Star fruits taste best when consumed ripe. Unripe star fruits may taste excessively sour and at times bitter. Once ripe, these fruits turn completely yellow with a hint of green at the edges; this is the best time to consume star fruit. You can enjoy having a star fruit by:
- Cleaning it with water
- Cutting off the edges
- Not peeling the skin because it is edible
- Slicing it horizontally
- Removing the seeds
You can use star fruits for the following preparation:
- Seafood or shellfish dishes
- Asian- or Indian-style curries or stews
- As a garnishing ingredient
We can also consume raw star fruits. Apart from eating, raw star fruits are also useful in cleaning rusted utensils.
What are the health benefits of star fruit?
Researchers have claimed certain health benefits of star fruit, which include:
- Reducing skin inflammatory condition
- Relieving stomach discomfort and ulcer-like conditions
- Reducing cholesterol level
- Removing toxins from the body
- Boosts immune system
- Lowering the risk of heart diseases
- Reducing the risk of brain tumor
- Relieving constipation with the help of fibers
- Lowering blood sugar level
What are the harmful effects of having star fruit?
As star fruits have high contents of certain substances, such as oxalic acid and caramboxin (CBX), it can prove to be dangerous in patients with kidney diseases. As patients with kidney disease are unable to effectively excrete toxic substances, they are adversely affected by oxalates. Accumulation of oxalates and caramboxin can cause serious illness in patients. Star fruit poisoning can lead to:
The death rate was high in chronic kidney disease patients who consumed star fruit. Hence, star fruit should be avoided in patients with chronic renal disease.
You don’t have to reach far to the sky for this tropical fruit, as it can be likely found at your nearest grocers! Learn how to eat and cut a star fruit here!
You do not have to reach far to the sky for this tropical fruit, as it can be likely found at your nearest grocers! Star fruit can be found mostly from late summer to late winter months. Star fruit is described as a mild, yet floral-like flavor and highly noticed for its (as the name suggests) star-like shape. Learn how to eat and cut a star fruit here!
How to Cut a Star Fruit
Before cutting into the star fruit, make sure its ripened for best tasting. A ready-to-eat, ripe star fruit will appear primarily bright yellow. It may also be complimented with light green and a dark brown along the five ridges. Though known to be juicy, the flesh should feel firm to the touch. After finding your perfect star fruit, it is time to get to cutting!
- Rinse off star fruit or lightly wash with a vegetable brush.
- On a cutting board, lay down the star fruit vertically.
- With a sharp knife, thinly slice off the brown, outer edges along the five ridges or “star points.” As a side note, the waxy skin can in fact be consumed! Just be sure to wash it off well.
- Turning the fruit on its side or horizontally, cut off the stemmed point. The other side will be more flattened.
- Start cutting the edible fruit into desired thick or thin slices – you will start to notice nature’s star-shaped fruit!
- Within the stars, delicately cut out and discard any seeds.
- Enjoy the fruit in the following six ways listed below!
How to Eat a Star Fruit
1. “Lone Star”
Simply enjoy star fruit on its own! Within the skin upholds a juicy flesh that is simply desirable, though consuming (or not consuming) the skin is up to the individual’s discretion.
2. (Star) Fruit Salad
Though fruit salads never tend to lack color, they may fall short on shape diversity. Instead of bite-sized fruit chunks covering the fruit salad’s entirety, enhance the visual aesthetic with the unique shape of star fruit!
3. Star Fruit Upside-Down Cake
Pineapple upside-down cake just got a unique, healthful twist! Using lessened amounts of butter while incorporating light brown sugar and whole wheat flour, you do not want to miss out on this eye-popping, spice-filled star fruit upside-down cake !
4. Star Fruit Quencher
Drink your way to paradise! The star fruit quencher features pureed star fruit and additional tropical flavors. Ingredients can also be adapted to accommodate personal preferences. Not a lemon fan? Swap it out with fresh orange juice. Do not relish the flavor of ginger? Dismiss it altogether! Experiment with taste variations and serve with a star fruit garnish.
5. Star Fruit Steak
As mentioned, star fruit is exceptionally juicy. Marinating the beef with the fruit transfers the liquid to the meat and offers a remarkably juicy and tender product. Find the complete recipe here and pair with favorite roasted veggies!
6. Broiled Star Fruit in Ginger
If gazing for a unique recipe, you have looked in the right direction! This broiled star fruit recipe features warm spices that you will enjoy cozying up to on a cool evening. Additionally, the broiled star fruit can simply be enjoyed on its own or used to top yogurt or even pancakes!
