Cute and pretty nutritious, cucamelons or better known as the Mexican sour gherkin resemble the mix of a watermelon and a cucumber.

The Mexicans refer to them as ‘sandiita’ and they are favored for their numerous health benefits, being rich in fiber, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.

These cute little fruits could also improve your health in many ways:

  • Heart health – high lycopene and beta-carotene content
  • Prevent strokes
  • They stimulate weight-loss
  • Body tissue and organ health
  • Anti-aging

Cucamelons also have a very high vitamin c and potassium level making them excellent for lowering cholesterol levels.

The best part is you can grow these adorable little fruits at home!

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Here’s how:

Firstly, purchase some cucamelons online, making sure they are organic and pesticide free. Alternatively, if you have a few at home, remove the seeds from the fruit and place them in a jar of water for a week, then rinse them off to dry with a paper towel.

You can store these seeds in a cool place in a paper envelope until ready to plant them.

Cucamelons require 65-75 days to fully grow, warmer weather with a soil temperature of around 75f-85f sufficing. You can try your hand at growing them in pots in cooler areas in a warm, bright spot.

Plant between April and May in a pot, keeping them indoors initially. When they start to sprout, spread them out leaving 12 square inches between pots, allowing at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.

Cucamelons are a vining plant and they can reach 10ft in height, so small trellises or a wire cage will aid the stem and keep the roots steady.

They also require good, well-drained nutrient rich soil with added compost or manure. A tablespoon of 6-10-10 analysis fertilizer should be added to each pot, with a few tiny lava rocks added for better soil drainage.

2 months into planting, add a 3 inch side compost dressing monthly.

Ensure your plants get enough water. an inch every 5-7 days should suffice. Also, add a 3-4 inch layer of mulch if you’re growing in a colder area.

It’s important to note that:

  • Cucamelons are pretty disease and pest resistant and will usually reseed on their own
  • It is suggested that the vines be wrapper together as they grow, to keep the tendrils safe from damage.
  • Harvest in July – when the size of a grape, they are ready to be picked. Harvesting season ends around November.
  • Trim dying leaves and prune when the season comes to a close.

You can enjoy these tiny gems raw, add them to salads, salsas and main courses – enjoy their unique taste!

Here are a few delicious recipes:

Cucamelon Bruschetta

Ingredients

  • 1 Pint Cucamelons, cut in half
  • 2 Cipollini Onions, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 Bird’s Eye Chili, finely sliced
  • Small Handful of Basil or Mint, chiffonade
  • 1 Tbsp Local Organic Honey
  • Juice of Half a Lime
  • 1/4 C Good Quality Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Coarse Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
  • Toasted Bread

Instructions:

In a bowl, toss the cucamelons, Cippolini onions, Chili, and basil or mint, and set them aside. Then, combine the rest of the ingredients in a Mason jar, season to taste, and cover with a lid.

Shake until you get a homogeneous mixture. Pour over prepared vegetables, stir well, and season again. Just spoon over toasted bread.

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Cucamelon Salsa

Ingredients:

  • Cucamelons
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

Stir all the ingredients in a medium bowl, cover it, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Then, you can serve this salsa over marinated grilled chicken. Enjoy!

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