Is it a plum? Is it a peach? No, it’s passion fruit! Its name is exotic and invokes a bit of mystery, but what exactly is passion fruit? And how should you eat it?
Here’s how to eat passion fruit in five easy steps.
What is passion fruit?
Passion fruit comes from the passion fruit vine, a climbing vine with spectacular flowers. It’s thought that Christian missionaries gave the vine its name when they observed that parts of the flowers resembled Christian teachings about the resurrection of Christ.
The color of passion fruit is purple or golden yellow. Purple passion fruit is native to Brazil, Paraguay, and parts of Argentina. It’s unclear where yellow passion fruit originates from.
Today, passion fruit is grown in:
- parts of South America
- South Africa
- New Zealand
Passion fruit is round and about 3 inches long. It has a thick, waxy rind that becomes wrinkly as the fruit ripens. Inside passion fruit are sacs that are filled with orange-colored juice and small, crunchy seeds. This juice mixture is known as pulp.
What are the health benefits of eating passion fruit?
Passion fruit is good for you! It’s low in fat and is an outstanding source of dietary fiber. Just 1/2 cup of raw, purple passion fruit provides of dietary fiber.
Passion fruit is also a good source of:
- vitamin A
- vitamin C
- B vitamins
According to a study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, purple passion fruit reduced cardiovascular risk factors such as systolic blood pressure and fasting blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes.
A study published in Nutrition Research found that purple passion fruit peel extract may be an effective alternative treatment for adults with asthma. The study showed that the extract improved wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughs in adults with asthma.
Tips for eating passion fruit
Passion fruit isn’t difficult to eat, but it’s not quite as easy as biting into an apple.
Try these tips for choosing and enjoying passion fruit at its best:
- When choosing passion fruit, look for one that feels heavy and is purple or yellow in color. The skin may be smooth or wrinkly. The more wrinkled the skin, the riper the fruit. Make sure there’s no discoloration, bruising, or green spots. Green passion fruit isn’t 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 well to cut through the tough, outer skin.
Try these five easy ways to enjoy the taste sensation of passion fruit.
1. Eat the pulp, seeds and all
Passion fruit is filled with a gelatinous pulp that’s full of seeds. The seeds are edible, but tart.
Scoop out the passion fruit pulp with a spoon and place it in a bowl. You can also enjoy passion fruit pulp straight from the shell. All you’ll need is a spoon! Try sprinkling a little of your favorite sweetener onto the pulp to cut the tartness. Some people also add cream.
2. Strain passion fruit pulp to make juice
If you prefer not to eat passion fruit seeds, you can strain them from the pulp. This creates fresh passion fruit juice. Simply pour passion fruit pulp through a fine strainer or cheesecloth. Press the pulp with 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 made with the entire passion fruit, not just the pulp. It’s 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 a puree made of strained fruit or vegetables. Passion fruit coulis is made in a similar way as passion fruit nectar, but without the rind. It’s created by boiling a mixture of passion fruit pulp and 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 used to top yogurt, ice cream, or cheesecake.
5. Passion fruit jam
Add a slice of the tropics to your morning toast or muffin with passion fruit jam. It’s prepared similarly to other types of jam, but there are a few extra steps. In addition to boiling passion fruit pulp, lemon, and sugar, you’ll 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.
You may eat passion fruit juice, pulp, coulis, jam, and nectar straight. Or, add it to sauces, salads, baked goods, and yogurt.
Here are some other ways to add passion fruit to your diet:
- Tropical passion fruit tartlets: These mini tarts have a buttery shortbread crust and passion fruit curd filling. Get the recipe!
- Passion fruit popsicle: The combination of fresh passion fruit and spicy ginger takes popsicles to a whole new level. Get the recipe!
- Passion fruit sorbet: You only need three ingredients to make this easy yet elegant dessert: frozen passion fruit puree, sugar, and water. Get the recipe!
- Passion fruit margaritas: Impress your friends with a batch of passion fruit margaritas. They’re made from tequila, passion fruit nectar, orange liqueur, and sugar. Get the recipe!
- Mango-passion fruit smoothie: Tired of drinking the same boring smoothie every morning? Try this tasty concoction made with fresh mango, yogurt, and passion fruit juice. Get the recipe!