Star fruit, also known as carambola, is the fruit of the Averrhoa carambola tree. Although star fruit is most abundant in tropical areas, such as India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, it is widely distributed around the world.
Star fruit is dark green when it is unripe, but it turns glossy yellow as it ripens. Ripe star fruit is fleshy, crunchy, and juicy and has a sweet and slightly tart taste. Smaller star fruits are more tart than the larger fruits.
When sliced horizontally, the fruit resembles a star, which is why it is named “star fruit”.
Star fruit is low in calories and is a great source of vitamins and other nutrients as well as antioxidants including the following:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B5
Health Benefits of Star Fruit
Anticancer potential. There is promising research that star fruit could help in preventing cancer. The fiber in the fruit reduces toxicity levels in the body, which helps lower your risk of getting cancer.
Anti-inflammatory ability. The high levels of antioxidants in this fruit make it a good anti-inflammatory that can help ease symptoms of psoriasis and dermatitis.
Weight loss promotion. High fiber in star fruit can help also boost your metabolism and allow you to lose weight. Also, because each serving is low in calories, you can enjoy star fruit as a tasty snack without worrying about putting on weight.
Immunity boosting ability. Star fruit provides you with a boost of vitamin C, which ensures that your body will produce the right level of white blood cells for a strong immune system.
Improved respiratory health. Because of its anti-inflammatory potential, this fruit can help soothe your sore throat. Its juice cuts through mucus and phlegm, making it a popular choice for treating respiratory infections and supporting your overall health.
Improved heart health. The high amounts of sodium and potassium in star fruit act as electrolytes in our body, helping maintain proper blood pressure. This also ensures a regular heartbeat and healthy blood flow.
The calcium in star fruit can also relieve tension on your blood vessels and arteries, which helps reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Improved digestion. The fiber in star fruit can stimulate the movement of stool through the digestive tract, relieving symptoms of constipation, bloating, cramping, and diarrhea.
Eating star fruit may have a harmful effect in people with kidney disease.
Also, although star fruit has many helpful nutrients, it also contains toxic substances called neurotoxins. These can affect the brain and cause neurological disorders. Although people with healthy kidneys can process and pass this toxin out of their bodies, this is not possible for people with kidney disease. The toxin stays in the body and causes serious illness for people with these diseases.
The symptoms of star fruit poisoning include the following:
- Mental confusion
- Death (in severe cases)
If you have kidney disease, it is crucial to avoid eating star fruit and to talk with your doctor to learn more about the effects of star fruit or any other fruit you may have questions about.
People who take prescription drugs should also consult with a doctor before eating star fruit.
How to Eat Star Fruit
Star fruit tastes best when eaten ripe. Unripe star fruits may taste excessively sour and even bitter.
If you buy a green-ribbed star fruit, let it ripen until it turns yellow. Keep the fruit at room temperature, occasionally turning it, until its fragrant “perfume” develops. You are looking for a full floral-fruity aroma, which indicates that the fruit has its best taste.
The fruit can be continued to be stored at room temperature if you are going to serve it in a day or two. If not, refrigerate the ripe fruit to increase its shelf life.
You can prepare star fruit by simply doing the following:
- Cleaning it with water
- Cutting off the edges
- Not peeling the skin
- Slicing it horizontally
You can also try pairing the fruit with avocados, kiwis, mangoes, and bananas in a fruit salad or in a puree.
As an edible garnish, you can saute star fruit slices for a second or two, and sprinkle with sugar to glaze. Pair this with fish and poultry dishes, or use it as a substitute for lemon or lime slices to garnish chilled beverages.
Star fruit is a delicious, nutritious fruit that is low in calories but packed with vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants.
People with kidney problems or those who take prescription drugs should consult with a doctor before eating this fruit.
Bioinformation: “Nutritional, Medicinal and Toxicological Attributes of Star-Fruits (Averrhoa carambola L.): A Review.”
Have you ever wondered how to eat star fruit? Have you ever heard of starfruit? Some of the other names are Carambola, ma fen, and kamaranga.
In this post, you will find information on where star fruit comes from and where it grows. I mention some of the health benefits of the star fruit. And of course, I show you how to eat star fruit and describe what it tastes like to me.
If you like tasting new fruits and have never tried a star fruit, you have got to try one, they are one of my favorite fruits!
Where do star fruit come from and where do they grow?
