If thinking about kiwis only brings to mind dull, pre-made fruit salads, it’s time to get better acquainted with this summer fruit.
Kiwis, also known as kiwifruit or Chinese gooseberries, are grown in New Zealand from June to October and in California from November until May. There are two main types of kiwi: the fuzzy kiwi and the golden kiwi. Fuzzy kiwis are the most common, and almost all varieties you’ll find in the store are of this type with fuzzy brown skin and a bright green interior. Golden kiwi has smooth skin and usually yellow flesh. It tends to be sweeter than the green kiwis.
This little fruit packs a lot of punch and plenty of health benefits. Kiwis are an excellent source of vitamin C, providing almost two and a half times your daily needs (more than oranges!). Kiwis also contain potassium, folate, vitamin E, antioxidants and fiber, and are a source of prebiotics. Their nutrition content is linked to a variety of health benefits including lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, improved heart health and better digestion.
How do you know when your kiwi is ripe?
Hold the kiwi in the palm of your hand and squeeze gently with your palm and fingers. A ripe kiwi will yield to slight pressure. Kiwi’s will ripen in three to seven days if you leave them on the counter. Speed up the ripening process by placing them in a paper bag alongside an apple or banana, which emit ethylene gas that help the kiwi ripen faster. Once your kiwi is ripe, you can leave it in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Kiwi Fun Facts
- You don’t need to peel a kiwi. Just cut it in half and scoop out the ripe flesh with a spoon. While technically you can eat the peel, the fuzzy texture may make it more difficult. But that being said…
- Not all kiwi has fuzzy outer skin. The fuzzy skin is common in green kiwi, but newer varieties like the golden kiwi have smooth, hairless skin (and yellow flesh).
- Kiwi makes a great meat tenderizer. Kiwis have an enzyme called actinidin which helps break down protein fibers in meat. Use fresh kiwis as a tenderizer or marinade by peeling and mashing ripe kiwi and placing it on top of meat. A little goes a long way – you only need half a kiwi to tenderize four to five pounds of meat.
Easy Summer Granola with Kiwi Puree (makes 1 small batch)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup coconut flakes
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup freeze dried berries (I used raspberries and cherries)
- 4 ripe kiwis
- ¼ cup orange juice
- Fresh fruit (I used cherries and raspberries)
- Toasted coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the oats, sesame seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, and honey in a small bowl and toss until mixed. Sprinkle a touch of salt on them and toss again (a couple pinches will do). Spread the mix over the baking sheet with the parchment paper and bake in the oven for 15-20 min until golden brown and crunchy. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Once cold break it down in chunks, then crumble the freeze dried berries on top and toss.
- Peel the kiwis and place them in a blender with the orange juice. Blend on high speed for 30 seconds, just enough to break down the fruit and make it a puree.
To serve, grab some yogurt, top with the summer granola, some fresh fruit, and a few scoops of the kiwi puree. Add some honeycomb and you’re good to go!
Kiwis can be used in everything from smoothies and breakfast dishes to salads, appetizers, entrees, desserts and more. Ready to add kiwis to your diet? Here are 17 kiwi recipes to inspire you this summer.
- Tropical Smoothie Breakfast Bowl by Emily Kyle at Emily Kyle Nutrition
- Green Smoothie Pancakes by Lindsay Livingston at the Lean Green Bean
- Mango Kiwi Chia Seed Pudding by Danielle Omar at Foodconfidence.com
- Kiwi Cucumber Salsa by Chelsey Amer at C it Nutritionally
- Summer Fruit Bruschetta with Kiwi and Watermelon by Natalie Rizzo at Nutrition a la Natalie
- Blood Orange, Kiwi & Mint Salad by Kristina Todini at Fork in the Road
- Kiwi Herb Salad with Pistachios and Orange Dressing by Sharon Palmer at The Plant Powered Dietitian
- Grilled Haddock Salad with Kiwi Lime Cilantro Salsa by Jenny Shea Rawn at My Cape Cod Kitchen
- Salmon Power Bowl with Kiwifruit Ponzu Sauce by EA Stewart at Spicy RD Nutrition
- Kiwi-Jalapeno Chicken by Amber Ketchum at Homemade Nutrition
- Kiwi Beef Kabobs with Herbed Quinoa by Karmen Meyer at The Nutrition Adventure
- Steak Fajitas with Kiwi Salsa and Crispy Beans by Hello Fresh
- Dark Chocolate Covered Kiwi Pops by Julie Harrington at RDelicious Kitchen
- Strawberry Kiwi Popsicles by Brittany Poulson at Your Choice Nutrition
- Key Lime Pie in a Jar by Emily Cooper at Sinful Nutrition
- Flatout Fruit Pizza by Amy Gorin at Amy Gorin Nutrition
What is your favorite way to use kiwis? Let us know in the comments section!
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