When it comes to Kiwi, there are a lot of lookalikes out there. Some of them bear a strong semblance even though they are not related, or from the same genus. Kiwi is a berry, although, for a berry, it is quite big. The size can be likened to that of an average egg. In some regions of the world, it is called Kiwifruit.
Kiwi grows on a woody vine known as Actinidia. The most common variety of kiwi is the fuzzy kiwifruit. It is described as fuzzy because of the scratchy texture of the outer skin of the fruit. Every part of the kiwi fruit is edible. It has a unique taste you have to experience.
What does Kiwi taste like? Kiwi has a slightly acidic flavor that can be described as tangy or tart. The berry has a unique flavor that cannot be compared with any other fruit. In comparison with other fruits, Kiwi tastes like a combination of strawberry, banana, pineapple, and citrus for the tartness. The acidic flavor is more prominent if the fruit is unripe but when it is ripe, it tends to be sweet.
Kiwi can be cooked or enjoyed raw, but most people tend to shy away from the skin. It is not your everyday fruit, it is the perfect fruit that would bring something needed into your diet.
Nutritional Benefits of Kiwi
For its size, kiwi packs a lot of nutritional benefits. In China, it is mostly used for medicinal remedies. Kiwi is chock full of vitamins like vitamin C, K, and E. It is rich in minerals like folate, potassium, and is a good source of fiber and antioxidants. Kiwi has properties that can help to manage the overall health of the human body.
It is general knowledge that fiber is good for digestion. Kiwi contains fiber, so it aids digestion. It contains a proteolytic enzyme called actinidin that helps in the breakdown of protein. Studies carried out on an extract of kiwi that contained this enzyme have shown that it can digest most proteins with ease.
Kiwi doesn’t just aid digestion, it has antioxidants that can help treat people with asthma. A study from 2000, found that people who consumed fresh fruit regularly would witness a beneficial effect on their overall long function. In children susceptible to cancer, kiwi can help keep the wheezing away and over time make their condition better.
The amount of vitamin C in kiwi is enormous. One cup of kiwi produces 273 percent of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of vitamin C. Vitamin C can boost the immune system and keep everyday illnesses like the common cold and flu away.
Kiwi has bioactive substances that can lower blood pressure and keep it away from dangerous levels. Three kiwis a day over time reduce the possibility of heart attacks and strokes.
Kiwi can also help to reduce the amount of fat in the blood and prevent blood from clotting. This can do a lot for heart health and reduce the risk of chronic circulatory-related diseases.
Culinary Uses of Kiwi
You can eat Kiwi in different ways, you can decide to eat it raw or cook it. But like most other fruits, it is mostly eaten raw. The fruit can be sliced and enjoyed alone or mixed with other fruits to create a fruit salad. When it comes to using it in recipes that require cooking, you should try out the kiwi cobbler. It can be served with yogurt or ice cream.
Kiwi is very versatile, you can find a lot of uses for it in your kitchen or dining table. When combining kiwi with other foods, you have to be careful because of the proteolytic enzyme it contains. Actinidin breaks down protein rapidly and can prevent gelatin from setting. So if you want to add kiwi to gelatin-based recipes, you briefly cook it to deactivate the enzyme.
Kiwi can be used as a tenderizer for meat because of its acidic flavor. It can also be in marinades but you have to purée it first. You can use it in marinades for poultry, beef, and even pork.
Where is Kiwi Grown? How Do You Procure It?
In China, kiwi is known as yang tao. It was introduced to New Zealand in 1906 where it was called the Chinese gooseberry. In the coming years, New Zealand became the number producer of the Chinese gooseberry, and they named it after the kiwi bird.
The name kiwi fruit wasn’t generally accepted in the International Trade Market until 1974. Now kiwi is grown all over the world, but New Zealand remains at the forefront of the production of Kiwifruit.
In the United States, kiwi is regarded as an exotic delicacy. It can be bought at farmers’ markets or purchased at specialty grocery stores.
Which is Healthier: Kiwi or Orange?
Kiwi is known to be a nutritional powerhouse. It has more medicinal uses than orange and has a bigger store of nutrients for its size. When compared with 27 other fruits in its class, it stands at the top when it comes to nutritional benefits. It has over twice the amount of Vitamin C in orange and can double the nutritional content of the apple.
Facts You Don’t Know About Kiwi
- If you cut a kiwi before it ripens, it won’t get ripe. Instead of getting ripe, it will begin to rot.
- Kiwi can help protect against macular degeneration and prevent the loss of vision. Its high levels of zeaxanthin and lutein are responsible for this ability.
- The scientific name for the kiwi fruit is Actinidia deliciosa.