Named for New Zealand's flightless kiwi bird, these fuzzy fruits (berries, actually) fly to the top of the list as the most nutrient-dense fruits of all. Two have more potassium than a banana, twice the vitamin C and fiber of a small orange, plus folate, magnesium, vitamin E, copper and lutein.
Brown & Fuzzy Kiwi's
Kiwifruit can be medium or small in size, although most are small. They are brown and fuzzy on the outside and bright green on the inside with tiny black seeds. The shell or skin of the fruit can be eaten or peeled.
Kiwifruit is available all year. Choose firm, plump, light brown kiwi that gives slightly to the touch. Wash kiwis in cold water before using.
Kiwi can be used as a tart topping, garnish for seafood and meat entrees and as a salad bar ingredient. You can peel and slice a kiwi, or eat with the skin on!
For example(s), make a unique salsa with chopped avocado, chilies and gold kiwi. Or cut up and mix with vinegar and sugar for a marinade or dipping sauce for meat or poultry. Or just enjoy out of hand; to avoid having to peel it, simply cut it in half and eat with the skin on, or use a spoon to scoop it out of its own ready-made cup.
The Kiwi Family
Kiwifruit is a member of the botanical family Actinidia and there are 400 different varieties. The Hayward variety is the most popular U.S. variety. The flavor is a mixture of peaches, strawberries, and melon with a soft and juicy texture. It's one of the most popular fruits today.
Store unripe kiwis at room temperature until skin indents slightly when touched. Place kiwi in a paper bag with an apple or banana, or in a ripening bowl to speed ripening. Ripe kiwis can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
Little Known Kiwi Facts
Did you know kiwifruit could also be used as a natural meat tenderizer? That's because kiwifruit contains an enzyme called Actinidin. Just cut in half and rub kiwifruit over the meat, or peel and mash with a fork then spread it on the surface of the meat and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes or longer. The enzyme Actinidin also breaks down protein in dairy products. That's why when kiwifruit is combined with low fat ice cream, yogurt, or sour cream, it's best to serve and eat it right away.
Like all berries, kiwi pack a big nutrition punch. A serving of green kiwifruit (two medium) is just 92 calories, yet it provides almost double the Daily Value for vitmain C. That's as much C as in two oranges. Kiwi also contains 10 percent of the DV for vitamin E, as well as lutein, an antioxidant that helps protect eyes against age-related macular degeneration and may help prevent certain cancers.
Nutritionally, gold kiwi fruit is slightly different. It contains a little more of vitamins A, C, E and folate than its green counterpart, but has less potassium and only half the fiber. Its flavor is even different, with a more tropical taste and without the tartness of green kiwi.
General Nutrition Facts
- Fat free
- Cholesterol free
- Saturated fat free
- Sodium free
- Cholesterol free
- High in fiber
- Kiwis are an excellent source of vitamin C
- A good source of vitamin E
- A good source of potassium
Serving Suggestion: Peel and slice some kiwifruit, and mix it with bananas for a potassium-rich fruit salad; kiwifruit's tartness complements the bananas mellow flavor. Or simply slice a kiwifruit in half and grab a spoon - the fruit creates its own bowl.
The fuzzy brown skin on a kiwi fruit is edible and has no distinguishable flavor, but for appearance sake most people pare it away and eat only the green flesh. Kiwi fruit cannot be used in gelatin salads or desserts because the papain enzyme prevents it from gelling.
Chances are if you love oranges, you'll enjoy kiwifruit, too!
Be sure to use only ripe kiwis - their antioxidants increase as they ripen - and the underripe ones will ruin your smoothie.
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
5 fresh or frozen unsweetened strawberries
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon unsweetened shredded coconut
4 ice cubes
Place everything in a blender and blend until thick and frothy. Serve immediately. 1 serving
Nutrition information: Calories: 99; Fat: 1.3g; Saturated Fat: 0.5g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 4mg; Carbohydrates: 22.5g; Dietary Fiber: 3.8g; Protein: 1.8g
Citrus Fruit Delight Recipe Card
- Fat, cholesterol, sodium free.
- High in fiber.
- An excellent source of vitamins C and E and potassium.
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