Where To Find Them, How To Eat Them
There is absolutely nothing better than a perfectly ripe piece of fruit eaten at the peak, in season. Nowadays most fruits are available year round in local grocery stores, and that means that most of us are eating our favorite fruits all the time and experiencing less variety. It’s just human nature, if you like strawberries and they are available you will probably buy them instead of apples or pears. There are a lot of nutritional benefits to adding more fruit variety to your diet and I challenge you to be more adventurous and take advantage of some delicious fruits that you might never have heard of.
One of my favorite places to find interesting fruits are Asian and International markets, but check the your local grocery for unusual seasonal fruit additions. I look for Dragon Fruit, Prickly Pear, Cherimoya, Passion Fruit, Star Fruit and pretty much anything that looks exotic. Some of these fruits are best eaten raw, as a topping or in fruit salads, others have seeds or pits and benefit from straining and, or cooking.
Taste – Cherimoya is often referred to as the custard apple and tastes like a combination off pineapple, banana, strawberry peach and papaya-WOW!
Health Benefits – Zero saturated fat, cholesterol-free, high in fiber, iron, and niacin, and contains vitamin C, a natural antioxidant that helps the body resist infection, as well as B vitamins. Contains more minerals per weight than many more common fruits because of its copper, magnesium, iron and manganese content.
Eat -The best way to eat a cherimoya is to tear or cut it in half, remove the seeds and eat in slices or put in a fruit salad.
Taste – Dragon Fruit, also known as Pitaya, is similar in texture to kiwi and has a mildly sweet taste like kiwi, watermelon and pear combined.
Health Benefits – High in phytonutrients, rich in antioxidants and contains vitamin C, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and several B vitamins for carbohydrate metabolism, as well as, carotene and protein. Because Dragon Fruit has zero complex carbohydrates, it is be more easily broken down in the body with the help of vitamin B1 (thiamin) and the other B vitamins.
The seeds of dragon fruits are high in polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) that help to reduce triglycerides and lower the risk of cardiovascular disorders.
Eat – Dragon Fruit is delicious raw, just cut in half and scoop out the flesh. Can be used in smoothies, fruit bowls and is also tasty grilled.
Taste – Passion fruit is distinctly sweet and tart, with a jelly like texture.
Health Benefits – Rich source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and fiber. Each fruit has about 100 calories. High in Vitamin C & A as well as potassium, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.
Eat – Simply cut in half and eat the jelly like filling with a spoon. Delicious spooned over soft cheeses, on yogurt or as a dessert topping. Can also be used in baking and made into a flavorful syrup for use in drinks and sauces
Taste – Similar in flavor to watermelon.
Health Benefits – Loaded with dietary fiber, vitamin C, calcium and antioxidants. Has been used for centuries as a home remedy for headaches due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Eat – Because of the small rock like seeds it is best to puree and strain the delicious flavorful juice. The strained juice can be used in marinades and grill sauces and it makes a tasty addition to drinks and can used to flavor baked goods.
Try my prickly pear grill sauce recipe!
Taste – The tart little berries have the texture of cherry tomatoes and a pleasantly acidic mango like flavor.
Health Benefits – Low in calories and loaded with vitamin C and other beneficial antioxidants. Especially high in flavones and anthocyanin that are helpful in preventing cancer and neurological diseases.
Eat – Can be used substituted for cherry tomatoes or cooked and used in desserts. Makes an especially delicious salsa that is tasty with grilled meats and seafood.
So, get inspired and add some sexy new flavors to your diet, with delicious and nutrient dense exotic fruits that your palate and your body will love.
Try my Golden Gooseberry Salsa Recipe!