The kiwifruit is a small fruit with a dull grey-green skin and bright green flesh with rows of tiny, black edible seeds. It is approximately 3 inches long and weighs about four ounces. The flesh has a taste that is a mixture of taste reminiscent of strawberries, melons and bananas. The texture of the fruit is soft and creamy.
The kiwifruit is a native of China and were brought to New Zealand from China by missionaries in the 20th century.
The kiwifruit made its appearance at a restaurant in the United States. An American produce distributor initiated the import of this fruit into the United States in 1962, but to kiwifruit, after the native bird of New Zealand. The coat of this bird resembles the skin of this fruit.
Kiwifruit is very high in Vitamin C and vitamins A and E. It is also a good source of dietary fiber. It also contains the minerals potassium, magnesium, and copper. Its potassium content is just a little less than that of a banana.
Recent research has revealed that eating two to three kiwifruit per day can thin blood, lower the fat in the blood that causes blockage. The consumption of kiwifruit has the same effect as having a daily dose of aspirin to improve heart health, but without the negative effects.
Kiwifruit also protects the DNA in the nucleus of human cells from oxygen-related damage.
Consuming kiwifruit also reduces the likelihood of having respiratory-related problems such as wheezing, shortness of breath, or night coughing, especially in children.
The high fiber content of the kiwifruit makes it useful in reducing high cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease and heart attack. The fiber also binds and removes toxins from the colon, preventing colon cancer. In addition, the high fiber content helps in keeping the blood sugar levels of diabetics under control.
Kiwifruit has a mild laxative effect, due to the high fiber content.
How to select and store
When buying kiwifruit gently press them. They should yield to the pressure. Avoid those that are very soft, bruised or shriveled. Kiwifruits are usually available throughout the year.
Kiwifruits that are not yet ripe can be left to ripen in a cool, dark place at room temperature. Ripe kiwifruits can be stored either at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
How to eat
- Kiwifruit can be eaten like an apple along with the skin. For those who do not care for the skin it can be cut in half and then the flesh scooped out with a spoon.
- Sliced kiwifruit can be used as a garnish atop desserts with whipped cream.
- Add sliced kiwi to the morning cereal or to yoghurt. It also tastes good in a green salad.
- Garnish cheesecakes, pies and cakes with kiwifruit.
- Use sliced kiwifruit in punches and cocktails.
- Make a fresh fruit drink by blending kiwifruit in a fruit blender.
- Kiwifruit can be used as a meat tenderizer.
- Kiwifruit can be used in fruit tarts.
- Blend kiwifruit, cantaloupe and yoghurt in a food processor to make a chilled soup.
- Kiwifruit contain measurable amounts of oxalates If oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize and cause health problems. Individuals with kidney or gallbladder problems would be wise to avoid eating this fruit.
- Kiwifruit contain substances that are associated with the latex-fruit allergy syndrome. People allergic to latex are likely to be allergic to kiwifruit also.
- Raw kiwifruit should not be used in desserts that containing milk or cream unless they are going to be used within a few hours as some of the compounds contained in the fruit begins to dissolve milk proteins. This is also applicable to desserts that contain gelatin. The actinidin dissolves the collagen proteins in gelatin very quickly, liquifying the dessert or preventing it from solidifying. To avoid this problem the fruit can be cooked for a few minutes before adding to the gelatin.
Kiwi Facial Cleanser -- A puree made by blending 1 kiwi fruit with a couple of tablespoons of yoghurt, a table spoon of almond oil, a tablespoon of honey, a teaspoon of ground almonds and a little water makes a very effective face and body cleanser. It should be gently massaged all over the face and neck. This softens and exfoliates the skin, leaving it feeling cool and clean.
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