Harvest of the Month | Featured produce for November: Kiwis

Maria Martin
Special to the Sun
Medioimages/thinkstockphotos.comKiwis are not only adorable, they also pack a nutritional punch.
Getty Images/MedioImages | MedioImages

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Krazy Kiwis! Brown and fuzzy on the outside, emerald green and black on the inside, kiwis are one of the most nutrient-dense of all fruits. Their flavor has been described as a cross between strawberries, bananas, and pineapples. Children in TTUSD elementary school are tasting kiwis this month as part of the Harvest of the Month Program.

Kiwi season in California is just gearing up, and with proper storage, we will have access to fresh kiwis from October through May and#8212; what a great treat for winter. Kiwis are a relatively new fruit to California but their popularity has increased rapidly.

The kiwi fruit originated China more than 700 years ago. Vines up to 30 feet tall still grow wild along the edges of the forests in the Yangtse River Valley. Kiwis were taken to New Zealand at the turn of the 20th century, where they were called Chinese Gooseberries. They were first exported to the United States in 1904, but it was not until the mid 1960s they started gaining in popularity and California farmers began commercial production. Today California has 8,000 acres dedicated to kiwi production and it is the only state that commercially produces kiwis for the U.S. marketplace.

Kiwis are packed with nutrition! Kiwifruit has almost twice the Vitamin C of an orange and#8212; with two medium kiwis contributing 240 percent of the U.S. Recommended Daily Value for this important vitamin. Kiwis 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 lutein. Kiwis are also a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber. The skin of a kiwi is edible and is loaded with fiber!

and#8212; Maria Martin, MPH, RD is a member of the Nutrition Coalition and a Health Promotion Dietitian at the Tahoe Center for Health and Sports Performance. The Nutrition Coalition is supported by the Tahoe Forest Hospital Health System. Contact them at 530-587-3769, ext. 7126 or

Julia Walter, executive chef at the River Ranch, has shared her recipe for Kiwi Salsa. A graduate of Johnson and Wales Culinary School, Julia strives to incorporate seasonal and healthy ingredients in her style of cooking. This recipe is a tasty addition to grilled chicken, fish, or pork.


4 kiwi, peeled and chopped

1 Tbls. fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1/2 C dried fruit, chopped (use a combination of your choice. Golden raisins, apricots and mangos are good options)

Juice of one lemon

1/4 C honey

1/4 C brown sugar

1/2 C cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Put coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir constantly and heat until fragrant, about 45 seconds.

Add the rest of the ingredients.

Simmer over low heat for 30-45 minutes

Serve over grilled fish, chicken, or pork.

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