Kiwifruit and uses

Can I crush kiwifruit?

Kiwifruit’s smooth, juicy flesh means it can be easily crushed with a fork and mixed in with other ingredients without damaging the seeds.  These not only add fibre but a subtle crunch to the texture when combining with other flavours, such as in a pesto sauce or a guacamole.

Can I blend kiwifruit?

Kiwifruit is the perfect ingredient in chilled soups and smoothies: Zespri SunGold kiwifruit and tomato gazpacho is a refreshing summer starter or you might like to start your day with a vitamin-packed, fibre-rich Zespri Green kiwifruit & veggie smoothie. When you blend green kiwifruit, try not to over-process the pulp as cracking open the seeds can leave a slightly bitter taste.

Can I cook kiwifruit?

Kiwifruit is best enjoyed raw, but if you want to add it to a hot dish the best option is to heat it quickly e.g. dry fried, to retain the juiciness and freshness.

What effect can kiwifruit have on meat?

Kiwifruit can tenderise meat. Kiwifruit contains a unique enzyme that does not occur in any other kind of fruit: actinidine. Actinidine breaks down protein. Put it in contact with a piece of meat and the meat becomes more tender. How? Simply rub both sides of the meat with kiwifruit skin or slices of kiwifruit and leave for 20 minutes. The meat becomes wonderfully soft, ready for immediate frying, barbecuing or roasting.

Important: actinidine does have some down-sides. The enzyme breaks down the protein in gelatine and dairy products. So it is better not to use uncooked kiwifruit in dishes that contain dairy products or gelatine that you don’t intend eating immediately. Blanch the kiwifruit beforehand, then you can use them in any dish you like.

Can I use kiwifruit with dairy products or gelatine?

Yes, you can, but if you use uncooked kiwifruit in a dish containing a dairy product or gelatine, you need to eat that dish very soon afterwards. If you want to be able to store the dish for longer, you need to cook the kiwifruit before using it.

Why are uncooked kiwifruit and dairy products incompatible? Kiwifruit contains a special enzyme called actinidine, which splits and dissolves protein. If you add kiwifruit to dairy products which are rich in protein, they will eventually curdle. This is why your kiwifruit milkshake will start to separate if you leave it too long. 

Which variety of kiwifruit lasts longer?

Zespri Green kiwifruit lasts longer than Zespri SunGold kiwifruit. If you want to take kiwifruit with you on a trip, it’s better to choose Green as it handles warmer temperatures well. Although they look very similar on the outside, not all kiwifruit are the same.

When does kiwifruit taste best?

Zespri SunGold is ripe, refreshing and always ready to be eaten when you buy it. If you like a sweeter kiwifruit, Zespri SunGold sweetens as it gets softer. A Zespri Green kiwifruit is ready to be eaten when it yields to gentle pressure.

Can I slow down the ripening process?

Yes, store in the kiwifruit in the fridge away from apples, oranges, bananas and pears.

What’s the best way to eat kiwifruit?

There are more ways of eating kiwifruit than you might think. Often kiwifruit is cut in two and the flesh scooped out but you can also peel, slice, and enjoy as a ready-to-eat snack.  Children love it peeled and cut into chunky pieces that are easy for little hands to pick up.  Or use in a fruit salad, on a fruit tart or with your muesli.

For that matter you can create no end of variations with cold or warm kiwifruit in the most wide-ranging starters, main courses and desserts. How about this menu, for example: an exciting kiwi cocktail as an aperitif, juicy prawns with a refreshing kiwi dip as a main dish, followed by a lamb and kiwi tagine, and kiwi ice cream to round off?  Be inspired by kiwifruit dishes in our recipe guide.

One thing is certain: however you eat your kiwifruit, you’ll be consuming a generous amount of delicious vitamins!

Is the skin edible?

Yes! You can eat the whole of your kiwifruit, including the skin. What’s more, the skin is extremely rich in fibre. If you’re not too keen on the fine hairs on the Green kiwifruit, simply brush them off before you take a bite. And as with apples, pears and any other fruit you eat it unpeeled, make sure you rinse the kiwifruit first.

Can I freeze a kiwifruit?

Yes! Freezing is a very easy way of keeping fruit and vegetables for as long as possible. You can also put kiwifruit in the freezer, for use subsequently in the preparation of delicious smoothies, desserts or other dishes.

How do I store a kiwifruit?

Zespri Green kiwifruit can be kept in the fridge for around two weeks after purchase. If you don’t want it to ripen too quickly, keep it separate from other kinds of fruit and away from sunlight.

Zespri SunGold kiwifruit is softer than Zespri Green variety. This means they don't keep at room temperature for as long as green kiwifruit. However, golden-yellow kiwifruit keep for a week in the fridge, and are even tastier eaten cold.