If I took a quick survey of a hundred people who consume kiwifruit, asking how many eat the brown fuzzy skin together with the fruit, I would imagine no more than five would fall in this category.
Admittedly, I am now one of the five.
It wasn’t always this way, as I just assumed the flesh was the sole intended target, with the skin belonging in the compost bin. However, about three years ago while interviewing kiwifruit grower Bob Criswell of Mallard Lake Ranch on our weekly “Farm to Table” show on KZSB AM1290 (the News-Press radio station), he mentioned that the skin is absolutely edible and incredibly nutritious.
From that day forward, after a quick rinsing of the skin, there is rarely a time that I do not enjoy kiwifruit, skin and all.
The flesh of kiwifruit itself is incredibly nutritious and quite sweet with a subtle underlying acidity. Kiwifruit is a rich source of vitamin C, with two kiwifruits delivering almost twice the vitamin C of an orange and more potassium than a comparable serving of bananas.
High in fiber and a good source of serotonin, kiwifruit also offers vitamins A and E, calcium and iron. Much of the nutrition is packed in the ring of tiny black seeds encased in the bright green flesh.
Now to the skin. Studies have been conducted pointing to the skin containing more vitamin C, three times more dietary fiber and 32% more vitamin E than the flesh itself.
Some may find the skin a little too tangy or textually unappealing, but at the very least, I highly recommend giving it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Kiwifruit is most commonly enjoyed sliced in half with the flesh scooped out with a spoon. And yes, with the skin discarded. Once the flesh is removed it can be sliced and added to fruit platters, blended into a smoothie, or incorporated into a host of desserts. I personally enjoy my kiwifruit on top vanilla ice cream for a quick dessert, or worked into my morning yogurt.
This week I prepared a quick toasted rustic bread round, topped with a spread of cream cheese, kiwifruit and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Simple and delicious, the sweet kiwifruit pairs quite nicely with the tangy cream cheese. This can also be done over a toasted bagel.
Kiwifruit and Cream Cheese Toast
2 pieces of toasted bread (I used Roan Mills sourdough, Saturday Santa Barbara, Sunday Goleta).
2 large kiwifruit, firm-ripe, sliced into rounds (skin on or off depending on your preference).
Toasted sesame seeds.
Fresh basil to taste (optional).
Aged balsamic vinegar to taste (optional).
Place a nice layer of cream cheese on each toasted bread slice. Top with kiwifruit rounds and then sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. You can also add chopped fresh basil and aged balsamic vinegar if desired.
Yield: Serves 2.