Jackfruit is a sweet, delicious and exotic fruit that is packed with many nutrients and benefits. Jackfruit is known as the jack of all fruits. It is a rich source of vitamin, minerals, phytonutrients, carbohydrate, electrolytes, fiber, fat and protein. This fruit also contains calorie but no cholesterol or saturated fats. Consume jackfruit for the best taste, nutrition and its many health benefits.
Oranges are the most popular among all the citrus fruits. This tangy fruit definitely impresses with its delicious juicy taste and its high concentration of vitamin C as well as other nutrients. Oranges are widely popular and account for about 70% of the world’s citrus production. Their amazing taste not only makes them a popular snack but also a major ingredient in several dishes. Even the orange peel contains volatile oil glands in pits which have several health benefits. Orange juice is widely used as a preservative as well as to impart flavor to various dishes.
Orange, or more specifically sweet orange, is a citrus fruit belonging to the Rutaceae family which also includes pomelo, tangerine, and grapefruit. Orange tree is an evergreen tree that grows widely in tropical and subtropical climates. A typical orange is a spherical fruit weighing about 100 to 150 grams and measuring about 3 inches in diameter. They contain carpels with several fluid vessels which are specialized hair cells. Oranges are generally classified into 2 categories- sweet and bitter. The sweet varieties are more widely consumed while the bitter ones form part of other recipes. Popular varieties of sweet oranges include Persian variety, Valencia, Navel and Blood orange. Tangerines or mandarin oranges are related varieties of oranges which have loose easily peeled shin (pericarp) and sweet juicy flesh.
In India, the onset of summer is marked by an abundance of mangoes flooding the markets! Mango is one of the yummiest fruits around, perfect for those scorching summers. Its amazingly delicious taste, unique flavor and fragrance as well as health promoting qualities have made it earn the name of “the king of fruits.” It is one of the most widely consumed fruit in tropical countries and is the national fruit of India. The mango tree is basically a tropical tree cultivated in many parts of India. It is believed to have originated in the sub-Himalayan plains of the Indian subcontinent. Mango is the delicious fruit of this tree, weighing about 250 to 750 grams with a typical mango shape, which is somewhat similar to that of a kidney. This fruit belongs to the family of Anacardiaceae, which also includes cashew, pistachio etc.
Mangoes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors depending on the type of cultivar. Mangoes can be as small as a ping pong ball or large enough to weigh 4 to 5 pounds. Their shape also varies from oval, round, heart shaped to kidney shaped or long and slender. They have a smooth outer skin, which is green when unripe but turns to golden yellow, bright yellow or orange-red on ripening, depending upon the cultivar type. The inner flesh is juicy and orange to yellow in color with several fibers emerging from its centrally located flat, oval shaped seed, which is usually a single embryo but sometimes can also be poly-embryonic. It has a pleasant and rich flavor, which is a combination of sweet with mild tartness. All varieties of mangoes have been hailed as delicacies and are used in several recipes including savory dishes, desserts and smoothies. Unripe mangoes are used to make pickles. They are a rich source of vitamins A, C and D. Mangoes are available from April to August.
Kiwi fruit is a favorite of salad lovers. This exotic fruit is known for its attractive bright green color and its wonderful and distinct flavor. However, much is not known about this fruit as it is produced in a very few countries and not available easily. Also known as Chinese gooseberry and Macaque fruit, kiwi fruit is an edible berry of a wooden vine which has its origin in China. It is the national fruit of China. It is basically an oval shaped fruit with a fibrous dull greenish brown skin and bright green or golden flesh containing several rows of tiny black edible seeds. It is approximately the size of a hen’s egg and weighs about 125 grams. Its flesh has a soft and fuzzy texture and a unique soft flavor which is a blend of strawberry, apple, pineapple and banana fruits.
Here we are talking about the fuzzy kiwi fruit but there are several other varieties of kiwi fruit depending upon the type of cultivar. Some other varieties of this fruit are the following.
- Hardy kiwi fruit: Also known as baby kiwi, it is much smaller than the fuzzy variety and resembles a large grape with smooth edible skin. It has the same color and texture as the fuzzy kiwi fruit but has an intense flavor and sweetness.
