Winter Melons & Tea

Winter melons are nutritious fruits and easy to grow without much care needed. The species I picked was Emperor. The plants had big leaves with huge bright yellow flowers and the vines spread very quickly. The fruits are round and covered with white powdery ash-like on the surface when matured.

There are 10 Seeds in this “Green world” packet.
 Link on https://www.gwgenetics.com/product/winter-gourd-emperor/

The female flower has a little “belly” and a sticky stigma to hold the pollen from the male flowers for pollination. After pollination, the female flower started to wither, dropped off and the little melon will start to grow bigger

Male flowers look the same as the female except they don’t have any bulging little melon .

Female and male flowers

Left picture showed Little melon beginning to grow bigger after the flower withered- 5/3/2019
Rigth picture with Little melon getting bigger on 6/4/2019.

Left pic showing Emperor Winter Melon maturing fast on 22nd April 2019.
Right Pic showing one month later, 22th May 2019- With more leaves and the Emperor Winter Melon still holding strong πŸ’ͺ on the trellis. 

23/5/2019- It’s 5.5 Kg. One of my friends still think, it’s too early to harvest but I feared the heavy melon might drop to the ground and smashed into pieces.  So I decided to harvest it and let it mature further in the dark room or store. Better safe than sorry😜😜😜

 

Big winter melon 5.5 kg & Small melon 3.1kg

Learning from mistake. When i planted the first plant, i had not ideal  when to harvest the melon, and harvested this one too early -21/1/2019. It was my daughter’s birthday.  
When I showed it to my friends on watsapp, they told me it’s too young for soupπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ but can be stir fried as vegetable or just let it sit in the dark room or storage to mature further.
I decided to wait, since matured or unmatured melons can last about 5-6 months without going bad.

 

21/5/2019  ( 4 months later) I decided to cut it to make winter melon tea which my mother used to make .

1/4 of the winter melon
50gm rock sugar (according to taste- I don’t like too sweet like those sold in packet)

Remove the skin on the winter melon, cut into cubes as shown.
I added 6 dried dates for extra flavor.

1 liter water

Cook it on a slow cooker pot for 2 hours

Winter melon tea can be served hot or cold. I preferred  hot  winter melon tea, served in a bowl.

Cold refreshing winter melon tea on a hot humid day is ideal.
There are many ways to make winter melon tea.

Link below to see a few more bloggers who posted their winter melon tea
https://dailycookingquest.com/winter-melon-tea.html
https://www.submerryn.com/2014/07/winter-melon-tea-recipe.htm
https://www.chinasichuanfood.com/winter-melon-tea/

Benefits of Winter Melon:
1. Potassium is good for the heart.
2. Fibre great for bowel movement.
3. Vit B12 good for vision
4. Vit C excellant for  immunity booster
5.  Vit  B2 an excellant energy booster
6. Excellant source of anti oxidant

That’s the pros , what about the cons?
1. Not recommended to pregnant women especially the first trimester – didn’t mention why but our elderly believe it’s too “cooling” and may cause miscarriage to those with “weak womb”.
2.Too much fibre can cause indigestion.
3. Not recommended for those with history of Asthma – Again didn’t mention why but Chinese folks think cooling fruits like winter melons and pineapple can trigger asthma attack.
4. Not recommended to those who has allergic reaction before from this fruit.

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