The star fruit or carambola is a tropical fruit that is native to places like Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, and other parts of Southeast Asia. It is eaten in those places as well as places like the South Pacific, India, and the Caribbean. It is either yellow or green and there are two main varieties a smaller one which is sourer and a larger one which is sweeter.
It is cultivated and grown in many tropical and subtropical places around the world. Commercially they are cultivated in places like India, Southeast Asia, China, Taiwan, and also here in the United States in Florida. They even grow well here in Arizona, although, just backyard tropical tree hobbyists grow them here.
I can’t wait to have a backyard of my own so I can plant a few of these. Or maybe I will plant some in my parent’s yard until then, haha. They do grow fairly well in large pots, so technically I could grow them on my patio. But I think I will wait until I have a nice yard for them. There are even a handful of nurseries near me that sell them.
What are the health benefits of Carambola?
The star fruit is a pretty good source for several vitamins and other nutrients:
- High in Vitamin C
- High in Fiber
- Low in calories – Only about 28 calories and 6 carbs in a single medium fruit.
- Loaded with healthy plant compounds which have good antioxidant benefits.
With that said, there are a few potential side effects. People with kidney problems should avoid eating star fruit or at least consult a doctor first before eating them. Also, people taking prescription drugs, should probably avoid eating star fruit.
For more benefits and information on the health benefits of Star Fruit check out this healthline article.
How to eat Star Fruit?
Now, how to eat a star fruit? The whole fruit is edible, although there are seeds inside that you will want to spit out or dig out with a spoon or knife. The most common variety is the larger yellow/orangish ones. Wait until they are almost completely yellow, and then store them on the counter until all the green is gone.
Begin by washing and drying the star fruit. Then, I usually cut off the ends, because they are a little less appetizing, although still edible.
Then run your knife just under each ridge cutting them off. They are a bit stringy/woody and don’t taste as good, but some people don’t even bother cutting them off, so try it both ways.
Now just cut it about 1/2 of an inch so it makes little stars. You can certainly just bite into it if you wanted to, but it looks so much better if you slice it this way and show off the whole reason why it is called a star fruit. Dig out any seeds with the knife or a spoon.
You can eat it raw, just pop them in your mouth. Or the can also be used in cooking and are commonly made into relishes, preserves, as a garnish, and juiced.
What does star fruit taste like?
Now that you know how to eat star fruit, what does it taste like? To me they are slightly sour, slightly sweet, although I have had really sweet ones and really sour ones. The skin is kind of waxy, but it doesn’t effect the taste at all.
The taste is kind of hard to compare. They are incredibly juicy, and to me is like a mix between an apple, pear, grape, and some citrus undertones.
I really like the taste of star fruit, one of my favorite tropical fruits!
I’ve heard that star fruit is bad for the kidneys and should be avoided. Is this true?
Star fruit (also known as carambola) is a tropical fruit that traditionally comes from a tree (Averrhoa carambola) native to Sri Lanka and the Moluccas (also known as the Spice Islands), an archipelago in Indonesia. It is now grown in Florida and Hawaii, as well as in Southeast Asia and Malaysia. The name star fruit comes from the fact that when sliced, the cross section has the shape of a five-pointed star.
It can be yellow to green. Star fruit taste can be a complex flavor that may be tart or sweet, , combining flavors of pineapples and lemons.
A note on how to eat star fruit properly: if you have no kidney problems, you can eat all the star fruit you want – it has no effect on healthy kidneys. But if your kidney function is impaired, eating star fruit can be very dangerous, even deadly. Symptoms of “star fruit intoxication” include persistent hiccups, nausea, vomiting, agitation, insomnia, mental confusion and convulsions that occur within one to five hours of eating the fruit.
The problem seems to be the high levels of oxalic acid (or oxalate) in this fruit that can accumulate in weakened kidneys. But since kidney patients don’t seem to have problems eating other oxalate-rich foods (such as spinach), Brazilian researchers who have been studying the reaction suggest that another, unidentified substance toxic to nerves is the real culprit. Whatever this toxin may be, people with healthy kidneys have no problem excreting it while those with impaired kidney function run into trouble with the combination of the unknown toxin and oxalate. The only way to deal with star fruit intoxication is prompt dialysis – so anyone who does have kidney problems and develops hiccups, vomiting or other symptoms after eating star fruit should get immediate medical attention.
