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A fruit source of vitamin C and mineral salts

Kiwi is the classic fruit. It is uncommon to find someone who does not enjoy its slightly acidic yet pleasant and refreshing flavour, despite the fact that it is genuinely defined on an organoleptic level. Kiwi is a precious fruit, not only because it is good but also because it is extremely nutritious. It is an excellent source of vitamin C but also of mineral salts such as potassium, magnesium, and iron. It also contains a lot of fibre and a certain dose of vitamin E.

Kiwi ripens from some tree species that resemble lianas. It is normally harvested between September and October, but due to some advanced conservation methods, it is available more or less year-round. It develops in climates that are not too cold but is still able to adapt quite well to the most varied latitudes. It must be said, however, that it requires a lot of water.

The main varieties of kiwi

Only one kind of kiwi is sold in Italy, and that is the green variety. However, there are many others that differ in colour, shape, and taste. Here is an overview of Kiwi varieties:

  • Green kiwi: It is the best-known variety in Italy. It is characterised by a green pulp that is markedly acidic and sufficiently firm.
  • Kiwi Gold: The shape is slightly ovoid, and the pulp is yellow with a much sweeter flavour. It also contains a certain quantity of polyphenols.
  • Yellow-Red kiwi: It is a variant of the yellow kiwi, which is characterised by the presence of coppery streaks in the pulp. It has a somewhat sweet flavour.
  • Red kiwi: This variety, rather rare in Italy, is distinguished by a flavour similar to the “green kiwi”, although it contains some hints of cherry. This variety is very rich in vitamin C.
  • Nergi kiwi: Also known as the Siberian kiwi or baby kiwi. It is a superfruit rich in vitamin C and E, i.e., powerful antioxidants that counteract the damage of free radicals.

How it is used in the kitchen

Just like any other fruit, kiwis are best eaten uncooked. This does not exclude it from being the star of intriguing recipes. Here are a few that fall into the “desserts” and “salads” categories. Don’t forget to check out the wide range of fruit salads, juices, and flavoured waters that are healthy.

Among the interesting recipes, the chips stand out as delicious alternatives to biscuits, as does the refreshing salad. Whatever the case, there is something to suit every palate, particularly considering that the fruit in question is highly versatile.

The most interesting Kiwi recipes

Kiwi is a more versatile fruit than you might imagine. As proof of this, here are some delicious recipes.

Mini Kiwi cheesecake: It is a more simplified version of the glass cheesecake. The base is made only with biscuits, while the cream features yoghurt and kiwi pulp. The application of a stick and a long resting phase in the freezer make it appear vaguely like popsicles.

Kiwi and walnut jam: More than a recipe in itself, it is an excellent solution for filling tarts and cakes. It stands out for the bold combination of kiwi and nuts. The former give sweetness and a sour touch, while the walnuts give more full-bodied and rustic hints.

Chicory and kiwi salad: It is a perfect example of a sweet and savoury salad at the same time. The bitter but delicate flavour of chicory combines with the acidic and slightly acrid flavour of kiwi.

Potted tuna with fruit salad: In this recipe, the kiwi acts as a sweet side dish, capable of strengthening the slightly acidic flavour of the tuna and giving the dish a marked abundance of colour.

The benefits of kiwi

Kiwi is a priceless fruit that has several fascinating health benefits in addition to being delicious.

  • It is good for the immune system: The reason for this lies in the abundance of vitamin C, which is higher than that of citrus fruits and is considered the source par excellence of this substance.
  • Remineralize: The reference is to the abundance of mineral salts compared to many other fruits. We find minerals like potassium, magnesium, and manganese, which improve health and keep the body’s energy levels high.
  • It helps prevent cancer: Kiwi is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidant compounds maximise cellular turnover by stepping in when DNA damage becomes more common.
  • Helps digestion: Kiwis are very rich in fibre, more than many fruits. By virtue of this, they support the activity of the digestive system and help resolve mild episodes of constipation.

Does kiwi have any contraindications?

As we have seen, kiwi is a savoury fruit; however, it is reasonable to ask whether it has any contraindications. Basically, negative effects are only reported following excessive consumption.

The reference is in particular to the abundance of fibre, which, as in all plant foods, can prove to be a double-edged sword and generate mildly laxative effects or gastrointestinal problems. This is especially true for predisposed individuals who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.

Additionally, kiwis contain oxalates, which may facilitate the development of kidney stones. For people who have kidney stones, moderation in consumption and careful attention are consequently advised.

In rare instances, kiwi can act as a trigger for allergies. This kind of allergy is comparable to several citrus fruit varieties and typically manifests as gastrointestinal and dermatological symptoms as well as systemic symptoms, including swelling and breathing issues.

Some tips on how to grow kiwis

Overall, kiwis are easy to grow, but they do have specific requirements. It needs a temperate climate because it is extremely vulnerable to harsh cold and winter frosts. As soon as the temperature falls below zero, the sprouts actually start to degrade.

Furthermore, the kiwi should be planted in pairs as it is not self-pollinating; therefore, it requires both male and female flowers for cultivation.

Similarly to what happens to the vine, another thing to remember is that the plant needs structure. Regardless, the best time to plant is between June and September, while harvesting takes place from November onward.

Lastly, take note of the soil. For a plant to grow deeply, it needs to be well-aerated, flexible, and not overly compacted.