Melissa’s Freaky Fruits from the Quarantine Kitchen!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…..for me AND Melissa’s Produce. Pumpkin spice and everything nice is filling the shelves, and if you’re lucky, you may be seeing some fall leaves. While we don’t get too much of that in SoCal, I’m already going mad at all of the Halloween commotion and ghoulish baubles around.
You might recall my Quarantine Kitchen adventures last month thanks to Melissa’s Produce. Along with Unstoppable Stacey and Robin Dohrn-Simpson, we tackled some very large Jackfruits and learned quite a bit along the way. This month? I’m teaming up with Melissa’s once again along with Stacey and Elaine from Trip Well Gal for some Fall fun. My assignment? All things FREAKY!
I was thrilled to receive my box of Freaky Fruits from Los Angeles’ #1 produce distribution center. While I’m quite familiar with blood oranges, pomegranates, and dragon fruits, some were completely new to me. One to intrigue me among my stash was a Kiwano Horned Melon. With its sharp spikes and tropical taste, this melon hails from Africa and has been fascinating the produce world for nearly three thousand years. Its spiky, golden-orange shell encases a soft, succulent, seed-filled emerald green interior. Once grown only in New Zealand, Melissa’s Kiwano Melons are now grown in California as well.
At first, I was skeptical as Melissa’s website says its flavor profile is similar to cucumber. A taste I’m not much of a fan. I was pleasantly surprised as it was much milder than its cucumber cousin and brought to mind more that classic melon palette with a hint of lime. Perfect to help get my FREAK on.
Another sweet surprise was the Strawberry Papayas. Papaya is something I enjoy often yet not in its true form. Think flavorings, sorbet, even in lotion scents. Cutting into a fresh one was a whole new world and ideal for my Freaky Fruit Salad. Another terrific option for strawberry papaya? Make it the star of a grilled fruit kabob along with co-stars like pineapple, peppers, even pearl onions. A box from Melissa’s will truly open your mind to delicious new ideas!
Although Halloween parties may look a bit different this year, that’s no reason to not get creative. Melissa’s website is chock full of adorable recipes (check out this Zombie-Rita for the 21+ crowd). With my freaky bundle, I’d envisioned Mike and I making some fun and freaky bite-size appetizers and drinks. Instead? My hubby pulled out all of the stops and decided to make a full-blown dinner inspired by the fruits we received. What a guy!
First up, we feasted on blood orange chicken with a side of pomegranate rice while sipping a Kiwano mocktail. Dessert proved to be one of the most unique he’s made yet with a dragon fruit dairy-free ice cream. Check it out:
Mike found inspiration from the recipes highlighted above, and I was most surprised by how good our side dish came out. Pomegranate rice….who knew? Just goes to show you you’ll never know what’s in store when you order from Melissa’s!
(*Special thanks to Melissa’s Produce for sending me this basket of freaky goodies! xo)