Star fruit intoxication can develop in patients with kidney failure after eating as little as one half of a fruit or drinking less than eight ounces of star fruit juice. In one case, a patient with impaired kidney function died after eating just a single star fruit.
Seeing a star fruit (or starfruit) in the grocery store can be a little intimidating or seem ‘too exotic’ if you’ve never sliced and eaten one your self, but don’t be scared, it’s delicious and easy. The best looking star fruit may not be the most ripe and delicious, so choosing the right one is important. Your best bet is to find the fruit with the least amount of green on the edges and the richest orange color. This could mean there are some brown edges, but if they are small, that indicates it’s at its optimum ripeness.
I have tried buying green star fruit and letting them ripen to a bright orange color, but they are always much more bitter than finding the fruit at the stand that has spent more time ripening on the tree. It really is hit or miss, so if you find a good source for them, stick with it. In Costa Rica there is a farmers market in the Pavas area of San José that has a lot of stands with star fruit, which they call carambola, but we have our favorite of course. You can find the market extending down about 500 meters along the street running beside the Palí in Pavas every Saturday morning.
A great way to use star fruit that I’ve noticed here in Costa Rica is to juice them and combine with sugar and cinnamon for a sweet little cocktail. If you then take the juice and blend it with ice, it’s even better for the summer.
1. First choose the best, most ripe starfruit with slight green edges and rich orange color
2. Using a sharp butcher knife, slide the blade down the green edges of the star fruit being careful only to remove the non-orange edge.
3. Once the edges are removed, slice off the two ends. Only remove about 1/2 inch, not too much. At this point your fruit should have no more green or brown areas.
4. Next, slice the trimmed starfruit across the broad side, into star shapes about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick
5. You’ll notice that your slices have seeds in them, mostly in the middle pieces. These should be removed with the tip of the knife.
6. Star fruit is a very fun-shaped fruit, so get creative with how you plate it. It also makes a great garnish, and in Costa Rica (in Spanish is called ‘carambola’) they are plentiful and cheap. They are a great snack with a little sprinkle of cinnamon, as a juice drink, or to use in salads. They are versatile, so find your favorite way to use them and enjoy!
You can add star fruit to your diet in a variety of ways. My favorite is in a fruit salad, but it is also a great compliment to a green garden salad or a chicken dish that uses coconut. Anything dish that combines sweet and savory is a great one to garnish with starfruit or use within the recipe.
Here are a few starfruit recipes to get your started:
Starfruit, Orange and Mango Smoothie
• 3 Cups of fresh orange juice
• 3 Ripe starfruit, trimmed and de-seeded
• 4 slices of starfruit, trimmed and de-seeded
• 1 mango peeled, pitted and cubed
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 Tablespoon of honey (optional)
• 2 Cups of ice cubes.
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into 4 large juice glasses and garnish each with a star fruit slice. Serve immediately.
Herbed Green Salad with Starfruit
• 1/4 cup sliced almonds
• 1 head romaine lettuce, leaves torn (6 cups)
• 1 starfruit seeded and diced
• 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
• 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
• 10 chives, chopped
• 4 to 5 tablespoons Italian vinaigrette
1. Heat oven to 400° F. Spread the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until golden, 5 to 6 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce, star fruit, parsley, cilantro, chives, and almonds with the vinaigrette.
Coconut and Starfruit Baked Chicken
* 4 boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 2 cups uncooked jasmine rice
* 1.5 cups chicken stock
* 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
* 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
* 1 teaspoon salt
* juice from 2 starfruit (clean and de-seed fruit, blend and strain)
* 1 starfruit sliced into thin stars
* 1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1. Heat oven to 325° F. Lightly coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with vegetable cooking spray. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with the garlic, cayenne, and lime zest; set aside.
2. Place the rice in the baking dish. Combine the chicken stock, coconut milk, cilantro, salt, and starfruit juice and pour onto the rice. Arrange the chicken on top of the rice. Cover with foil and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through.
3. Remove the foil, sprinkle the coconut on top, and cook 5 minutes more or until the coconut is browned. Dish out and serve with starfruit garnish.
I can remember seeing starfruit for the first time as a kid thinking it was so weird but, also fun. We always enjoyed starfruit by itself but, what goes well with starfruit?
Sweet, spicy, and salty flavors are the perfect combination to go with starfruit. Salads with tangy citrus dressings, sweet and salty marinades or sauces, and spicy curries are perfect dishes to pair with starfruit.
Table of Contents
What Is Starfruit
Starfruit is a native fruit from Southeast Asia, that also goes by the name of Carambola.
