Last week I delivered kiwi and lentils to all the schools participating in our Healthy Bodies project. Kiwi is a fruit that most people are probably somewhat familiar with. Even though kiwi is native to China, it was New Zealand who was responsible for popularizing the fruit. Did you know that kiwi is the name of a native New Zealand bird and also a nickname for the people of New Zealand? For that reason, you will often see the name kiwifruit used instead of the shortened version kiwi.
Although we often eat the kiwifruit in a salad or dessert, it was traditionally used for medicinal purposes, perhaps because it is very high is vitamin C and a good source of vitamin K and vitamin E.
I think my experience with kiwifruit has been eating it raw by itself, in fruit salads, and also on fruit pizza. If you haven’t tried a fruit pizza, I’d suggest trying the one we highlighted in last week’s blog post! Since I had already eaten fruit pizza before, I wanted to try my hand at making something else.
I chose to make a smoothie and also a kiwifruit salsa! However, I made that decision before checking the prices at the grocery store. I had in my mind that they were probably running three for a dollar. I have no idea where I came up with that figure either, maybe that’s the summertime price. However–this isn’t summer, and I am not in Pennsylvania. Here in Florida where I am visiting family, and it feels like summer but isn’t, kiwifruit was a dollar a piece! What?? I bought six.
I also bought frozen strawberries, blueberries, and orange juice for the smoothie. I peeled three kiwifruit and blended them with the frozen fruit and a few bananas my sister had on hand. I never make smoothies, and since I only used three kiwifruit and forgot to put in the orange juice, the smoothie tasted very much like a strawberry and blueberry sorbet. So, it was very good, just very, very thick. Yes, I could have still added the OJ, but I had completely forgotten about it until I saw it in the fridge the next day! Whoops!
When I was looking for a recipe, I did notice that there were quite a few salsa recipes online. I chose a simple one, and I also chose to eliminate the jalapeno and onion from the recipe. I am not a big fan of salsa, especially hot ones. This one had yellow bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, lime, a little salt and pepper, and kiwifruit. I have to say it was delicious. I ate it with chips and then later–baked chicken. It was really good with the chips but as I was eating it with the chicken I concluded that it would make a really refreshing side salad; use all the same ingredients just don’t chop them so small. I am looking forward to trying the side salad idea the next time I make a dish to take somewhere!
I was hoping to find a recipe that used kiwifruit and lentils together since I had delivered both foods in the same week. No such luck. Every lentil recipe seemed to be for soup or some similar dish. In this Florida heat, making lentil soup seemed much too undesirable. I just couldn’t find a recipe that I wanted to try or one that seemed to lend itself well to the summery weather here. Then I remembered black bean salsa. And I already had kiwifruit salsa on hand. Why not just add some lentils to the salsa, like a black bean salsa? So I did.
And the result? Well, my kiwifruit salsa offers up way more protein than before. And that is about it. Adding the lentils did not in any way alter the taste of the salsa; it didn’t detract from nor enhance the taste. So, if you want to add some protein and a little more fiber to your diet, adding lentils or other legumes can help you achieve that.
In short, kiwifruit was the big winner this week. It definitely held its own in the salsa, even against the featured yellow bell pepper. If you get the chance, make a kiwi salsa and a fruit pizza and when summer rolls around!
And, if you happen to run across kiwiberries, pick some up. They are teeny, tiny delicious grape-size kiwifruit without the fuzz. You’ll be happy you did!