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KING KIWI: My Winter “Wonderfruit”

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In the midst of an already fantastic day, I took a few minutes to enjoy a smoked turkey breast with gouda cheese sandwich for lunch. I reached into my lunch bag and whipped out one of my favorite fruits: kiwi.

As I sliced it in half, I grabbed a piece by its top and some of its juices ran down my hand and onto my coat. The fruit is SO good that in my mind, I actually contemplate…nah, this coat is cloth and it snowed yesterday (but if it was leather, and freshly cleaned….).

Originally known as the “Chinese Gooseberry,” this “strange fruit” has had many names since, with “kiwifruit” sticking thanks to a successful marketing campaign for a more attractive, marketable name.  Packed with lots of Vitamin C, it’s also a great source of potassium (for those like me who don’t like bananas), which the body needs for proper muscle, nerve, and other bodily functions.

FYI, potatoes, spinach, and most fruits and vegetables are also abundant sources of high potassium. Additionally, kiwi has high amounts of dietary fiber, which when incorporated in a diet with high fiber, can reduce the risk of high cholesterol (which can reduce the risk of heart attack and disease). Also, note that certain medications, including “water pills,” remove potassium from the body.

When picking kiwi, which I do several times a week, it’s hard to go wrong. It should be slightly giving to the touch, but not very soft; you definitely want to stay away from it if it’s hard, mushy, bruised, or shriveled. If it needs to ripen, leave it at room temperature for a few days, or ripen it faster by putting it in a closed paper bag with an apple or a banana (they give off ethylene gas, which helps it ripen). When ripening, keep away from heat and direct sunlight.  For maximum refrigeration life, store the kiwi alone for up to two weeks; but trust me, if you like them like I do, they won’t last this long.

More About the Chef:

Chef Cordell passionately pursues educating others how to build healthy cooking and eating habits for life via cooking classes, grocery store tours, kitchen makeovers, public speaking, corporate wellness training, restaurant consulting, etc. Through his nonprofit work, he looks to offer community based solutions for education of,  and access to, healthier food solutions.

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