It’s a uniquely shaped fruit in a elongated star. When sliced you have a perfect star shaped piece of fruit.
How Does Starfruit Taste
Starfruit is a combination of sweet and tart flavors. Some would say it’s similar to citrus, apples, pears, and grapes. When a starfruit is under-ripe the flavor will be a lot more tart.
Can You Eat The Skin Of A Starfruit
You can eat the outside skin of a starfruit, the entire fruit is edible.
What Is The Texture Of Starfruit
The inside of a starfruit has a texture that is very much like the inside of a grape or a pear.
How Do You Pick A Ripe Starfruit
A starfruit starts out green and ripens to a nice golden yellow color. The ripe fruit can also have slightly green or brown edges. An under-ripe fruit has many green spots where an overripe fruit will have many brown spots.
It’s like searching for the Goldilocks of starfruit. The starfruit that is just right is mostly yellow with slightly green or yellow edges.
What Spices And Seasonings Go Well With Starfruit
- Brown sugar
- Soy sauce
What Food Goes Well With Starfruit
Foods that are sweet, tangy, spicy or acidic go really well with starfruit.
What Fruit Goes Well With Starfruit
- Passion fruit
What Dishes Would I Pair Starfruit With
- Coconut Curry
- Cucumber salad
- Citrus Vinegarette salad
- Tofu with cilantro lime rice
What Should I Make With Starfruit
Since starfruit is very tropical I would pair it with summer salads and dishes that have citrus kick to them.
You can’t go wrong with a rice dish. It could be a nice cilantro lime rice or a tangy fried rice with pineapple.
For the main dish I would suggest a grilled teriyaki tofu or you favorite veggie burger.
How Should I Eat Starfruit
Starfruit can be eaten all by itself. Slice the fruit into perfect star shaped pieces and enjoy.
If you want to doctor up the basics drizzle on a honey-lime vinegarette and sprinkle with a small amount of chili powder or cinnamon.
- Add star slices to your favorite fruit salad
- Make fruit kabobs with star-shaped toppers
- Make a fresh salsa with starfruit
- Dry the starfruit and make starfruit chips, sprinkle on cinnamon
- Replace the pineapple in your favorite upside-down cake with starfruit for a fun twist
- Make a starfruit sorbet
- Make starfruit jam
- Freeze some starfruit slices for your drinks
- Add starfruit to your next summer sangria
- Throw some starfruit in your smoothie
Is Starfruit Healthy
Starfruit is a very healthy food that is high in vitamin C and fiber.
This fun fruit is also high in antioxidants, which helps combat cell damage in our bodies.
In many cultures, starfruit is used as an alternative to pharmaceutical medicine. It’s been used for many years to treat fevers, sore throats, coughs, colds, headaches, skin issues, and asthma.
Should Some People Not Eat Starfruit
Although starfruit is amazing and has many health benefits, there are those that should avoid consuming starfruit.
People With Kidney Issues Should Avoid Starfruit
Starfruit is very high in oxalates or oxalic acid.
High oxalate foods can cause kidney stones and should be avoided if you have kidney disease.
If you have or have had any health concerns regarding your kidneys, you should speak with your doctor before eating high oxalate foods like starfruit.
Can I Grow Starfruit
Due to starfruit being a tropical plant it can be grown outdoors in zones 9-11.
Epic Gardening has a wonderful article all about growing starfruit.
Can You Grow Starfruit Indoors
Even if you don’t live in a warm climate it is possible to have your own starfruit tree.
How Much Starfruit Does A Tree Yield
The amount of fruit that a starfruit tree will produce will depend on it’s age, climate and care.
A full grown mature tree can yield on average 200 to 400 pounds of fruit a year. That’s a lot of starfruit.
Starfruit is a fun and unexpected fruit.
To be honest I rarely ever buy starfruit. it’s sort of a forgotten fruit but, I plan on making a point of picking one up more often.
Regardless if you a young or old the fun star shape and sweet tangy flavor is bound to bring some joy to your meals.
If you saw star fruit without knowing what it was called, you might marvel at its odd shape and wonder what it tastes like. When looking at star fruit growing on trees, the fruit looks a bit like a bell pepper but more elongated. Instead of rounded, indistinct lobes, star fruit has five pointed lobes that run the length of the fruit. Given its odd shape, you might wonder how to cut and eat star fruit. It’s pretty simple since it doesn’t need to be peeled.
