Learn how to eat the Kiwano melon, an exotic tropical fruit that is easy to eat on its own or in a bright hydrating 4 ingredient smoothie with green grapes and lime for more flavor.
Kiwano fruit is an exciting tropical fruit that shows up in markets around winter months just in time to add some tropical flavor to your breakfast.
You can eat it on its own or mix it with frozen green grapes and lime for a hydrating smoothie. Kiwano's unusual tart fruity flavor gives this smoothie a place at the table of other exotic smoothie such as my dragon fruit smoothie, pitaya bowl, and my green smoothie. Or you might want to learn about another tropical fruit. Check out my how to eat dragon fruit tutorial.
About Kiwano Melons
What are kiwanos? Kiwano melons (Cucumis metuliferus) are also called horned melon or jelly melon. You can probably find one in your grocer's exotic fruit area, next to dragon fruit, and generally in the winter months, or when it is summer in New Zealand, which is where it is currently cultivated. It's native to Africa's Kalahari dessert. References of it have been found in writings and drawings reaching back for 3000 years.
What it looks like. You'll notice it because like dragon fruit, it's futuristic looking, and like dragon fruit, it often appears in sci fi television and movies Star Trek, Terra Nova, and Guardian's of the Galaxy. The succulent has a non-edible hard spiky outer shell and an edible green gel-like interior. It looks like a round orange spiky cactus.
Nutrition. Nutritionally, a single kiwano contributes a fair variety of essential nutrients, including vitamin C, A, B6, and magnesium and iron. It is high in disease-fighting antioxidants, controls blood sugar with a low glycemic index, and promotes red blood cell production. It is also fairly high in protein for a fruit, according to Healthline. But most importantly its gel-like consistency makes it a powerful hydrator.
How to Eat
To eat kiwanos, wash, slice in half and then scoop out the gel-like interior and discard the shell. You can eat the interior gel and soft seeds - they are similar to cucumber in texture. Eat it straight or add to a recipe, such as this smoothie.
What It Tastes Like
The interior gel of the kiwano fruit tastes like blended kiwi and green grapes with a sweet green aftertaste. It is much more fruity in flavor eaten chilled; it is rather bland if you eat it at room temperature.
- frozen green grapes
- kiwano seeds (two melons, scooped)
- lime juice, fresh or bottled
See the recipe card at the bottom for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Steps to Make Smoothie
For more detail, visit the complete and printable recipe at the bottom of this post, but here are general steps.
1. Choose a kiwano that is firm, bright orange and not squishy. Rinse it off, slice in half and spoon the interior gel and seeds into the blender.
2. Add frozen grapes and lime juice to the blender.
3. Blend the ingredients until smooth.
4. Drink as is with a straw, or layer on a cup of yogurt and spoon it.
5. Top with crushed salty pistachios to offset the sweet flavor.
1.Don't refrigerate a kiwano melon once you buy it or it will lose its flavor.
2.If you want a less-sweet smoothie, buy a kiwano with more of a green tinge - the riper they are, the more orange they are and the more sweet.
Variations & Substitutions
Make a Strawberry Kiwano smoothie. Swap the green grapes for strawberries for a less-sweet smoothie with a lovely pink color.
Make a Citrus Kiwano smoothie. Swap the green grapes for 1 blood orange, peeled, for a citrus smoothie that hydrates and boosts your vitamin C.
Kiwano melon should be eaten raw, much like you'd eat a cucumber raw. Cut it open and scoop out the inner flesh and eat straight or in a smoothie.
Kiwano is not toxic, in fact the opposite is true. They are nutritious and hydrating.
Yes you can eat the soft seeds found in the Kiwano gel, they are like the seeds you find in a cucumber. And the seeds are very hydrating.
Other Healthy Smoothies
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How to Eat Kiwano (Smoothie Recipe)
- 1 cup Kiwano interior gel (two melons, scooped)
- ½ cup frozen green grapes
- ½ cup dairy-free milk
- ¼ cup lime juice
- Choose a kiwano that is firm, bright orange and not squishy. Rinse it off, slice in half and spoon the interior gel and seeds into the blender.
- Freeze your green grapes to help create a frosty texture to your smoothie. Adding ice is not recommended as it will water down your smoothie.
- Blend the ingredients until smooth.½ cup frozen green grapes, ½ cup dairy-free milk, 1 cup Kiwano interior gel, ¼ cup lime juice
- Drink as is with a straw, or layer on a cup of yogurt and spoon it.
- Top with crushed salty pistachios to offset the sweet flavor.