Harvest of the Month: Kiwi, a big big berry with nutritional bang | SierraSun.com

Harvest of the Month: Kiwi, a big big berry with nutritional bang

Maria Martin

Question: I am a fuzzy oval-shaped berry and when you cut me in half you can eat my green insides with a spoon. … What am I?

Answer: A Kiwi!

The bright green and black of the kiwi is a relatively new addition to the fruit selection in grocery stores. Kiwifruit originated in China more than 700 years ago and the first seeds were brought to New Zealand at the turn of the 20th century.

Kiwis grow like grapes on trellises or t-shaped bars. The plant became a popular backyard vine in New Zealand. People thought the fruit tasted like a gooseberry so they called it “Chinese Gooseberry.” It wasn’t until 1959, when the fruit became commercially popular, that it was renamed “kiwi” by a New Zealand export company after the national bird.

Kiwifruit plants were exported to the United States in 1904, but the fruit didn’t become widely available until the 1960s to ’70s. Today, California is the only state in the United States that commercially grows kiwifruit.

Harvest begins in late September and the majority of fruit is harvested during October and early November. There are two types of kiwifruit – green and gold. The green kiwifruit, which is the most popular, has fuzzy brown skin, bright green flesh, tiny black seeds, and a creamy white center. The gold kiwifruit is relatively new to the United States. It was first grown in New Zealand in the 1980s. It has golden flesh and tiny black seeds. It tastes similar to the green kiwifruit, but it also has a hint of mango flavor. On the outside, the gold kiwifruit has nearly fuzz-free skin. Despite its size and its fuzzy outer skin, the kiwifruit is actually a berry.

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Fresh kiwis are the most nutrient dense of all fruits! Kiwifruit has almost twice the Vitamin C of an orange. Two medium kiwis have about 240 percent of the U.S. Recommended Daily Value for Vitamin C. Kiwis also have 20 percent more potassium than a banana; potassium is an important mineral that controls heart activity. In addition, kiwis are a good source of Vitamin E, folate, magnesium and the phytonutrient leutin. Kiwis are also a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber. The skin of a kiwi is edible and is loaded with fiber.

TTUSD Elementary School students are tasting kiwis in November as part of the Harvest of the Month Program. Kiwis are ripe and ready to eat when the outside of the fruit gives to slight pressure. Kiwis are great in lunches and easy to eat at school or work; just cut in half and scoop the fruit out with a spoon.

Michael Plapp, chef de cuisine at the soon-to-be-open Baxter’s Bistro and Lounge in the Village at Northstar has shared his recipe for Kiwi tabbouleh. Michael has worked in San Diego, Los Angeles and New York and has been a chef in the Lake Tahoe area since 1998. He lives in Truckee with his wife and two children and enjoys rock climbing and skiing when not in the kitchen. Enjoy this refreshing and colorful salad with roasted meats or fish, or even as a light dessert. The salad was a big hit at Women’s Wellness Weekend!

” Maria Martin, MPH, RD is a member of the Nutrition Coalition and a Wellness Dietitian. The Nutrition Coalition is funded and supported by the Tahoe Forest Health System through the Tahoe Center for Health and Sports Performance. For more information, contact us at 587-3769, ext. 228 or mmartin@tfhd.com.

KIWI TABBOULEH

Ingredients:

Kiwi 6 ea

Pomegranate 1 ea

Banana 1 ea

Tangerines 3 ea

Fresh Mint 1 Bunch

Couscous 1 Cup

Sugar 1 Tbsp

Honey 1 Tbsp

Water 1 Cup

Curry Powder 1 tsp (optional)

Greek-Style

Honey Yogurt 1 pt (optional)

Procedure:

Peel and thinly slice four kiwi, set aside.

Peel and dice (1/4″) remaining two kiwi.

Peel and dice banana and 2 tangerines.

Seed pomegranate.

Coarsely chop mint, reserve 4 sprigs for garnish.

Toss diced fruits and pomegranate with mint and juice of remaining tangerine.

In a small saucepan, bring water, honey, sugar and curry powder to boil.

Pour over couscous. Cover to steep until water is absorbed, then fluff with a fork.

Toss fruit mixture and couscous together.

To plate, mound tabbouleh in center of plate, surround with kiwi slices and additional pomegranate seeds. Garnish with yogurt and mint.