Craving Something a Little Different for Breakfast, a Healthy Snack or Dinner?
If your breakfast routine has gotten a bit ho-hum, swapping out the usual banana or berries for something more exciting may be just what you need. Chances are you’re already familiar with mainstream tropical fruits like kiwi, mango, papaya and pineapple, but there’s a world of possibility in the produce aisle and online for any adventure-seeking epicurean.
Get to know these healthy tropical treats and infuse any meal with mouthwatering, international flavor!
Also known as “custard apple,” cherimoya has cream-colored flesh and large (inedible) seeds. Their flavor is described as a combination of strawberry, mango and pineapple. Cherimoyas are easy to eat and serve. Just cut the heart-shaped fruit into sections, discard the seeds, and use a spoon to remove the flesh. A great source of vitamin B and dietary fiber, cherimoyas can be used in fruit salads and desserts, or be pureed for tropical drinks or smoothies.
Sweet and juicy, persimmons are best when they are firm or just slightly soft. They’re a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium. They can be eaten fresh, in salads, or pureed for sauces, and make a great complement to chicken and seafood dishes. Store persimmons at room temperature until ripe and ready to eat.
Somewhat savory, with an exotic appearance, horned melons are showing up in grocery stores all over the country. They have a spiky orange shell with soft, green, almost jelly-like flesh. Their flavor is best described as a blend of banana, cucumber, melon with a hint of lime. Try them in fruity drinks or in sauces for chicken, seafood and vegetable dishes. Horned melons are packed with vitamin C and provide more potassium than a banana.
Another excellent source of vitamins B and C, potassium and antioxidants, jackfruit has bumpy green skin and pale-yellow flesh with edible seeds. Scoop out the flesh – seeds and all – and enjoy it raw. Jackfruit also lends itself well to sweet and savory recipes, and is frequently available as dried, crunchy chips for snacking.
Lychee, sometimes called a Chinese cherry, has a delicately sweet flavor and wonderful fruity aroma. They’re small – just an inch or so in diameter. The outer skin is usually pink or red, and the flesh is white with a single pit, just like a cherry. Just break off the peel, eat the soft flesh, and spit out the pit. Lychee can be enjoyed fresh or dried or added at the end of cooking to many recipes. They’re loaded with vitamins and dietary fiber.
These are just a few of the tropical fruits you may be able to find in your local store. Online sources have even more choices, and many provide expedited delivery, storage and serving instructions, and recipes. If you’re not able to find the more exotic varieties featured here, pineapple, mango and papaya are always a great addition to a breakfast plate or salad, or as a side for fish, poultry and vegetarian dishes.
Take a trip around the world this winter without ever leaving home! These healthful, tasty treats can add a touch of the tropics to any meal.