Avocado Cantaloupe Boats with Pomegranate Balsamic Reduction

Avocado Cantaloupe Bowls with Pomegranate Balsamic Reduction - paleo, whole30, gluten-free, vegan | healthynibblesandbits.com

THE END: My stint with the Whole30.

Believe it or not, friends, it’s my last day of no sugar, no dairy, no grains, no corn, no beans, and no chocolate! Do you have any party hats lying around? You need to break them out and toot those noisemakers. I made it!

I’ll need another week to collect my thoughts before writing a full recap. Suffice to say, the Whole30 is not easy, especially if you eat out often. I learned this the hard way over the weekend. Staying on track requires a TON of planning, and hopefully the recipes I created over the last month will serve as inspiration for someone!

So, now what? I’m supposed to go through a 10-day reintroduction phase, where I reintroduce grains, sugar, dairy and such one at a time, with 2 days of a Whole30 diet in between reintroductions. This slow transition to my normal diet is to help me determine whether I’m sensitive to certain foods. Sorry, not happening.

I’m traveling to Colorado tomorrow, and quite frankly, there’s no way that I can do this while I’m gone. Life happens, and while I would love to block out 40 days of my life to the Whole30, I’ll just have to be content with seeing this journey to the end of the 30 days.

Avocado Cantaloupe Bowls with Pomegranate Balsamic Reduction - paleo, whole30, gluten-free, vegan | healthynibblesandbits.com

THE END: Living in the Bay Area.

I say this with a heavy heart and a ton of mixed emotions . . . I’m leaving the Bay, friends! I grew up in San Francisco, lived in the Peninsula for the last two years, and I will always consider the Bay to be my home. But boy, oh boy, Bay Area rental prices are no joke. Yes, the hubs and I can tough it out for a few more years in the Bay Area, but we’ll never be able to save enough to buy a house at this rate! I’m ready to grow up and move out of my one-bedroom abode for a house!

Last weekend, we hopped into our car and drove up to Sacramento to get the lay of the land. Trying to find a house to rent isn’t exactly easy, and for a little while, we were skeptical of our chances of finding the right home. Things got so tense that I just couldn’t bring myself to blog and write a new post on Monday. (Sorry!) Through all that though, I think we may have found a place to live! It’s not 100% finalized, but our potential move in day is set for the beginning of September.

Fortunately, I’ll be able to keep my day job, as I’ll be working remotely and will be driving down to the Bay Area at least every other week. I’m scared and excited about this new chapter of my life. I’ll miss having my family and friends 20 minutes away from home, but sometimes, we need to step out of our comfort zone to grow, right?

I made these avocado cantaloupe boats over the weekend, in the midst of my house-hunting frenzy. I wanted something rich, and these bites delivered. The lush avocados, sweet cantaloupe, fresh mint, crunchy hazelnuts, tangy pomegranate balsamic reduction, and pinch of coffee flaked salt create a symphony of perfect flavors.

That pomegranate balsamic reduction is the business.Your house will smell like vinegar for a while, but it’s worth the hassle to make! It adds a great level of flavor to the avocado boats and tastes phenomenal in a salad. Don’t think, just make it.


Avocado Cantaloupe Bowls with Pomegranate Balsamic Reduction - paleo, whole30, gluten-free, vegan | healthynibblesandbits.com

If you make this recipe, make sure to share your creation with me on Twitter or Instagram and hashtag #hnbeats!


Avocado Cantaloupe Boats with Pomegranate Reduction

Avocado Cantaloupe Bowls with Pomegranate Balsamic Reduction - paleo, whole30, gluten-free, vegan by @healthynibs

Lush avocados, sweet cantaloupe, fresh mint, crunchy hazelnuts, tangy pomegranate balsamic reduction and pinch of coffee flaked salt create a symphony of perfect flavors. These avocado boats are perfect as an appetizer, snack, or dessert! Serves 8.

