Friday, September 20, 2013

Twinkle Twinkle Little Starfruit

I have a friend who is a master gardener. Her lush organic garden is not only a feast for the eyes, but also provides the most delicious fruits and vegetables I have ever tasted. We love to walk through her garden and enjoy fresh snacks that we pick ourselves straight from the earth. 

Recently, she gifted us with a bag of the tastiest little star fruits. My kids were so excited to experience this "funny looking" food and they each chose the one they would eat. Though you can certainly bite right into star fruits as you would apples or pears, I knew that cutting them into slices would be a lot more fun.

So, we washed our star fruits and I sliced them up. We loved seeing the little stars emerge and couldn't wait to taste them.

They were so juicy and delicious, with a slightly sweet flavor that just burst with juice when we bit into them.

My gardener friend told us that we could dehydrate our star fruits and that they would taste even better than raisins! We did plan to do that. We really did. But, unfortunately, I can't tell you if star fruits indeed taste better than raisins when dried, because we ate every one of those star fruits before they could ever see the inside of our dehydrator.

Maybe you've seen star fruits at your local market, but passed them up because you weren't sure what they were. The next time you come across them, I highly recommend picking some up. 

The entire fruit is edible, including the skin. Star fruit has a consistency similar to that of grapes. You'll want to eat your fruit shortly after it ripens, when it is yellow, just after all traces of green have disappeared. If you wait for it to over ripen, the star fruit will be yellow with brown spots and may be more bland in taste and not as crunchy. 

The wonderful thing about star fruit is that it is sweet yet rarely has more than 4% sugar content. The taste is difficult to compare, but it is a little like a combination of apple, pear and citrus. Star fruits are rich in antioxidants, potassium and vitamin C, and low in sugar, sodium and acid. They also have antimicrobial properties. 

One warning, however. Star fruit contains oxalic acid, which can be harmful to individuals suffering from kidney failure, kidney stones, and those under kidney dialysis treatment. Like grapefruit, star fruit is considered to be a potent inhibitor of seven cytochrome P450 isoforms, which means that the fruit or its juice, in combination with certain medications, can significantly increase the medicine's effective dosage within the body. So, if you are on medication and have questions about whether or not you can safely enjoy star fruit (and grapefruit), please consult with your doctor.

So, if any of you have the discipline to cut your starfruit and actually dehydrate it instead of eating it all on the spot, like we did, please let me know how it tastes! 

In good health,


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