Your guide to tropical fruits

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Do you want to enhance the good old fruit salad? Add tropical fruits, they are packed with nutrients and flavor. Here’s how to use them.

Passion fruit

What’s this? : This small ovoid fruit contains edible seeds and a juicy pulp, sweet and tart. Its hull or bark may be dark purple or pale green. The pulp and edible seeds are greenish orange, juicy, sweet and tart at the same time.

Try it! “Pulp is an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants and plant sterols, which reduce your blood cholesterol,” says Natalie Brown, registered dietitian in White Rock, BC. This fruit is also rich in vitamins. C and E. To savor, remove the pulp with a spoon and throw it in a sala fruit or pass it to the centrifuge to enhance your morning drink.

Carom

What’s this? : The waxy skin of this star-shaped green yellow fruit is edible. Its pulp has a sweet apple flavor.

Try it! When it comes to potassium content, carom wins hands down, said Winnipeg dietitian Gina Sundeland. “It’s the richest potassium fruit that helps maintain normal blood pressure,” she says. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that boosts immune function and fights infections, and beta-carotene, which improves night vision. “Slice one and put it in your lunchbox as dessert or put some slices on your vanilla yogurt.

Young coconut

What’s this? : It is a coconut that is not fully developed and therefore green on the outside. When you open one, you will see the coconut water surrounded by soft, sometimes gelatinous flesh.

Try it! “This coconut contains magnesium, potassium, iron, and the flesh itself is a good source of protein,” says Brown.
Coconut water is one of the most important sources of electrolytes. “After an intense workout, replace the lost electrolytes with a smoothie or coconut juice or incorporate the mince into a yogurt.

Dragon fruit

What’s this? : This exotic fruit is found in Asian food stores. It does not go unnoticed on the stalls: look for an oval fruit with a green end and long pink scales. The interior reveals a white flesh, similar to melon, dotted with small black edible seeds.

Try it! “This fruit, which comes from a cactus, is rich in vitamin C and fiber,” says Sunderland. It lowers your cholesterol, stimulates your digestion, and the fibers give you a feeling of fullness that lasts longer. Sundeland suggests making it a smoothie, because it is mostly water and easy to mash. Or cut the flesh into cubes and add them to your fruit salad.

Tamarillo

What’s this? : This sweet and sour fruit, some say it tastes like unripe tomatoes, is often red. Its orange-green flesh is dotted with black seeds. There is no need to peel the tamarillos; wash, slice and taste.

Try it! : A real small wonder! Tamarillo is rich in vitamin C and low in fat and calories. Use it to replace tomato slices in your sandwich or to decorate a cheese platter or salad, suggests Sunderland.

Acai berries

What’s this? : This “superfruit” of the moment looks like blueberries.

Try it! Although aca berries are often touted for weight loss, they are best known for their antioxidant potency, says Brown. “They contain anthocyanins, the same pigments that are supposed to give red wine its health benefits,” she says. They are also a good source of protein, fiber and omega 6 + 9 (which improves heart health and reduces cholesterol). The problem is that these berries are not usually eaten fresh. Look for them in powder form or drink the juice as is or in a whipped drink.

Guava

What’s this? : The flesh of this fruit with edible green bark is salmon-colored. The seeds are also edible. According to Ms. Sunderland, their taste is reminiscent of pear and strawberry.

Try it! : Go ahead, eat the skin! It contains five times more vitamin C than an orange. “It’s also high in fiber, especially if you eat the seeds,” says Sunderland. Guavas also contain lutein, a carotenoid important for eye health, potassium, fiber, calcium and iron. “Bite in this tropical fruit as in an apple, chop one for your snack or serve you make an exotic salsa.

Quince

What’s this? : Cousin of the apple and the pear, this greenish yellow fruit can not be eaten raw like its close relatives. Its leathery and astringent skin is indeed unappetizing. On the other hand, it is delicious baked or braised.

Try it! : Quince is full of vitamin C, calcium and iron. Mrs. Sunderland suggests poaching or steaming it. “The quince keeps their shape, so this type of cooking is very good for them,” she says. However, handle them carefully because they tend to bruise easily. ”

Kumquat

What’s this? : This little fun fruit looks like a tiny orange, but its sweet (and edible) skin contains tangy flesh.

Try it! “Kumquats are high in vitamin C and contain potassium,” says Sunderland. They also contain a small amount of fiber, which helps prevent constipation, reduce bad cholesterol levels and stabilize blood sugar. “Wash a few and bring them with you for your afternoon snack. They also go well with a salad of bitter greens. “Try to soak them in melted dark chocolate; it’s delicious! “says Ms. Sunderland.

Khaki

What’s this? : This bright orange fruit is round or heart-shaped, resembling a tomato and has a taste reminiscent of that of mango.

Try it! 
“Persimmon is a good source of fiber and vitamins A and C,” Brown says, suggesting that they be mashed and spread onto pancakes or incorporated into plain yogurt. You can enjoy them fresh or in a pie, muffins or a smoothie.

Dr. Monika Mathur

Ph.D Yale University

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