Star fruit

The star fruit is a tropical fruit that is gaining popularity in the U.S. This fruit acquired its name from the five pointed star shape when cut across the middle of the fruit. It has a waxy, golden yellow to green color skin with a complicated flavor combination that includes plums, apples, pears, grapes, pineapples and lemons. The flesh is crisp and very juicy. Originally from Sri Lanka and the Moluccas, and cultivated in Southeast Asia and Malaysia for several hundred years, this fruit also goes by the name of star apple. This is not the same fruit as Star Anise Fruit. Today, star fruit flourishes in south Florida and Hawaii because the fruit thrives on growing in a warm environment. Two types of star fruit are grown, tart and sweet. Tart varieties typically have narrowly spaced ribs, while sweet varieties tend to have thick, fleshy ribs. The tastes between the two are hardly distinguishable, as the tart variety still has some sweetness. This tropical fruit is readily available July through February. Star fruits are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, is low fat, and naturally sodium and cholesterol free. A small whole star fruit will provide approximately 2/3 cup sliced and has 40 calories. Select firm, shiny skinned, even colored fruit; the more yellow the color, the sweeter. Avoid purchasing star fruit with brown, shriveled ribs. Star fruits will ripen at room temperature and have lightly brown edges on the ribs when it’s ripe. Store ripe star fruits at room temperature for two to three days or unwashed, and refrigerated, in a plastic bag for up to one week. Star fruits are great to eat out of hand as these tropical delights do not need to be peeled or seeded before eating. Simply wash the fruit, remove any blemished areas, cut crosswise to get the star shape and eat. The fruit holds its shape when cut. Trim the ribs off each star, as they will be somewhat bitter, plus bruised from handling. Make star fruit part of your five-fruit-a-day plan by adding to fruit salads, using for tarts, preserves, chutney and stewed fruits, garnishing chicken, pork or fish dishes, garnishing beverages and added to your fruit smoothies. Like grapefruit, star fruit and its juice in combination with certain medications, can significantly increase their effective dosage within the body. Individuals with kidney trouble should avoid consuming the fruit, due to the presence of oxalic acid. Those who are diabetic should also avoid this fruit, due to its high amount of sugar. Next week: Clementines Facts in these articles are obtained from medical and clinical journals, scientific publications, and published tradebooks. These articles have been written and published strictly for information purposes. For any questions contact Susan at trijrsL@msn.com or www.fruitandveggienurse.com

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