Lap Band System Healthy Snack of the Month

Fruit of the Month

Select kiwifruit with no bruises or soft spots. Avoid fruits with wrinkles or signs of exterior damage. Buy firm kiwifruit and let them ripen at home for a juicier flavor. A kiwifruit is ripe when plump and slightly soft to the touch with a fragrant smell.

Storage

Ripen kiwifruit at room temperature for 3 to 5 days. If necessary, ripe kiwifruit can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. If they need to be stored longer, put kiwis in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The plastic bag helps reduce moisture loss so kiwifruit stays fresh longer. Putting kiwifruit near fruits that produce ethlyene gas, such as apples, bananas or pears, will speed up the ripening process. So if you want to ripen kiwifruit quickly, put kiwi in a bag with these kinds of fruit for a day or two.

Preparation

You can eat the fuzzy skin on the outside of the kiwifruit. The skin is very thin and just needs to be rinsed and rubbed lightly to dry. Then, cut in quarters like an orange and enjoy-skin and all! It’s easy to peel kiwifruit. First, cut off the top and bottom ends, and then peel down the sides with a vegetable peeler or knife. Slice or quarter into bite-size pieces and enjoy kiwifruit’s refreshing taste.

Varieties

Kiwifruit can be medium or small in size, although most are small. They are brown and fuzzy on the outside and bright green on the inside with tiny black seeds. The shell or skin of the fruit can be eaten or peeled. Kiwifruit is a member of the botanical family Actinidia and there are 400 different varieties. Kiwifruit vines are trained to grow on a trellis, and vines can be as high as 15 feet. This helps plants get enough light and air for optimal fruit quality. The fruit hangs down along the sides, like table grapes. The Hayward variety is the most popular U.S. variety. The flavor is a mixture of peaches, strawberries, and melon with a soft and juicy texture. It’s one of the most popular fruits today. Kiwifruit is high in antioxidant vitamin C and a good source of fiber, vitamin E and potassium. It is fat free, sodium free and cholesterol free.

 Did you know kiwifruit could also be used as a natural meat tenderizer? That’s because kiwifruit contains an enzyme called Actinidin. Just cut in half and rub kiwifruit over the meat, or peel and mash with a fork then spread it on the surface of the meat and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes or longer. The enzyme Actinidin also breaks down protein in dairy products. That’s why when kiwifruit is combined with low fat ice cream, yogurt, or sour cream, it’s best to serve and eat it right away.

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