Varieties: The main variety is green kiwifruit, with furry brown skin, green flesh and tangy flavour. Gold kiwifruit has smoother skin, a slightly pointed end, and sweet yellow flesh.
Buying: Choose plump kiwifruit with firm skin. Avoid bruises or soft spots (over-ripeness). Unripe kiwifruit are a lot firmer than ripe fruit.
Storing: Keep at room temperature to slightly ripen. Store ripe kiwifruit in the fridge in a plastic bag for up to one week.
Preparing: Cut in half and scoop out flesh – or peel and chop as required. Kiwifruit is best eaten raw as cooking creates a bitter taste. Be careful when mixing kiwifruit with dairy as enzymes in kiwifruit cause milk to curdle.
Nutrition: Kiwifruit are rich in vitamin C, have a good amount of vitamin E, and are high in fibre. While gold kiwifruit are a good source of folate, green kiwifruit are higher in fibre. Kiwifruit also have substantial amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin – phytonutrients shown to help protect against age-related macular degeneration of the eye. A study from the US found kiwifruit to be the most nutrient dense of 27 of the most popular fruits, and the evidence relating to increased fruit and vegetable intake to reduced levels of cancer and heart diseases, compelling.
Ideas for using kiwifruit
- For an appetising and attractive topping, peel, slice, and arrange kiwifruit on top of cakes, pavlova, yoghurt, or any dessert.
- Use kiwifruit in a marinade. Peel, chop and purée kiwifruit. Combine with 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup salt-reduced soy sauce, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 cloves garlic (chopped), 3/4 teaspoon grated ginger, 1 tablespoon paprika and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Use to marinate steak for 30 minutes to 1 hour before grilling on the barbecue or in a frying pan.
- Enjoy a refreshing kiwifruit salsa with any meat or fish. Dice 4 kiwifruit, 1 cucumber, 1 red capsicum and 1 red onion. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Combine. To serve, place salsa on a plate under cooked meat or fish.
- Make a quick salad combining kiwifruit, avocado, tomato and watercress. Dress with an olive oil, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice vinaigrette.
- Make a quick ice cream topping by blending 12 peeled kiwifruit with 100g castor sugar and the juice of 2 limes.
- For a refreshing drink, blend 1 kiwifruit with the juice of 1 lime per person, add ice cubes and a handful of mint leaves. Divide mix between tall glasses and top with sparkling apple juice.
- For a fast and healthy dessert, blend 3 kiwifruit with 2 tablespoons icing sugar. Mix 1/2 cup light sour cream with 1 cup plain low-fat yoghurt, swirl kiwifruit purée through yoghurt, mix and serve.
- Make an all-green fruit salad with kiwifruit, green grapes and honeydew melon.