Put some Passion in Your Life with...Passionfruit!
Passion Fruitby Dallas Downes
Autumn: it is the time of year when the leaves start to go orange and everything appears to have a gold lining.
With our summers appearing later in the year, it means that autumn is going to be warmer than average and what better fruit to quench your thirst and make your taste buds feel alive than the Passion Fruit?
Passion Fruit Beginnings
Passion fruit originated in South America and they were named the passion fruit by the Spanish missionaries because of the way in which the blossoms resembled the crown of thorns on Christ’s head during the crucifixion.
The fruit is now grown widely throughout Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
What makes the Passion Fruit so good for you?
The Passion Fruit holds many health benefits.
Here are just a few, if you ever needed another reason to explain why this fruit is one of your favourites!
- It can help lower cholesterol levels due to its plant sterols
- It is low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium
- Contains high amounts of dietary fibre (Australian figures rate passionfruit higher than any other fruit for dietary fibre), vitamin A, vitamin C and Potassium
- If you are an active person, the high levels of carbohydrates, roughly 21 grams and simple sugars in the Passion Fruit may be just what you need to get you fuelled during the day
- It is supposed to contain what are called somniferous properties, which when taken before going to bed, help you to relax and have a restful sleep.
- It helps you to attain optimal health and reduce weight.
Alongside the standard purple passion fruit are three more varieties of Yellow, Panama and Banana.
The yellow kinds have a hard dimpled yellow skin with a pale orange or yellow pulp.
Panama passion fruit are of a light purple to pink smooth skin shade with a yellow-orange pulp.
The Banana variety, as the name suggests, have an elongated shape, roughly 8-10cm in length and have a smooth light orange skin.
Selecting & Storing Passion Fruit
Choosing the right Passion Fruit is easy. You only need to look out for a few things such as size, feel and colour. Look out for large, heavy, firm passion fruits that have a deep purple colour. A ripe passion fruit often has wrinkled skin but be wary of those that are excessively wrinkled or that have multiple blemishes.
If you choose to leave your passion fruit out at room temperature, be prepared to use them quickly as they will dehydrate quickly if left out in the sun. Passion fruit can last up to a week if left out of the sun in room temperature, or up to two weeks if refrigerated.
Range of Uses
Experiment with the passion fruit to discover its wide range of uses to get the most out of this nutritional fruit.
As It Is
The passion fruit can be eaten raw, by cutting it in half and scooping out the pulp. The seeds are edible (they hold all the fibre content) or you can remove them by straining the pulp through cheesecloth.
Feel refreshed by making your own blend of tropical juice. Combine passion fruit juice with pineapple, orange and mango juice and take a mini holiday in your backyard with a couple of friends.
Baking & Cooking
Passion fruit syrup can be made by boiling the pulp along with water and sugar. This syrup can then be used in cakes and pies to give them extra taste. Alternatively, the syrup can be used as ice cream topping or in cocktails.
Make passion fruit ice cubes by placing the pulp in ice cube trays. This is a good idea for those of you struggling to make your eight glasses of water a day.
Flourishnote: How do you make use of passionfruit? Here at Flourish a pavolva is not a pavlova without cream and passionfruit - a perfect match!