Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Kiwi Fruit

Although not initially eye-catching, the bright green, exotic flesh of kiwi fruit is a far cry it's brown, hairy exterior. With a sharp, sweet but tangy flavour, it is often compared to pineapple, and makes the perfect addition to a fresh fruit salad or parfait. 

Originating from China and referred to as the Chinese gooseberry, the first seeds were brought out and taken to New Zealand at the turn of the century, with New Zealand and California now being the most popular places to grow kiwi's - both varieties similar in taste.  Due to the hot climate needed, it's definitely not one that you'll be finding locally sourced, but now is one of the best times to pick them up, with kiwi fruit, rhubarb and bananas being the only fruits currently available in season. 

HEALTH BENEFITS 

- It is best known for being a rich source of vitamin C, great for boosting your immune system and fighting of colds - ideal in the transitional spring months! 

- It's also proven to help with respiratory health problems, including wheezing and shortness of bread due to the phytochemical's present. 

- As with most fruit and veg, it's also a great source of dietary fibre, ideal for a healthy digestive system and balancing blood sugar levels. 

RECIPE IDEAS 

- Kiwi fruit is best enjoyed raw for both flavour and health benefits, cooking it destroying the vitamin content and colour. 

- Although not often used in savoury, chopped kiwi fruit is a great flavour to add to salsas, particularly if you're serving it with fish - try a mix of diced kiwi, red onion, tomato and avocado.

- It would also be great in a summer salad. Try it with a mix of spinach, cooked quinoa, black beans and mango for a sweet, summer salad. 

- Kiwi is the perfect addition to a fresh fruit salad or salad platter, best served with other exotic fruits such as mango, papaya and melon. 

- Try adding it to your green juice too instead of lemon or lime to add a hint of acidity.