The fruit we are showcasing this month is named after a bird native to New Zealand – the kiwi – although it originally hails from China. The “other” name for kiwi is Chinese gooseberry. The most common variety has bright green flesh with tiny black seeds sprinkled around an ivory-colored center, although a yellow-fleshed variety is sometimes available. The ripe fruit is sweet and juicy, with a pleasant flavor that is all its own. California is a major domestic producer of kiwi, and the California crop is available from November through May. Then, the crop from New Zealand is available from June through October. If you’re a fan, you can basically get these plump treats year-round!
Nutrition Tidbits for Kiwi
- One kiwi (2″ diameter) contains:
- Calories: 42 kcal
- Fat: 0.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 10.1 g
- Protein: 0.8 g
- Fiber: 2.1 g
- Glycemic Index (GI): Low (below 55)
Kiwi is a powerhouse fruit, packed with various nutrients. It contains several antioxidants: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and lutein (an antioxidant that may protect against age-related macular degeneration, which leads to vision loss). The antioxidant load of the fruit may be protective against asthma; in a large study of young children in Italy, consumption of kiwi was associated with a lower incidence of respiratory complaints such as wheezing and shortness of breath. The fruit also provides potassium, fiber, and folate.
When selecting kiwis to buy, give the fruit a slight squeeze between your thumb and index finger. A fruit that is ripe and at its sweetest will give just a little (avoid any with soft or bruised spots, though). A fruit that is hard will need a few more days to ripen, either on the counter or in a brown paper bag with bananas or apples to speed up the ripening.
Ways to Include More Kiwi in Your Diet
- Add kiwi to smoothies, salads, or salsa
- Add pureed or chopped kiwi to quickbreads
- Make kiwi popsicles using chopped and peeled kiwi
- Kiwi also contains a meat-tenderizing enzyme, so you can add pureed kiwi to meat marinades
Sofia believes in bringing back fun and pleasure into everyday eating. She loves cooking, and is constantly experimenting with ingredients, creating recipes and trying them out on family and friends. Her latest interest lies in finding realistic and practical ways of environmentally-friendly food/eating habits.