ExoticFruitsUK Kiwano

Kiwano

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Introduction

Kiwano is an exotic vine fruit from Africa, which is known as horned melon, jelly melon, or spiked melon. Its scientific name is Cucumis metuliferus and it belongs to the cucumber and melon family, Cucurbitaceae. The fruit when ripe has orange skin and lime green and covered in small spiny projections or horns. The inner flesh is jelly-like with a lime green yellow substance that houses a multitude of edible seeds and a refreshingly fruity taste. Kiwano -like all fruits- has high water content and during the dry season in the Kalahari Desert it serves also as a source of water apart from fruit. Apart from its high water content, kiwano is rich in vitamin A, beta carotene and magnesium. The skin is edible, which is very rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber. 

History & Regions

Kiwano is an annual fruit which means that it completes its life cycle in one year. It is originated from Africa but it can be found in temperate areas around the world today. Kiwano is native to the semi-arid climates of central and southern Africa. Due to its increased popularity, kiwano is now grown in New Zealand, Australia, Israel, United States, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Chile.   

Flavours & Texture

Kiwano flavour has a refreshingly fruity taste which tastes like a combination of banana, cucumber and lime or a combination of banana and passion fruit. Its texture is similar to passionfruit or pomegranate. 

Preparation

Kiwano is edible can be eaten raw in a fruit salad or as a side dish along with roasted meat. It has lots of seeds which are also edible but it should be mentioned that due to its generally low carbohydrate content, some people prefer to add a bit of extra sugar. Kiwano juice is used for the preparation of cocktails, smoothies, sauces and dressings.

Nutritional Value

The table below has been extracted from the USDA food composition databases.  This is the nutrition value of a single kiwano approximately 200 grams. It is low in calories, fat and carbohydrates and it has a relatively high amount of proteins.  

Calories

92 kCal

Fat

2.6 grams

Carbohydrates

16 grams

Protein

3.7 grams

Vitamin C

18% of the RDI

Vitamin A

6% of the RDI

Vitamin B6

7% of the RDI

Magnesium

21% of the RDI

Iron

13% of the RDI

Phosphorus

8% of the RDI

Zinc

7% of the RDI

Potassium

5% of the RDI

Calcium 

3% of the RDI