Season for Kiwifruit November – May

Kiwifruit Described

Kiwifruit – often shortened to kiwi – hails from, you guessed it, New Zealand. In actuality, this vine berry is native to China, was brought to New Zealand and named Chinese Gooseberry, and eventually made its way to the US where it got its present-day moniker. There are over 50 species of fruit belonging to the kiwifruit’s genus, but the one you are most likely to encounter is the Hayward variety. A hairy brown exterior belies the treasure that lies beneath a kiwi’s skin. Inside, we enjoy the chartreuse-colored flesh speckled with tiny, edible black seeds. The fruit is lusciously juicy, tart and sweet with complex a flavor that is reminiscent of strawberry, melon and pineapple – but uniquely kiwi!

How to Buy and Store Kiwifruit

When shopping for kiwifruit, look for plump, firm fruits without any mold or soft spots. To check for ripeness, make sure the kiwi is fragrant and yields to gentle pressure. You can purchase hard, unripe kiwis and ripen them at room temperature in a paper bag (otherwise they will be too tart to enjoy). To hasten the ripening process, place an apple or banana in the bag along with your kiwis. Once they are ripe, kiwis can be refrigerated for a week before using. 

How to Cook Kiwifruit

Kiwifruit is most often eaten out of hand as a delicious treat, or used to garnish salads and desserts with its unique aesthetic allure. While it’s brown, hairy skin is in fact edible, most people prefer to forego it’s nutritional benefits because of a slight yuck factor. Kiwi fruit can be peeled with a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife, made easier if you cut the ends off first. To eat the fruit with a spoon, cut it in half crosswise or lengthwise and scoop out the flesh. Consider simply rubbing off its fuzzy exterior and eating your kiwi, skin and all. Add slices to yogurt or cereal. 

Health Benefits of Kiwifruit

This vine berry is high in vitamin C, dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E and more – a veritable treasure trove of nutritional goodness. It’s skin, too, is full of nutrients and fiber – one reason you should rethink chucking it in the trash. The unique phytonutrient content found in kiwi has been shown to have protective capacities on our DNA: One study with 6- and 7-year-old children found that the more kiwi the children consumed, the less likely they were to have respiratory-related health problems including wheezing, shortness of breath or night coughing. 

Why Buy Natural and Organic Kiwifruit

Hopefully by now, we’ve convinced you to give that kiwi skin a well-deserved try. And if so, all the more important to purchase kiwifruit that has been grown organically. While much of the pesticide residues are found on the skin of kiwi, remember that peeling your produce is never foolproof. Conventional fruits and veggies are sprayed with chemicals that infiltrate the soil, are sucked up through the plant’s roots and distributed to the whole of the fruit. So, we always reccomend buying organically, and locally if you can. That way, you ensure the purity of your food and make your dollars count towards a sustainable future. 

image: AMagill