Kiwano Melon Exotic Fruit With Spikes and How Do You Eat It?

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The Kiwano Melon is a exotic fruit with spikes.I were drawn to it’s golden glow and spiky good looks. But then the questions start. . . What is a Kiwano Melon and How do eat it?

Living, breathing, dreaming (and of course, growing!) this amazing exotic fruit, I constantly need to remind myself that some people may never have seen, let alone eaten one.

Where are Kiwano from and how do they grow?

The kiwano may look like a fruit from outer space ( exotic fruit with spikes and in fact, it featured in an episode of Star Trek), but it’s a very popular snack in Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of the U.S.

This peculiar fruit is also known as the horned melon, jelly melon, African horned cucumber, hedged gourd, melano, and blowfish fruit.

It’s grown commercially mainly in the US and New Zealand. Here in New Zealand we harvest from late January to late April/May (our summer/autumn time).

Kiwano connoisseurs describe the flavor of the slimy green interior as a cross between cucumber, zucchini, and kiwifruit (though as it ripens, it tastes more like a banana).

Is Kiwano good for you?

You bet! It has a low natural sugar content in comparison to other fruits, making it a great produce choice for those on low carbohydrate diets.

Kiwano are a source of magnesium, dietary fibre, and potassium. Magnesium is the mega mineral that’s been getting a lot of press lately. We say mega because every cell in your body needs it to function! It keeps our teeth and bones strong, helps reduce tiredness/fatigue, and aids energy metabolism. Potassium is another hard worker. It’s benefits include: keeping a normal water balance in our body, helps our muscle function, and contributes to children’s normal growth and development. Fibre of course is really important for maintaining healthy and regular bowel movements.

How do you eat Kiwano?

A fully ripened kiwano has an orange rind with prominent spikes. To eat plain, cut the fruit in half, as shown above. Gently squeeze one half until the slime-covered seeds ooze out. The seeds aren’t harmful to eat, but many people prefer to hold the seeds between their teeth and suck off the green flesh.

First slice your Kiwano in half. You can either scoop out the pulp with a spoon or cut it into wedges (and eat it like an orange wedge. You can also squeeze the pulp out into a bowl.

If that doesn’t sound appealing, you can also simply scoop out the inner fruit and toss it in fruit salads or use as a colorful garnish.

Should I eat the seeds?

You absolutely can and should eat the seeds! Inside the Kiwano’s vibrant green pulp are hundreds of slim edible seeds. These can be strained out if you like, but will change the delicious jelly-like texture. Just give it a try first!

What can you do with Kiwano?

Kiwano is incredibly versatile and can be used in sweet and savoury dishes. It can be used as an ingredient in drinks and cocktails, scooped over ice cream and yogurt, added to salsas, salads, smoothies, or used to make dressings and sauces for meat and seafood (Our website has delicious recipes or our Instagram feed is a great place to see how others are using this unique fruit).

So next time you see one of these exotic fruit with spikes in store, give it a try! I hope you’ll agree, it really is “what’s on the inside that counts.”

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