By JeanettesHealth on July 22, 2011
Recently, I received a sample of Zespri Kiwifruit in the mail, and was so excited to find that the box included both Zespri Green Kiwifruit and Zespri Gold Kiwifruit. Although I have enjoyed Green Kiwifruit over the years, I had never tasted Gold Kiwifruit until the BlogHer Food conference I attended last fall.
Kiwifruit belongs to the berry family of fruits and descended from a wild Chinese vine. A missionary introduced Green Kiwifruit to New Zealand in 1904, and was named after New Zealand's national bird, the kiwi. The growing season for New Zealand Green Kiwi is May to November, and for Gold Kiwi, it is May to September.
Gold Kiwi was actually developed through the natural cross-pollination of select gold kiwi vines and grafting with vigorous green kiwi vines (wild gold kiwifruit tends to be small and not commercially viable).
The environment and sustainable practices are very important to Zespri. Zespri applies fertilizers and herbicides on an as-needed basis only, helping kiwifruit to earn a spot on the "clean 12" list of non-organic produce that contain the least amount of pesticides. Zespri Kiwifruit also does not contain any genetically modified organisms. Zespri does offer organic kiwifruit as well.
Kiwifruit is packed with vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. A study conducted at Rutgers University found kiwifruit to be the most nutrient-dense of 27 of the most popular fruits, followed by papaya, canteloupe and strawberry. Kiwifruit is especially high in potassium and vitamin C. A side-by-side comparison of Green Kiwifruit and Gold Kiwifruit shows that Green Kiwifruit is higher in dietary fiber (4 grams versus 2 grams in Gold Kiwifruit), but Gold Kiwifruit provides 310% of the daily value for vitamin C versus 240% in Green Kiwifruit. A two-piece serving of kiwifruit has twice the vitamin C of an orange, as much potassium as a banana and as much fiber as many whole grain cereals, all for less than 100 calories.
In addition, studies have shown that Kiwifruit may reduce blood platelet aggregation(decreasing the chance of the type of blood clot that can lead to a heart attack or stroke), help prevent age-related macular degeneration, work as a digestive aid, boost immune health, and provide substantial protection against the kind of DNA damage that can cause cancer.
Kiwifruit is exceptionally high in vitamin C, and I have added them to smoothies for an extra boost, especially when my kids seem to be coming down with a cold. I love eating kiwifruit as is, without any adornment. Kiwifruit adds interest to a plain fruit salad, and the little seeds, which are edible, add just a bit of crunch.
I have a special hankering for the Zespri Gold Kiwifruit. Although I have always considered kiwifruit to be among the exotic fruits, Gold Kiwifruit is in its own class of exotic fruits, so different from green kiwifruit in shape, color and flavor, with its sweet, aromatic, pineapply flavor. Unlike Green Kiwifruit, which are usually hard when purchased and ripen in 4-5 days, Gold Kiwifruit are ripe when you buy them. Also, did you know the skin of kiwifruit is edible? The skin of Gold Kiwifruit is thinner so I tried eating slices of this golden fruit with the skin on, and enjoyed it. However, I'm not sure I'd eat the thicker skin of Green Kiwifruit.
For a kid-friendly kiwi snack, I decided to make two treats - a Frosty Kiwi Cooler, and some Kiwi Popsicles. To highlight the natural flavor of the Kiwifruit fruit, I simply blended fresh kiwifruit with some organic lemonade. The Frosty Kiwi Cooler was super refreshing (two of my kids slurped these up pronto!), and my little guy absolutely loved these Kiwi Popsicles. He rarely allows me to take any photos of him, let alone for my blog, so you know how good these Kiwi Popsicles were. The only caveat was that I had to include a photo of one of his favorite ducks with one of these popsicles!
If you use Gold Kiwifruit, you may not need any sweetener. Green Kiwifruit is not as sweet, so feel free to add a little sweetener if you like.
- 3 Kiwis
- 1 cup organic lemonade
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar, optional
- Scoop Kiwi flesh into blender, and add lemonade and agave nectar; blend until just smooth (being careful not to overblend; otherwise seeds will be crushed, which will make the popsicles bitter).
- Carefully pour into popsicle molds; alternatively pour into small paper cups and freeze until firm enough to hold a popsicle stick upright.
- Freeze popsicles until hard.
- Serves 4-6, depending on size of popsicle molds.
Jeanette from Jeanette's Healthy Living
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