  • Author: Lisa Lin
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Category: appetizer, snack, vegan


  • 1 cup (240ml) pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup (240ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 4 small avocados, halved and pitted
  • half of a medium cantaloupe, finely diced
  • fresh mint leaves
  • chopped hazelnuts
  • coffee flavored flaked sea salt (optional)


  1. Pour the pomegranate juice and balsamic vinegar in a saucepan. Heat saucepan over medium-high heat. When it boils, reduce the heat to medium-low. You should still see some light bubbling in the liquid. Let it simmer for another 45 minutes, or until the liquids have been reduced to 1/3 cup. Stir occasionally to make sure that there’s no burning at the bottom of the pan. Let the reduction cool off a little before serving.
  2. Top each avocado half with diced cantaloupe. Sprinkle hazelnuts and salt on top and garnish with mint leaves. Drizzle some pomegranate balsamic reduction on each half. Serve immediately.
  3. Refrigerate leftover reduction in an airtight container for up to a week.


Adapted from the September issue of Martha Stewart Living.


26 thoughts on “Avocado Cantaloupe Boats with Pomegranate Balsamic Reduction

  1. Amanda Paa

    Such an exciting news about the move to Sacramento! Although I would love to live in the Bay Area, the expense keeps me away too. It truly is my favorite area to visit though, and you’ll always be able to do that.

    Kudos on finishing the whole 30 – I’ve also done it and so not easy! But great to see what our bodies respond best to. xo

  2. Traci | Vanilla And Bean

    What a delicious combination, Lisa! I just picked up a cantaloupe yesterday (Hooray!!). I’ll have to slap a few dices on an avo and enjoy the deliciousness! Thank you for this! Oh My, Lisa! So much happening. Ya, know… life. The ups, downs and inbetweens can get nerve-racking… and sometimes, you just need to be grateful for the experience, and move on! Bu bye Whole30, but congratulations on your accomplishment! I did something similar years ago and it was not easy for sure! Lookin forward to your recap! As hard of a decision it is to move, it sounds like it’s been tugging at you two, and you made the hard decision. Good for you. Sometimes the hard thing is not always easy. Good thing work, friends and family aren’t too far away, though. Hopefully it will soften the transition. So I’m raising my glass to you my dear! Cheers to your courage and to new experiences ahead!

    1. Lisa Post author

      Ahhh, I want to go and pick some cantaloupe, too! And thank you for your encouraging words about my move! The decision for me was particularly tough since I’ve lived in the Bay Area for most of my life, but change is good sometimes, too! I’m pretty excited to explore the food scene in Sacramento as I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far. Again, thanks for your kind words! You have a great weekend!

  3. Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    Lisa, first of all. . congrats for finishing!! your month seemed to blow by (at least for your readers! :)) and hey, Sacramento seems like it’ll be great! you’ll be in a bigger place and are still in CA!!! so that’ s something! have fun in Colorado! and love these avocado boats! delicious!

    1. Lisa Post author

      Thanks, Alice for being so supportive throughout my Whole30 process!! I know that I’ll love the bigger space and I’ll just be an hour and a half’s drive from the fam!

  4. Danielle

    Hi Lisa! I’m not gonna think, I’m just gonna make it! 🙂 These look fantastic and are a seriously fresh way to enjoy avocados and cantaloupe. The flavors are super appealing and satisfying. I can’t wait to craft this as a clean and easy lunch.

  5. Julia

    WOW, girl! Huge congratulations are in order! It’s always bittersweet taking the next step in life, but I know you and your hubs will settle in Sacramento lickety split! Huge kudos to doing the Whole30..I know it’s not easy, but so worth the patience! I bet you feel squeaky clean going into your trip to CO.

    ALSO if you ever want to meet in Tahoe/Truckee/Reno, let me know! I live in Reno and am happy to meet you anywhere! I’ve been meaning to take a trip to IKEA for a few months, so I’ll let you know if I head your way!!

    1. Lisa Post author

      I think I’ll settle in pretty well too, especially because I’m liking what I’ve seen of the food scene! Oh man, and I can’t believe I finished 30 days of that diet. I even made it through my occasional chocolate cravings!

      AND YES, YES, YES I would LOVE to meet up with you some time! I’ll let you know when I settle in, and also let me know if you’re headed my direction!!

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    1. Lisa Lin Post author

      Hi Lydia! I haven’t tried eating this as a whole meal, but I can imagine that it would taste good on toast! If you’re looking for something more, I would probably eat this with a light rice salad with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, and fresh mint and basil. Hope this helps!

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