4 Ways to Eat a Kiwi

1. Get Fresh

Kiwis–also known as kiwi fruit or Chinese gooseberries–have twice as much vitamin C as oranges, and are also a great sources of vitamins K and E, potassium and fiber. The most effective way to absorb these nutrients is to eat the fruit fresh. The fuzzy brown skin is thin and edible–simply wash the fruit and rub off the fuzz like you would for a peach. Some people, however, don’t like the texture of the skin. You can cut the kiwi in half and scoop out the green flesh with a spoon, or for a more elegant display you can peel the whole fruit with a sharp paring knife and cut it into slices or wedges. Try fresh kiwi on breakfast cereal, pancakes, yogurt or ice cream. Kiwis are acidic and, like pineapple, cannot be used in gelatin desserts without blanching the fruit first. When you use kiwis in fruit salad, add them at the last minute to prevent the kiwis from getting overly soft. Kiwi slices are also an exotic topping for tossed green salads.

2. Dried Kiwi

Kiwi is also available dried, though it can be difficult to find–check health food stores and natural foods co-ops. Dried kiwi has a chewy texture like fruit leather. It is often sweetened with sugar to counteract the natural tartness of the fruit, so proceed with caution if you’re concerned with your sugar intake–dried kiwi is highly addictive! You can also make your own dried kiwi at home with a food dehydrator, and this way you can control the sugar content.

3. Smooth Move

Kiwis are an excellent addition to smoothies and juice blends. When juicing, use the whole kiwi, since the skin contains valuable fiber and other important nutrients. (If you are making a smoothie in a blender or smoothie maker, you might want to peel the kiwi first.) Kiwis have a sweet, slightly tart flavor that pairs well with strawberries, mango, watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, oranges and bananas. Add kiwis to vegetable juice blends–especially green juices containing wheat grass or spirulina–for a fun, tangy kick. You don’t need to core a kiwi or remove the seeds, since the white center and tiny, black seeds are as edible and tasty as the juicy green flesh.

4. Kiwi for Dinner

Just because it’s a fruit is no reason it can’t be used in savory dishes! Kiwis contain an enzyme called actinidin that works as a meat tenderizer. Add 1 or 2 pureed kiwis to your favorite marinade for beef, poultry or pork–or even tofu. You can also cut a fresh kiwi in half and rub it over the meat to tenderize it without adding the kiwi flavor. Pureed kiwi can also be added to stir-fry sauces to add a subtle, sweet-tart flavor that will surprise your dinner guests. In savory dishes, pair kiwi with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame, lemon, fennel, onions or celery.