5 Reasons to Love Kiwi Fruit

Tara Losinski | July 18th, 2017

This little fuzzy fruit packs quite the healthy punch. Here, five reasons to love kiwi – plus tasty recipes to get you started!

It’s actually because of New Zealand that we know Chinese gooseberry as kiwifruit. They began commercially cultivating it in the early 20th century (reportedly seeds had been brought back by a teacher visiting mission schools in China). It was renamed in the 1960s to appease California importers who wanted a snappier handle for the fruit whose appeal had grown steadily since gaining favour with American servicemen during the Second World War.

The small melon-like berry’s popularity now extends globally with New Zealand product being sold under the brand name Zespri. The folks from Zespri recently hosted a three-course lunch in Toronto with local chef Devin Connell doing the preparing and registered dietitian and nutrition writer Jennifer Sygo doing the educating.

Turns out the little fuzzy fruit packs quite the healthy punch.

Anti-aging
Kiwifruit have two times the vitamin C of an orange, in fact just one kiwi covers our recommended daily intake. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen production, which slows as we age. Collagen is what helps keep skin firm but also helps keep cartilage strong – saving face, and knees.

Not Just a Pretty Face
Kiwi also contains vitamin E, which is good for healthy-looking skin and nails and has also been found to help protect against cancer and heart disease. Vitamin E sources are predominantly fatty foods such as nuts, seeds, fish and avocados – kiwi offers a fat-free option.

Strong Muscles
From two medium size kiwifruit you get more potassium than a medium size banana. Potassium helps our muscles move including our most important muscle, the heart. Heart rhythm problems can in fact be associated with a lack of potassium.

Tummy Tuck
Kiwi is also a source of fibre, and both types: soluble and insoluble. (Soluble makes you feel full and helps control weight while insoluble acts as the laxative to move waste out and help keep you regular.) Kiwifruit has also been found to contain actinidin, a natural digestive enzyme – a helping hand for older guts as our digestive powers fade with age.

Smart Snack
Two medium size kiwifruit has fewer than 100 calories. And kiwi is low on the Glycemic Index meaning it’ll be digested slower helping to avoid blood sugar spikes, which is especially important for those with Diabetes.

Sygo noted that kiwi is also a high source of vitamin K (plays a role in helping blood clot). People taking blood thinners should be mindful as vitamin K can interact with such medications so speak with your doctor before boarding the kiwi train.

As Chef Connell proved you could work this wonder fruit into every course, even drinks. Try the recipes for yourself!

NEXT: RECIPES

Zespri-Kiwifruit-Fizz

KIWIFRUIT PINEAPPLE AND MINT FIZZ

Serving Size: 4
Yield: 4 Cups

INGREDIENTS
½ cleaned, cored pineapple cut into chunks
6 kiwifruit, peeled and quartered
6 large mint leaves
2 tbs agave or liquid honey
1 cup soda water

DIRECTIONS
Blend pineapple, kiwifruit, mint, ice and agave in
blender until smooth.
Remove and stir in soda water.
Refridgerate until cool.
Serve and enjoy!

Zespri-Kiwifruit-Gazpacho-(2)

KIWI FRUIT AVOCADO AND TOMATILLO GAZPACHO WITH GRILLED SHRIMP

Serving Size:6
Serving Size: 5.5 Cups

INGREDIENTS
1 lb tomatillos (6-7)
1 tbs grape seed oil
2/3 cup diced red onion
1 ½ medium sized garlic cloves minced
1 tbs jalapeno pepper, finely minced
2 medium haas avocado, peeled and roughly mashed
6 kiwifruit, peeled and quartered
¼ cup cilantro, minced
2 tbs lime juice
1 tbs lemon juice
½ tps cumin
2 tbs white wine vinegar
2 tbs kosher salt
2 cups cold water
6 large, cleaned shrimp
salt and pepper to taste
lime wedges to garnish

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 425F.
Place tomatillo in a bowl and top with boiling water.
Let sit for two minutes.
Drain and remove husk.
Cut tomatillo’s in half and toss with oil.
Roast on baking sheet for 30 minutes.
Once cooked, reserve tomatillo flesh, skins and all pan juices and cool to room temperature.
Combine all remaining ingredients, including tomatillos, in a large bowl and toss together.
In two batches, mix in a blender until very smooth.
Chill for a minimum of 1 hour before serving.
Before serving, toss shrimp with oil, salt and pepper.
Cook on grill pan or BBQ for 1.5 minutes on each side.
To serve, ladle just under 1 cup of soup into bowl, top with 1 shrimp in the middle of bowl and a small wedge of lime.

Zespri-Kiwifruit-Tacos-2

FISH TOSTADAS WITH KIWI FRUIT CORN SALSA, CARROT JICAMA SLAW AND LIME CREMA

Serving Size: 4

FISH
INGREDIENTS
2 corn tostadas per person
1 lb haddock, trimmed into 4 oz pieces
1 tsp chipotle powder
¼ tps hot paprika
¼ tsp cumin
1 tbs lime zest
2 tbs grape seed oil
coriander leaves to garnish

DIRECTIONS
Rub fish filets with spices,zest and oil.
Marinate for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
Heat grill to medium heat.
Cook filets for two minutes on each side.
Remove and pull apart filets with two forks to get roughly 1″ chunks of fish

SALSA
INGREDIENTS
1 tbs grape seed oil
2 corn cobs, kernels removed
½ tsp chipotle
4 kiwifruit
½ tsp kosher salt
2 green onions, minced
1 tbs lime juice

DIRECTIONS
Heat sauté pan with oil on high heat. Add corn and chipotle powder.
Sauté corn for one and a half minutes.
Corn should be barely cooked and still crunchy.
Remove from heat and set aside to completely cool.
Peel kiwi and dice into ½ inch chunks.
Gently toss kiwifruit with corn, salt, green onion and lime juice.
Set aside.

SLAW
INGREDIENTS
1 large carrot
¼ large jicama
2 tbs minced coriander leaves
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 tbs grape seed oil
1 ½ tbs agave syrup
1 tsp kosher salt

DIRECTIONS
Using a vegetable peeler remove the skin of the carrot.
Once clean, continue to use the vegetable peeler to make long ribbons of carrot.
Rotate the carrot as you peel to get long even strips.
Cut one quarter of jicama and peel with vegetable peeler.
Cut into very thin long matchsticks and toss with carrot ribbons and minced coriander.
Mix vinegar, oil, agave and salt together. Pour over carrot jicama mixture 5 minutes before ser

CREMA
INGREDIENTS
1 cup sour cream
1 tbs lime juice
2 tsp lime zest

DIRECTIONS
Mix all ingredients together.

ASSEMBLY
Place two corn tostadas on each plate.
Spread tostada with a generous Tbs of crema.
Evenly scatter 2oz of fish in the middle of each tortilla.
Spoon on 1/4 cup of salsa.
Top with small handful of slaw.
Garnish with coriander leaves.

Zespri-Kiwifruit-Sorbet-

KIWI FRUIT, LIME, COCONUT AND GINGER SORBET

Serving Size: 8
Yield: 3.5 Cups

INGREDIENTS
2 lb kiwifruit (roughly 10) peeled and quartered
¾ cup superfine sugar
2 tbs lime zest
1 tbs lime juice
1 tbs finely grated ginger root
1 cup coconut milk

DIRECTIONS
Mix all ingredients in a blender until very smooth sugar has dissolved.
Chill for at least one hour before putting in ice cream maker.
Follow manufacturers instructions