Saturday, September 25, 2010

Honeydew Melon, Opal Basil & Mint Frappé: A Mostly Local Simple Saturday Sipper (Plus I Start the "Eat Local Challenge" Next Week!)

This week's Simple Saturday Sipper, a Honeydew Melon, Opal Basil & Mint Frappé, comes from the need to use up a soccer-ball size honeydew melon from a local farm on Oahu. Last week I did a recipe demo of fresh fruit smoothies for a group from the Kidney Foundation of Hawaii after a tour of Aloun Farms in Kapolei. Part of our tour was a visit to their melon patch where the group got to pick their own honeydews. One of our guides handed me a ginormous melon, which I drug home and between my visiting mom and I, we only managed to eat half of it so far. It is a sweet and flavorful melon but there is a lot of it, so I am finding different ways to use it up.

In this case, I threw together a frozen cocktail--we'll call it a frappé for lack of a better word, using the melon, opal basil, mint and a few stevia leaves from my herb garden, local limes, ice and a slug of Island 808 Vodka made from Hawaii-grown pineapples. It's cool, refreshing, nicely flavored with the herbs, sweetened with the stevia and really nice for the slightly humid weather we are having.

Honeydew Melon, Opal Basil & Mint Frappé
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 2 Servings)

1 1/2 cups honeydew melon, cubed
juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp opal basil leaves (or Thai or sweet basil will work)
1 Tbsp mint leaves
3 fresh stevia leaves (or 1 Tbsp simple syrup or other sweetener)
6-8 ice cubes
2 ounces vodka

Place all ingredients in a blender. Pulse a few times to break up ice and then blend until smooth and frothy. Enjoy.

Notes/Results: Pretty to look at, hydrating and a good combination of sweet from the honeydew and stevia and lightly tangy from the lime juice with nice herbal notes. I used a couple of the little purple flowers of my opal basil to garnish the drink but you could just use a few basil or mint leaves. I would make this drink again.

Since all of the herbs including the stevia are home-grown from my container garden, and I was there when the melon was plucked from the vine and handed to me ;-) I am going to send this to the Grow Your Own #45 Event being hosted this month by my pal girlichef.

Speaking of local foods and ingredients, next week may be a little strange around Kahakai Kitchen as I have pledged to take the Kanu Hawaii Eat Local Challenge from Sunday, Sept. 26 through Saturday, Oct. 2. Starting on Monday, I'll be blogging about cooking and eating pretty much exclusively with ingredients sourced from Hawaii. I am "lucky to live Hawaii" and in such a place of beauty, but the cold hard facts are that more than 85% of the food here is imported, and that our food supply is extremely vulnerable. If there were an event, natural disaster, or for any reason the shipping and air freight to Hawaii was interrupted, our food supply would only last about 12-14 days. Pretty scary right?! The Eat Local Challenge is to bring awareness to the importance of eating and buying local food and building a more sustainable and secure food supply for the Hawaiian Islands.

I have my farmers market and store lists ready for shopping this weekend, and I am fortunate to be able to pretty easily get some of the basics--salt, butter, eggs, milk, mac nut oil, herbs, fish, beef, maybe some veal, and of course lots of fruits & veggies but I will be lacking in the grains (read: bread, rice, pasta, etc.) area next week. ;-) In any case it ought to be pretty interesting. There are a few restaurants serving local dishes, stores featuring local items and some local food events going on all week, so it should be a fun challenge. On Monday, I'll start briefly recapping what I ate each day with a few photos of the most interesting food. (Don't worry, I won't bore you with pictures of every bite that goes into my mouth!) I am still planning on participating in events like I Heart Cooking Clubs, Food-n-Flix, next week's Souper Sunday (this week's soup is already made), etc., working all local Hawaii ingredients into the recipes So wish me luck!

Happy Weekend!


  1. can't wait to see what you do next week, good luck!

  2. I'm excited to read about your eat, local challenge! I'm sure you'll do awesome things with it though. And you should really start stocking up on dried beans. They would outlast you those 12-14 days for sure.

    I love's absolutely my favorite melon. I've never thought to make it into a smoothie or frappe...but this sounds fantastic!

  3. Deb - I'm so excited to read about your local eats! I guess I never really thought about how vulnerable Hawaii is when it comes to receiving a lot of goods. This really sounds like a fun challenge.

    I love the melon frappe. Honeydew is one of my favorites and it looks so pretty with the opal basil flowers. Sure sounds like they gave you one big whopping melon;-)

  4. This sound so fabulous, Deb!! It's mighty chilly here right now...but I can close my eyes and make believe I'm in humid Hawaii and drink one of these right up! I'm so excited to see what else you come up with for your challenge...what an amazing (-ly scarey) statistic!! I know you'll do great! Oh, and thank you for submitting this to GYO this month =)

  5. Hello. First time at your blog. Thank you for visiting mine. I love your blog. I am a New Englander and Hawaii is just so fascinating. I have a niece who own a home in Maui. She was married there but I was unable to attend. I am looking forward to reading more.

  6. What a delicious and refreshing drink! I love cantaloupes in my smoothies but have yet to try a honeydew. Good luck with your challenge - can't wait to see how it goes.

  7. The drink looks wonderful. A good honeydew is just so sweet and tasty, mixed with the rest of the ingredients you do indeed have the perfect sipper!
    On another note, I'm truly enjoying the Captain Cooked book! I've had fun reading about many of the places we visited, including Merriman's! I have pics of the kids at Akaka falls too. So fun! Thanks again!

  8. Kat--mahalo! ;-)

    Joanne--You'd laugh if you saw al my beans/grains in jars. Too bad I can't use them for the challenge. ;-)

    Kim--it was HUGE! I am still munching on it and ended up freezing some for more smoothie/frappes. ;-)

    girlichef--thanks! Wish you were here enjoying it with me!

    Lucia--thank you! It's nice to get to know you from IHCC! ;-)

    Reeni--As long as it is a sweet flavorful honeydew it is really good--especially with mint and/or lime. ;-)

    Kim--Yay! I am so glad you are enjoying the book. I think the best thing about it is reading about the places you know! ;-)


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