If you have ever wandered past a pear-colored fruit with a five-pointed shape, then you have seen a star fruit before. This fruit, native to Thailand, Hawaii, Florida, Southeast Asia, Australia, and South America, is juicy and tropical. They are available in most grocery stores, especially during our winter months since that is the growing season of their respective climates. There are advantages to consuming star fruit during the winter such as their high Vitamin C content, which can help keep you safe from the flu and colds.
Star fruits are also incredibly healthy. They contain only 30 calories yet have plenty of fiber. This makes them extremely helpful for those trying to lose weight. They also have high levels of flavonoids and antioxidants.
Choosing the Right Star Fruit
When you go to the grocery store in search of a star fruit, you should look for one that is bright yellow with small spots of green. Do not be put off if you find some brown streaks running down the sides. This is typical. When you feel the flesh of the fruit, it should be firm, and not mushy. If you do not intend on consuming the fruit immediately, you can buy it while it is still green and let it ripen on your counter for a couple of days. If you see a star fruit that is completely yellow, with brown spots everywhere, it is overripe, and you should look for a less ripe one.
Preparing the Star Fruit
Start by rinsing the star fruit off as you would rinse off any other fruit. Then, holding it vertically on a cutting board, use a sharp knife to cut just the very tip off of each of the ridges, or points, of the star. You will notice that one end of the fruit comes to a point while the other end is flat and has a woody spot. Cut off the woody end and discard it.
Slicing the Star Fruit
After removing the woody end, you can slice the star fruit. Slice it so that each piece comes out star-shaped. The thickness of each slice depends on your preference or the requirements of the recipe you may be following. You can use the tip of your knife to remove the seeds from each slice of the star fruit. This is tedious, but consuming the seeds is not recommended.
Now that it is fully prepared, you can either eat your star fruit alone or add it to a recipe. Starfruit also tastes delicious when it’s juiced, or used as a garnish on tropical dishes or cocktails. Below are two recipes that utilize star fruit in a way that will still allow you to taste the natural flavor of the fruit.
Star Fruit Chips
Candied star fruit chips make a great treat in the summer. Both children and adults will love this recipe. Start by slicing two star fruits into 1/16 inch thick slices. In a saucepan, bring two cups of water and two cups of sugar to a boil, and continue stirring it until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the star fruit to the mixture and immediately remove it from the heat. Let it stand, without covering, for 15 minutes. Once fifteen minutes has elapsed, pour the mixture into a colander. If desired, save the star fruit syrup that runs off for use in other recipes. Arrange the slices on a lined cookie sheet and bake in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven for about an hour, or until dry. Place them on a rack until cool. These chips can be stored for up to a week in an airtight container. Be sure to place wax paper between each layer to prevent them from sticking.
Star Fruit Refresher
This refreshing drink is just as tasty in the summer as it is in the winter. Start by blending ½ cup of pineapple juice with 4, sliced star fruits until smooth. Pass this mixture through a sieve and into a pitcher. To this liquid, add ginger syrup and lemon juice. Stir thoroughly and refrigerate for 45 minutes, or until completely cooled. To serve, fill each glass with crushed ice, and pour the mixture over it. Top with ¼ cup of plain sparkling water.
Soon you’ll be finding that you love star fruit and will be looking for ways to eat it all the time.