As you know, Valentine’s Day is around the corner. If you are anything like me, you are going into heart overload. Pink hearts, red hearts, big and small hearts, hearts on cards, on balloons and on cakes. Everywhere! If you are feeling a major need for a new shape in your life, now is the time to embrace the star fruit—a tropical lovechild you should add to your grocery basket.
The Carambola (aka star fruit) is native to Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, but is becoming more prevalent in the U.S. You may recognize the lone greenish-yellow fruit in your produce section, but opt for non-scary round fruit like apples and oranges instead. Don’t be afraid of the unique shape because the flavor will remind you of the common taste you can find in plums, pineapples or lemons, varying from sweet to sour. The delightful fruits are most tasty when they are ripe so look for those that are yellow with bits of green and firm, shiny skin. Brown spots on the ribs are a good thing when picking out your star fruit (just avoid the shriveled look)! The superpower fruit is rich in vitamins A and C, high in antioxidants and fiber and low in fat.
The entire fruit is edible, even the slightly waxy skin, so it is easy to throw into a breakfast smoothie or add to a fruit salad, chutney or salsa. The flavors of the 5-point fruit can be paired with almost any meat or poultry for a sauce reduction that is mouthwatering. The healthy fruit can also be broiled or sautéed and served with sweet toppings like cinnamon and frozen yogurt for a light, sunny treat. But the beauty of noshing on the star fruit is keeping it in sliced, star form so consider baking star chips or sneaking the beauties into your sangria. You need some star fruit in your kitchen with these endless possibilities!
The constellation wannabe is readily available through the end of this heart-ridden month so snatch up a taste of the tropics while you still can. (I know I sound bitter, but it’s not toward love…just toward hearts!!).
Have you ever eaten a star fruit? What’s your favorite star fruit recipe?