- Gold kiwi fruit: This is a hybrid variety developed in New Zealand. It has smooth sparse hairs and bronze like skin with a pointed cap on one end and a distinct golden yellow flesh. It has a less tart and more tropical flavor than green kiwi fruit and hence, enjoys greater commercial value.
Avocado might not be the favorite of those who diet because of its high content of calories, but this lush fruit is hard. Some people consider it a vegetable but it is actually a fruit. In fact it is a large berry belonging to the flowering plant family of Lauraceae which also includes cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel. This fruit is native to Mexico and Central America and is widely cultivated in the tropical and Mediterranean climate. Avocados are basically pear shaped, egg shaped or spherical fruits with a bright green-skinned fleshy body and centrally located single seed. They have smooth to crinkled skin with colors ranging from black to green. Unlike other fruits, avocados do not ripen on the tree but need 4 to 7 days after picking along with proper temperature and humidity to soften. This fruit is also referred to as ‘alligator pear’ because of its pear like shape and deep green roughly textured skin.
The buttery texture and versatile taste of avocado fruits make them suitable to be eaten alone. Cooking often makes them bitter. However, they can easily form part of salads, smoothies, juices and jams or as a meat substitute in sandwiches. In fact, they are considered as one of the healthiest foods as they contain more than 25 vital nutrients, vitamins, minerals and beneficial phytonutrients.
Cantaloupe, also known as muskmelon, belongs to the curcurbitaceae family. Cantaloupes are believed to have originated in India or ancient Persia. The fruit gets its name from the Italian village “papal” where it was originally cultivated in the year 1700. The two common varieties of cantaloupe are European cantaloupe and North American cantaloupe. The fruit is round or oval in shape and has a rough and scaly skin. Cantaloupe flesh comes in colors like salmon, yellow and orange. Read on further to know about the several benefits and nutritional value of cantaloupe fruit in detail.
Raisins are an extremely delicious and widely popular variety of dry fruits. They are obtained by drying grapes either in the sun or in driers such that they turn golden, green or black in colour. Their crinkly look might not appear pleasing to many, but they are one of the healthiest snacks around. In fact, they are a suitable alternative to candies and chocolates because of their delicious sweet taste. They can be eaten raw or used in cooking, baking and brewing. They are widely used in cultural cooking in desserts, cookies, pies, puddings as well as savoury dishes. They are a valuable source of energy and are used in health tonics and high energy food supplements for athletes, mountaineers and others.
Pomegranate is a member of the berry family and belongs to the Punicaceas family. It is one of the most popular fruits, which is cultivated for food, juice, flavor and color. The name pomegranate is derived from the French words “pomme garnete”, which means seeded apple. Pomegranate is believed to have originated in Iran over 4000 years ago. This exotic fruit is even mentioned in Greek legends and ancient texts, including the Bible. It was brought to Egypt in 1600 BC, where it became revered not only as an important food source, but also for its medicinal purposes. It was also depicted in paintings and Egyptian tombs, where it symbolized life after death. The jewel toned seeds symbolize fertility, health and prosperity in some cultures. It is also used in the wedding ritual in several cultures. In Chinese symbolism, pomegranate, with its bright skin and tasty seeds is a symbol of fertility and prosperity.
Also known as the “Apple of the Orient”, Persimmon is a bright orange fruit, belonging to the Ebenaceae family. The scientific name of persimmon is Diospyros Virginiana and it is native to China. Persimmon is technically not a fruit, but a large, round succulent berry with a thin and smooth peel. The pulp inside is soft and creamy and has a sweet honey like flavor. There are two types of persimmon – astringent and non-astringent. The entire fruit is edible except the seed and calyx.
Papaya, also known as papaw or pawpaw, is a delicious tropical fruit. It is believed to have originated in the tropics of America, perhaps somewhere in Southern Mexico. Due to its amazing combination of mouthwatering flavor and health benefiting nutrients, it has earned the name “fruit of angels.” Papaya is basically a spherical or pear shaped fruit, weighing about a pound. On ripening, it feels soft to thumb pressure and its skin attains an amber to orange hue. The hollow cavity in the center has a mucin which encloses numerous black seeds. The inner flesh is orange in color with yellow or pink hues and deliciously sweet, musky taste with rich flavor.