Is it actually a plum? Or is it a peach? No, indeed it is passion fruit! It does sound exotic and is a bit of a mystery, but what exactly is passion fruit? And how should one actually eat it?
What is passion fruit?
Passion fruit actually comes from the passion fruit vine, a climbing vine which has spectacular flowers. It seems Christian missionaries have given the vine its name when they have actually observed those parts of the flowers that resembled Christian teachings about the resurrection of Christ.
The color of passion fruit is rather purple or golden yellow. Purple passion fruit is acknowledged as being native to Brazil, Paraguay, and parts of Argentina. One is not sure of where yellow passion fruit originated from.
Presently, passion fruit is grown in:
• parts of South America
• South Africa
• New Zealand
Passion fruit is about 3 inches long. It has a thick, waxy rind that does become wrinkly as the fruit ripens. Inside passion fruit is, of course, sacs that are filled with orange-colored juice and small, crunchy seeds. This juice mixture is as pulp.
What are the health benefits of eating passion fruit?
Passion fruit is healthy to eat. It is low in fat and is an outstanding source of dietary fiber. Just 1/2 cup of raw, purple passion fruit does provide 12.5 grams of dietary fiber.
Passion fruit also contains:
• vitamin C
• vitamin A
• B vitamins
Purple passion fruit does reduce cardiovascular risk factors such as systolic blood pressure and fasting blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes.
Purple passion fruit peel extract may be an effective alternative treatment for adults with asthma. The study does show that the extract improved wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughs in adults with asthma.
Tips for eating passion fruit
Passion fruit is not difficult to eat, but it is not quite as easy as biting into an apple.
When choosing passion fruit, one needs to look for one that feels heavy and is purple or rather yellow in color. The skin may be smooth or even wrinkly. The more wrinkled the skin, the riper the fruit. One must make sure there is no discoloration, bruising, or green spots. Green passion fruit is not ripe.
Wash passion fruit thoroughly to remove any pesticide residue and bacteria. With a sharp knife, cut the fruit in half. A serrated knife works do well to cut through the tough, outer skin.
1. Eat the pulp, seeds as well as all
Passion fruit filled with a gelatinous pulp that is full of seeds. The seeds are edible, but tart.
Scoop out the passion fruit pulp with a spoon and then place it in a bowl. One can also enjoy passion fruit pulp straight from the shell. All one needs is a spoon. Try sprinkling a little of one’s favorite sweetener onto the pulp to cut the tartness. Some people also add cream.
2. Strain passion fruit pulp to make juice
If one prefers not to eat passion fruit seeds, one can strain them from the pulp. This does create fresh passion fruit juice. Simply pour the passion fruit pulp through a fine strainer or cheesecloth. Then press the pulp with the help of the back of a spoon to help force the juice through. The juice is delicious on its own or added to a smoothie.
3. Passion fruit nectar
Passion fruit nectar is rather made with the entire passion fruit, not just the pulp. It is also made by simmering cut passion fruit, rind and all, in water until the fruit is soft. The mixture is then blended, strained (if desired), and sweetened.
4. Passion fruit coulis
A coulis is, of course, a puree made of strained fruit or vegetables. Passion fruit coulis is made thus as passion fruit nectar, but without the rind. It is created by boiling a mixture of passion fruit pulp as well as sugar for up to five minutes and straining the seeds. Some people add vanilla bean and other spices to the pulp mixture before boiling. Passion fruit coulis may be rather used to top yogurt, ice cream, or cheesecake.
5. Passion fruit jam
Add a slice of the tropics to one’s morning toast or muffin with passion fruit jam. It is prepared similarly to other types of jam, but there are a few extra steps. In addition to boiling passion fruit pulp, lemon, and sugar, one will need to boil the outer shells and puree their inner flesh. The result is well worth the effort. Some people add other fruits to passion fruit jam, such as pineapple and mango.