Did you know that you can eat rockmelon (a.k.a. cantaloupe) seeds? I didn’t until I started searching for inspiration for my upcoming fruit recipe book. While obviously rockmelon seeds come from fruit, I decided to not include them in the fruit book for they themselves are neither fruits nor culinary fruits. However, I still wanted to share my discovery of as well as my simple preparation method for the seeds.
The last week of January, when I was beginning to search for inspiration for my recipe book, Rob and I bought two rockmelons at the weekly market in the middle of Brisbane.
I first decided to test out a low-temperature method of preparing the rockmelon seeds.
At our new house, we have a sealable plastic container that comes with a tray and a cover that opens up to allow steam out. I decided this would be excellent for naturally dehydrating the rockmelon seeds as the tray allows air flow both above and below the seeds. In addition, the top that opens up to allow air out is ideal for letting moisture escape while still keeping pests away. Depending upon your location, you may or may not be able to apply this method right now. It’s currently summer in Australia. That promises more than enough heat and sun. If you live in the northern hemisphere, you may need to rely on a dehydrator or wait until summer to apply this first method to the rockmelon seeds.
The next day Rob and I ate rockmelon for breakfast, I decided to try another method of cooking and drying the seeds: the oven. I wanted to compare the differences between methods. I popped the seeds in the oven and they turned out drastically different than the ones I made the previous day.
Neither method superior over the other. Both methods taste splendid and have benefits over the other.
Perks of the sun-dry method:
- No need to use electricity! Just allow them to sit outside to dry as long as necessary
- More nutrients retained
- Creates little seed-crackers
- Light, sweet flavor
Perks of the oven method:
- Takes only 10 minutes to bake
- Deeper, caramelized flavor
- Better for sprinkling on food
Don’t throw the seeds from your rockmelons away! Use one of my two methods for drying the little seeds and make your food and money go even further by drying them. Eat them as a snack or garnish your salad or oatmeal with my Rockmelon Crunchies.
Vegan and free of added salt, sugar, oil, gluten, soy and nuts
Reasons to love this recipe: two preparation methods, ready in 10 minutes or less, choice of flavor, makes use of food otherwise thrown away
Yields around 1/4-1/2 cup seeds, depending upon melon size
- Seeds from 1 rockmelon
Take the seeds from your rockmelon and to the best of your ability, separate the netting from the seeds. Do not rise the seeds as doing so will rid them of the natural flavor and sweetness the rockmelon provides.
Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F). Evenly spread the seeds into a single layer onto a non-stick baking pan or a pan lined with aluminum foil. Bake the seeds for 10 minutes. Towards the end of the 10 minutes, you should hear some of the seeds popping. Take the seeds out of the oven and transfer the seeds into an airtight container. Allow the seeds to cool before sealing the container. Store in a cool dry place.
Evenly spread the seeds into a single layer onto a drying/cooling tray with small holes. If you have one, cover the seeds with a cover that keeps pests away from the seeds but still allows air movement. Set the tray outside and allow them to dry in the hot sun for a day to a day and a half. As moisture will accumulate on the cover, shake off the moisture a few times a day to prevent any water from dripping back onto the seeds. Remove the seeds from the tray and store in an airtight container.
Enjoy as soon as they are dry or sprinkle them on your next recipe as a crunchy garnish.