The hairy and brown exterior of a kiwi does not seem appetizing at all, but on the inside, the fruit holds a sweet, bright green flesh with little black seeds. Tasting like the perfect mix between a strawberry and a pineapple, kiwi fruit is great to eat on its own but also brings a fruity zing to dishes.
Adding kiwi to different dishes and meals is a good way to add some extra flavor, especially in a desert.
But is it safe to cook kiwi? Yes. There are many different recipes, mainly desserts, that use kiwi fruits cooked. However, the kiwi fruit is best enjoyed raw, as cooking it does destroy the vitamin content, and dulls the green color quite a bit.
How To Use Kiwi For Cooking
Kiwi fruit contains a high content of enzymes, which makes it a perfect tenderizer for meat. If you have a particularly tough piece of steak, you can chop up some kiwi fruit and rub it around the meat, and leave it to marinate for a while.
After some time, the enzymes in the kiwi fruit will break down the toughness of the meat and you will be left for a softer, more edible steak.
On the other hand, kiwi should not be used with milk, as it causes the milk to curdle. Kiwi also prevents gelatine from the setting, so you should not try to use the kiwi fruit to make ice cream or jelly.
The best way to use a kiwi fruit for cooking is used in puddings, such as a pavlova, blended up in a smoothie, or used as a marinade for meat.
Ways To Enjoy Kiwi Fruit
For having such a distinctive taste, kiwi is a pretty versatile fruit. There are many different ways to incorporate kiwi into your daily meals, for an extra punch of fruity flavor.
Here are some of the best ways to use kiwi, both raw and cooked:
Cobbler – To make kiwi cobbler, you can mix up some kiwi, brown sugar, lemon juice, flour, muffin mix and a dash of nutmeg. Once cooked, serve it warm with some ice cream or cold yogurt.
Plain – Kiwi is delicious on its own and can be cut in half, and with a spoon, you can scoop out the flesh of the kiwi. Some people even eat the skin for some extra fiber.
Garnish – If peeled and sliced properly, kiwi can look wonderful on the top of almost any dish. You can grill either side of a sliced kiwi and place it onto chicken breasts for more flavor.
Cold kick – For a refreshing cool drink, blend in some ice, a kiwi, frozen lemonade, some mint and a teaspoon of sugar into a blender for a delicious frozen treat.
Smoothie – Kiwi is a great fruit to use in a smoothie due to its strong flavor. For the best smoothie, mix in some kiwi, banana and any other fruits such as apple or papaya, with some skim milk or low-fat yogurt. For extra nutrients you can throw in some baby spinach, the kiwi will completely mask the flavor.
Jam – You can boil up and reduce down some kiwi jam using kiwi, lemon juice, apples, pineapple juice, and sugar. This can be used as a topping for desserts or a spread for slices of bread.
Parfait – To make a kiwi parfait, you should layer some low-fat yogurt, sliced kiwi and granola in a glass or bowl. Add in some honey or nuts for extra crunch and sweetness.
Sweet and Sour – You can cook your pork, lamb or beef as desired, and top with a salsa made from kiwi, mango and mint. Try to season the meat with nutmeg, cumin, and ginger to go with the flavor of the kiwi.
Salsa – Kiwi used in salsa is amazing! Mix some mangos, peppers, cilantro, honey and lime juice with some chopped kiwi to use as a side for tortilla chips.
Dried – Dry kiwi is delicious and a great way to store kiwi fruit for longer. You can even dehydrate them yourself.
Why Kiwi Is Good For You
Cooking kiwi does destroy some of its nutrient contents, which might be fine if it is used to flavor a meal, but if you are looking to eat kiwi fruit for the health benefits alone, you should avoid cooking it and rather looks for ways to consume it raw.
Just one cup of kiwi gives you a great source of vitamin C and K, as well as a good amount of folate and potassium. The calorie count for one cup of kiwi is only 110.
Eating 2 raw kiwi fruits a day offers the following benefits:
- Thinning of the blood to reduce clotting, similar to the effects of aspirin.
- Lower blood fats (triglycerides)
- Maintain regularity, even when the skin is not eaten
- Support of the immune system
- Reduction in inflammation
How To Buy A Ripe Kiwi
Buying a ripe kiwi fruit can be difficult, as you obviously cannot see inside to tell if the kiwi is ripe or not. Kiwi fruit is also firm, so feeling it is the best way to know whether it is ripe or not.
When looking for a ripe kiwi, the kiwi should still be firm, but not hard. Avoid any kiwis that are soft and mushy. A ripe kiwi will have a sweet and floral aroma. The skin of the kiwi should not be broken and should take some light pressure.
It does not matter what size kiwi you buy, as both the large and small kiwis taste good when eaten raw or cooked.
If you buy a ripe kiwi, you should store it in the fridge for up to 3 to 5 days, leaving it unpeeled and unwashed to extend the shelf life.
To ripen a kiwi, you must leave it at room temperature for around 3 days, or until the kiwi gives in to some light pressure. To speed up the process, you can place the kiwi in a paper bag with a banana at room temperature until it is ripe enough to eat.
Types Of Kiwi
There are three different types of kiwi to choose from, all can be eaten raw and all can be cooked in various dishes. There are slight taste and appearance differences between them.
Green kiwi – The green kiwi is the most popular sold in stores. It has a light brown fuzzy skin and can be bought year-round. The inside is a bright green with small, edible black seeds, and a sweet-tart flavor.
Gold kiwi – The gold kiwi has yellow flesh with a smooth skin which is edible, very similar to a pair. The golden kiwi has a mellow, tropical and sweet flavor.
Baby kiwi – The baby kiwi is the smallest of them all. It is only found in the early fall and is the size of a grape. The flavor is more intense than that of the green kiwi and is much sweeter as well.
Is it okay to eat the skin of a kiwi?
The kiwi skin is completely edible and has many nutrients packed in. Eating the skin can triple the fiber intact of eating the fruit, and by not peeling the skin, you are preserving most of the vitamin C content as well.
However, the skin is slightly fuzzy, so not everyone is too excited to eat it.
What is the best way to eat kiwi fruit?
The best way to eat kiwi fruit is to keep it simple. Simply cut the kiwi fruit in half and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh.
You might want to peel the skin off the kiwi, but by using a spoon to scoop out the flesh, the skin acts like a little bowl to prevent too much mess.
You could also slice the kiwi and eat it like you would an apple, with or without the skin.
Are kiwis good for weight loss?
Due to their high fiber content and low-calorie count, kiwis are good for weight loss. They are also highly nutritious and are perfect to have as a snack during the day.
Because of the high nutrient content in kiwi fruit, and due to the antioxidants as well, kiwi fruit is considered a superfood.
Do kiwis have a high sugar content?
A kiwi has a low sugar content, which is why they are so popularly used for people trying to lose weight. Low in calories and sugar, and high in fiber and vitamin C, they are a perfect diet fruit.
There are many different ways to cook a kiwi, but it is important to note that cooking a kiwi can destroy some of its nutrient contents and health benefits.
So if you are eating a kiwi purely for the amazing health benefits, you should avoid cooking the kiwi and instead slice it up or cut it in half to enjoy as a fresh, tropical snack.
Kiwi has such a unique taste and does go a long way to add some topical layers to a dish, whether it be a sweet or savory meal.