After work today I decided to swing by the Famer’s Market to snag some fresh fruit! I’ve become quite a fruit-eater lately. (Like multiple times a day, everyday.) I suppose it’s because fruit is so easy to carry along to work or school for a snack, and the natural sugar content is a great pick-me-up during the morning and throughout the day. Plus it’s so darn good for you it’s ridiculous. When I’m buying fruit I try to go with what’s fresh, local and in season.
I’m actually quite obsessed with starfruit. It’s prime season right now (they are literally falling off trees into yards here in Florida) and if you don’t come across a friend or neighbor that will gladly share their bounty, they are readily available in all the stores and markets for super cheap! We’re talking 4 for $1.00 people! That’s a score.
If you are unfamiliar with this fruit, here’s a little info for you. The star fruit comes from the Carambola tree, and is native to India; however, it’s now grown in various tropical and subtropical regions of North and South America, Asia and Australia. The fruit typically grows 4-6″ in length (but I’ve seen some big suckers too) and it has a waxy exterior with an orangish and yellow coloring. They are ripe when the green edges have lightened in color. Sometimes I come across entirely different shades of orange and yellow, but I’m not sure if this indicates a difference in maturity or exact species. The entire fruit is edible (even the little seeds and the skin) and it’s very high in antioxidants, Potassium and Vitamin C.
You can enjoy starfruit fresh, in salads, cooked up in a stir fry (I’ve done it and it’s mighty tasty), or in fresh juice! These tasty little stars are seriously delectable.
But all of this juicy information deserves a side note. The first (and for the longest time the only) time I had star fruit I didn’t like it at all! I was at a wedding or some function where the fruit was used to garnish a big fruit platter. I plucked a few stars off the platter (because they were so pretty) and gave them a try. They were gross. The fruit was very sour, waxy and hard. But I found out years later this was simply because they hadn’t been ripe. Don’t pass judgement on this lil gem of a fruit like I did! You can speed up the ripening process by putting the fruit in a brown paper bag on the kitchen counter, or you can slow it down by putting it in the fridge. (Which I had to do with some of my star fruits because I bought so many–I even froze some!) I actually prefer them almost overripe, when all of the green has disappeared and the edges start to brown, which is when they are most juicy.
And if you are really feeling adventures, they are a fabulous addition to any cocktail! Think fruity sangria and martinis!
Even though I retired my bartending shakers (for the most part) ;) if I had to recommend a good recipe it would be something like this.
1 1/2 oz. gin
4 oz. coconut water
splash of ginger ale
3 slices of muddled starfruit
dash of nutmeg
*Muddle starfruit and nutmeg in the bottom of a shaker. Add gin and coconut water and give it a shake. Strain and pour. Add a splash of ginger ale and garnish with a slice of starfruit.
Yes, this would be one killer cocktail. If you don’t like gin (sorry but gin is my preference when it comes to cocktails!) you could sub vodka or rum, or make yourself a virgin drink and leave the liquor out altogether. Coconut water + nutmeg is a killer combination, and the gin and starfruit will give it a special kick.
Well, no more cocktail talk for tonight, I’m off to bed! Tomorrow is my busy day with morning and night class with work sandwiched inbetween. Fun stuff. :P
Have you guys ever had starfruit before? What did you think?