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Kiwifruit – A Powerhouse of Antioxidants, Vitamins & Minerals

Updated

Kiwifruit are named after the Kiwi, a brown furry bird native to New Zealand - although the kiwifruit is actually Chinese.

Kiwifruit are juicy and sweet with a hint of tartness, and bursting with vitamin C - a great fruit to add to your day.

The kiwifruit - a Chinese native!

Kiwifruit originally came from the Yang-tse river valley in China but when the New Zealand grown fruit was first exported to the US in the 1960's the name was changed for marketing reasons.

Kiwifruit are brown and fuzzy on the outside and bright green on the inside with tiny black seeds and a soft white “core”. The flavor of a kiwifruit is sometimes described as a mixture of peaches, strawberries, and melon. It has a soft and juicy texture.

There are 400 different varieties of kiwifruit. The Hayward variety is the most popular U.S. variety.

Why they're good for you

Kiwifruit is an excellent source of vitamin C. Adequate intake of vitamin C has been shown to be helpful in reducing the severity of conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma, and for preventing conditions such as colon cancer, atherosclerosis, and diabetic heart disease.

Eating vitamin C-rich fruit such as kiwi may also help protect against respiratory problems associated with asthma, such as wheezing. 

Kiwifruit is also a good source of fiber, vitamin E and potassium. It is fat free, sodium free and cholesterol free.

Selection and storage

How to buy

Select kiwifruit with no bruises or soft spots. Avoid fruits with wrinkles or signs of exterior damage. 

For the juiciest flavor, it’s best to buy firm kiwifruit and let them ripen at home. A kiwifruit is ripe when plump and slightly soft to the touch. It should also have a fragrant smell.

How to store

Ripen kiwifruit at room temperature for three to five days. If necessary, ripe kiwifruit can be stored in the refrigerator for up to seven days. If they need to be stored longer, put them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 

Putting kiwifruit near fruits that produce ethlyene gas, such as apples, bananas or pears, will speed up the ripening process. So if you want to ripen kiwifruit quickly, put kiwi in a bag with these kinds of fruit for a day or two.

Preparation and eating

In their adopted country, New Zealand, kiwifruit are eaten by cutting the fruit in half widthwise then scooping out the flesh with a teaspoon.

Kiwifruit can be eaten with the skin on or off. After rinsing and rubbing lightly to dry, you can cut the kiwifruit into quarters like an orange and enjoy-skin and all!

To peel the kiwifruit, cut off the top and bottom ends, and then peel down the sides with a vegetable peeler or knife. Slice or quarter into bite-size pieces and enjoy!

Kiwi ideas

Credit:jenifoto iStock

  • Kiwifruit comes with its own serving cup. Just cut through the middle and scoop out each half with a spoon.
  • For a spicy, delicious treat use kiwi in making salsa to serve over your favorite meat.
  • Peel and slice kiwi to use in a fruit salad
  • Top your favorite cereal with slices of kiwi
  • Garnish breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrees with kiwifruit slices or wedges
  • Garnish drinks and cocktails with a wedge of kiwifruit