Kiwi packs nutritional punch Benefits: This tiny fruit is loaded with vitamin C and is an excellent source of fiber.

January 28, 1998|By Carol J. G. Ward | Carol J. G. Ward,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

Kiwi skews the nutritional grading curve. Ounce for ounce, it packs more nutritional benefits than other fruits, studies show.

And its bright green color and sweet-tart taste can brighten your meals. For example, adding kiwi to breakfast will provide a healthy dose of nutrition and add variety to the orange juice and grapefruit routine, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.

Availability: Kiwi is available all year. Domestic kiwi is at its peak from November to May.

Selection and storage: Look for firm, unblemished fruit. To test for ripeness, apply pressure to the outside of the fruit. If it makes a slight dent in the skin, the kiwi is ripe, according to the California Kiwifruit Commission.

To hasten ripening, place kiwi in a paper bag with an apple.

Once slightly soft, kiwi can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four weeks.

Preparation: Although it's easy to peel kiwi or scoop out the pulp, try eating the skin. It's edible and contains added fiber.

Sliced kiwi adds a sweet-tart flavor to fruit salads or compotes and extra zing to peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Sweetened with maple syrup or honey, kiwi puree makes a colorful dessert sauce for poached fruit or angel food cake.

Kiwi contains an enzyme that prevents gelatin from setting, so poach it lightly if you want to include it in a mold.

Nutritional information: Kiwi is the most nutrient dense of the 27 most commonly consumed fruits, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

Kiwi has the highest level of vitamin C -- almost twice that of an orange -- and magnesium. It is also a good low-fat source of potassium and vitamin E and an excellent source of fiber. Low in sodium, kiwi contains only 45 to 55 calories per fruit.

Pub Date: 1/28/98

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