The scientific name for kiwi is very appropriate, actinidia deliciosa. Now I have no idea where actinidia comes from but completely agree with the deliciosa part. Once you get past the tough and creepily hairy outside, the bright green fruit of the kiwi is a delicious treat! Whether eating it straight out of the skin or enjoying its unique color in a fruit salad, the kiwi never disappoints. In nutrient content, the kiwi continues to perform. With more fiber and nearly double the potassium and vitamin C of an orange, there’s no denying the nutritiousness of the kiwi.
Now let’s talk about that hairy skin and other odd quirks. At first the kiwi fuzz might be a turnoff for some. Peeling off the skin with a paring knife or slicing the kiwi and scooping out the flesh are common solutions. A lazy option (and I do love to be a lazy cook) is to simply rub the skin vigorously to remove the fuzz and then eat the fruit whole. The skin is surprisingly thin and unobtrusive.
Another common complaint about the kiwi is how quickly they spoil after being cut. Unfortunately there is no lazy solution here. Kiwis contain enzymes which are activated when it’s cut. Once activated, the enzymes quickly begin breaking it down as well as any other fruit they come in contact with. Cut your kiwi as soon before eating it as possible and don’t plan on saving any leftovers. This doesn’t apply to cooked dishes because the enzymes are deactivated with heat.
In honor of this nutritious and delicious fruit, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite ways to enjoy kiwi (in no particular order):
- Fresh, right out of (or including) the skin
- Dried into kiwi chips
- Cut in a fruit or green salad
- Cut over cereal or pancakes
- Chopped in plain yogurt or parfait
- Baked into bread
- Pureed in a smoothie
- Juiced or pureed in a mixed drink
- In jams and jellies
- Mixed in sauces or marinades
- Sliced over ice cream or shortcake
- Topping for fruit pizza
No matter how you enjoy your nutritious kiwis, enjoy them while they last. California kiwi are available through winter and into spring. Get yours before they’re gone.