prepared foods case in the produce department — but it’s so often dull and pretty boring. However, in the heat of mid-August ripe cantaloupe is luscious with tangy juices. If we’re not eating it fresh, I will pop it into the blender to make a smoothie. I’ll often add yogurt, maybe a bit of mint and a handful of blueberries or so. The other day as I was making our breakfast smoothie it occurred to me that it would make a fantastic popsicle.

Cantaloupe Creamsicle on www.virginiawillis.com

Grassfed Cow’s Milk Yogurt

We’ve been experimenting with the variety of different yogurts. Our go-to is Greek 2% or Icelandic 0%, but I also wanted to try some of the local, grassfed yogurts, as well. One regional yogurt was buttery and flavorful, but more like a sippable drink. I’ve found the Stonyfield Grassfed plain yogurt to be rich, thick, and full of flavor. I combined the cantaloupe puree with the zest of an orange to bring out the familiar creamsicle flavor then added a cup of yogurt, a bit of honey, scraped vanilla bean, and a pinch of salt.

Cantaloupe Creamsicle on www.virginiawillis.com

Popsicles and Pop

I’ve got a stash of popsicle molds for summer, but you could always simply use ice cube trays with toothpicks. We’ve been drinking a great deal of mocktails (non-alcoholic specialty beverages) so I also wanted to try the cubes as a base for a sparkling Italian cream soda.

Cantaloupe Creamsicle on www.virginiawillis.com

Pure Puree

Simply puree the fruit, pour it in the molds, and pop the mixture into the freezer until they are frozen. Homemade pureed fruit mixtures are so much better — and way cheaper — than buying pre-made frozen pops filled with sugar and artificial colors and sweeteners. If you don’t have any molds you can generally find them at a dollar store. Better yet — in  a few weeks they will all be marked down for the end of summer sale. You can stock up for next year!

Cantaloupe Creamsicle on www.virginiawillis.com

Cantaloupe Creamsicle Italian Soda

The Cantaloupe Creamsicle with sparkling Italian soda is bright and refreshing with just a hint of sweetness. One caveat — when the cubes start to melt the yogurt looks a bit funny, so give the soda a stir. Once it’s stirred together, you’re good to go. So head on out to your “bella veranda” and buon appetito, y’all.

Bon Appetit, Y’all!

Virginia Willis

Cantaloupe Creamsicle on www.virginiawillis.com

Cantaloupe Creamsicle

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack, treat
Cuisine: American, Southern
Servings: 8
Author: Virginia Willis

Ingredients

  • 1 cantaloupe peeled and cubed
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup grassfed yogurt
  • 1/2 vanilla bean seeds scraped
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 orange zested

Instructions

  • Place cantaloupe cubes, honey, yogurt, vanilla, salt, and orange zest in the jar of a blender. Puree until smooth. Pour into molds or ice trays. Freeze until firm. Serve ice cold. Enjoy! 

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Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis’ biography includes making chocolate chip cookies with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, foraging for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvesting capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and hunting for truffles in France. She is talent and chef-instructor for the digital streaming platform Food Network Kitchen. Her segments feature authentic and innovative Southern cooking. She was the celebrity chef at the Mansion at Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Virginia has spoken at SXSW, cooked for the James Beard Foundation, and beguiled celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Morgan Freeman, and Jane Fonda with her cooking — but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. Recently, her work has been inspired by her weight loss success story, Virginia has lost 65# and kept it off for over 1 1/2 years! “If a French-trained, Southern chef can do it, you can, too.” She is the author of Fresh Start; Secrets of the Southern Table; Lighten Up, Y’all; Bon Appétit, Y’all; Basic to Brilliant, Y’all; Okra; and Grits. Lighten Up, Y’all won a James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence in the Focus on Health Category. Lighten Up, Y’all as well as her first cookbook, Bon Appétit, Y’all, were finalists in the Best American Cookbook for the International Association of Cookbook Awards and were also named by the Georgia Center of the Book as “Books Georgians Should Read.” She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree; has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; and traveled the world producing food stories – from making cheese in California to escargot farming in France. She has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She’s been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People Magazine, Eater, and Food52 and has contributed to Eating Well, GRLSQUASH, Culture, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit, and more. The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.” Her legion of fans loves her down-to-earth attitude, approachable spirit, and traveling exploits. Her culinary consulting company, Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc specializes in content creation, recipe development, culinary editorial and production services, cookbook writing, media training, spokesperson and brand representation, and public speaking. Virginia is on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Atlanta Community Food Bank Advisory Board, as well as the Community Farmers Market Advisory Board. She is a food and hunger advocate for No Kid Hungry and a premier member of the No Kid Hungry Atlanta Society. She a member of The James Beard Foundation, Chef’s Collaborative, Georgia Organics, and Southern Foodways Alliance.

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