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A to Z of superfoods: Kiwi

A to Z of superfoods: Kiwi

The kiwifruit might have been designed for those who want to eat healthily without fuss. It tastes good, comes ready packaged and keeps well even outside the fridge. The kiwifruit is a perfect part of ‘five-a-day’ for those with busy lives.

WHAT IS A KIWIFRUIT?

Surprisingly the kiwifruit is not native to New Zealand! This furry green egg actually originates from a type of vine that grows in China. A New Zealander named Isabel Fraser brought the seeds home with her after a trip. They were found to grow well in the volcanic soil of the aptly-named Bay of Plenty, and were known as Chinese gooseberries.

Partly to avoid export duties on gooseberries, and partly as a stroke of marketing genius, the product was renamed ‘kiwifruit’ in 1959. The rest is green furry history.

Kiwifruit are also grown in California, so with crops from two hemispheres the fruit is in season year round. In the last few years European growers have also started producing kiwifruit, so there are options for lower food miles too.

WHAT IS IN IT?

The kiwifruit may not be a citrus, but weight for weight it packs a real vitamin C punch, with 85mg or more of the vitamin per 100 grams of fruit. It also contains a good dose of dietary fibre, and the usual fruity bonuses for vitamin K, vitamin E and minerals.

HOW DO I EAT IT?

Are you a peeler or a scooper? Either way works with the kiwifruit – but did you know that you can also eat the skin? Just rub off the fuzzy bits before you open up your kiwifruit.

The fruit contains tenderising enzymes which means it goes soft after cutting, so eat it straight away. Bear this in mind if you are adding kiwifruit to a mixed fruit salad. For a non-squishy result, add the kiwifruit just before serving.

WHAT ELSE CAN I MAKE WITH IT?

Kiwifruit are best eaten raw to preserve all the nutrients. They taste best at room temperature. They make a great addition to desserts or meringues, although you can’t make kiwifruit jelly as it won’t ever set.

For an interesting twist on a BLT, try a BLK – bacon, lettuce and kiwifruit sandwiches or buns! The fruit complements any ‘sweet and sour’ dish such as duck or turkey. Use it to make a salsa, and you have the recipe for a special yet nutritious dinner party dish such as pan-seared salmon.

For year-round vitamins, K is definitely for kiwifruit!

 

the author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.

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