This Unusual “Berry” Packs Great Flavor and Health Benefits in Just One Bite
Can it be true? Can the soft green fruit with a perfectly balanced tart-sweet-earthy flavor really come in a naturally bite-sized form that explodes in your mouth like a little kiwi firework? Yes! This weekend I made this breathtaking discovery (yes it was breathtaking for someone who will deny all of her locavore eating rituals for a good kiwi) when I ate the first, of soon to be many, kiwi berries.
Last week, as I scrolled through Full Circle’s Green Grocery, I stopped in the fruit section to debate the purchase of kiwis: one of the only things I am willing to buy that is shipped in from outside the region. I feel guilty giving in after spending so much time and effort seeking out locally produced and sustainable foods, but for some reason, I can’t resist. When I saw “kiwi berry” on the list, I was sold. I had never even heard of them before, but they were touted as a bite sized kiwi treat, so it had to happen.
As it turned out, they were just that; a little fruit no bigger than a grape with an amazingly punchy-sweet flavor. It tasted like a traditional kiwi married with strawberry lemonade and it was delicious! I ordered two more boxes for my upcoming delivery and can’t wait to get my hands on them.
In the mean time, I did a little research and discovered that the bite sized kiwi berry packs a ton of health benefits in addition to its’ amazing flavor.
- Like other “superfood” berries, kiwi berries have an unusually high level of antioxidants that protect your body from toxins and oxidation that can lead to cancer and other serious diseases.
- With about five times as much vitamin C as your average orange, kiwi berries provide an immune system boost. Vitamin C is also considered a powerful antioxidant.
- Kiwi berries are a rich source of vitamin E, which helps maintain healthy levels of cholesterol and heart health. The plus side is, you can get as much vitamin E from a just a few low-calorie kiwi berries as you can from an entire avocado.
- Along with spinach, kiwi berries are one of the rare vegetables rich in Vitamin B6, which helps your body create and use energy.
- Other nutrients in kiwi berries include folic acid, fiber, potassium and chromium, making them a good food to help maintain regular digestion, energy production, nervous system function and kidney health.
In addition, a weight was lifted from my shoulders when I discovered that the ideal growing climate for kiwi berries is right here in the Pacific Northwest. They prefer cooler climates and do well with shorter growing seasons; maybe I will try growing my own this spring. No more pangs of guilt when I buy these little berries! The kiwi berries now available in Green Grocery are grown in Oregon, so if you are a fellow kiwi lover, they are a great locally sourced option.
I have to admit that I have yet to do anything other than eat them raw, right out of the box they arrived in. However, I am pondering a kiwi berry and spinach salad with a light citrus vinaigrette that I will try as soon as I get my next delivery. Check back Thursday for the recipe and hopefully a few more ideas!