Understanding star fruit before you learn to cut it
Star fruit, or carambola, is a slightly tart yet sweet tropical fruit that grows on trees native to Southeast Asia. There are several varieties of star fruit, and they look very much alike except for their size. The smallest ones may be as short as 2in long, while other varieties are 4-6in long. The larger varieties are the sweeter of the two. Smaller star fruits have more of a sour flavor.
Star fruit is bright yellow with a waxy skin, and the entire fruit is edible. You don’t have to cut it up to eat it; you can bite right into it just as you would an apple. But the star-shaped slices look pretty as garnishes or on a fruit plate, so you’ll want some tips on how to cut star fruit.
How to tell if star fruit is ripe
Before you eat star fruit, you’ll want to make sure it’s ripe. The easiest way to gauge the ripeness of star fruit is by its color. Star fruit is green as it grows on trees, and it turns bright yellow as it ripens. When ripe, a star fruit will have very little green still on it, and the edges of the star points will begin to turn brown. The ripe fruit is firm to the touch.
If star fruit is orange or a bit mushy, it’s probably overripe.
How to cut up and eat star fruit
Despite its odd shape, star fruit is quite easy to cut up and serve in appealing, star-shaped slices. Since you don’t have to peel the fruit, you can cut and serve it in no time at all in just a few simple steps.
- Wash the fruit thoroughly under cold water to remove any dirt or debris.
- Cut or peel away the browned edges of the lobes—it’s okay to eat this part, but it’s more aesthetically pleasing without it.
- Cut the fruit into slices along its width using a sharp knife. You’ll see each piece has the tell-tale star shape!
- If there are any seeds in the middle, poke them out and discard them.
1. Wash the fruit thoroughly
Since you’ll be eating the peel of the star fruit, it’s essential to wash it thoroughly before cutting it. Rinse the fruit and use a vegetable brush or your fingers to scrub away any residue gently. Gently pat the fruit dry before cutting it.
2. Cut or peel away the dry edges of the lobes
While the whole fruit is edible, the edges of the lobes begin to dry out and turn brown as the fruit ripens, so you’ll enjoy the fruit more if you cut these edges away. You can use a vegetable peeler or a paring knife to do this. Simply run the knife or peeler along the length of the edges of the lobes to cut away any brown or rough edges.
3. Cut the fruit into slices
Once you’ve cut away the edges from the lobes of the star fruit, there’s only tender fruit left. It’s soft enough to cut easily with a sharp kitchen knife. You can choose any width for your slices. A quarter-inch width works well for garnishes, while you may want wider slices, perhaps a half-inch or so, for a fruit plate.
It’s not necessary to discard the end pieces, but you can if they seem dry.
4. Remove the seeds
Star fruit seeds are edible but not particularly tasty, so you may want to remove them. Each fruit has only a few seeds, usually 10-12 per fruit. If you’ve cut the star fruit into slices, it’s easy to get to the seeds and pop them out with the end of your knife.
How to serve sliced star fruit
The cute star-shaped slices are ready to eat by themselves, tossed in a salad, or arranged on a board with other fruits. Bananas, pineapple, mango, and papaya are great fresh fruit to serve with star fruit. Strawberries, kiwi fruit, citrus fruits, and grapes also have complementary flavors.
Other ways to eat cut star fruit
Star fruit also makes delicious juice and smoothies. Thinly-sliced star fruit can be baked or dehydrated to make chips to snack on. The sweet tropical fruit can also be pickled or preserved.
You’ll also find several recipes using star fruit, from desserts to chutneys to marinades for meat.
Star fruit is fun to eat and easy to serve
Because the entire fruit is edible, it’s easy to cut up and appealingly serve star fruit. Kids are drawn to the fun star shape and its sweet flavor. Adults may think you’ve gone to a lot of trouble preparing and serving this exotic fruit, and you don’t have to let them in on the secret.
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Dragon fruit is a nutritious — not to mention vibrant — fruit that can benefit your body and your taste buds, says registered dietitian Mira Ilic, MS, RDN, LD.
Ready to get a little adventurous? Here’s how to incorporate dragon fruit into your diet when it’s in season from summer to early fall.
What is dragon fruit?
Dragon fruit, also called pitaya or strawberry pear, looks like something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book: On the outside, it’s a pink oval with green scales (hence the “dragon” name). Inside, it has white flesh with tiny black seeds. The fruit’s strange appearance also gives off “psychedelic artichoke” vibes.
“It’s a tropical fruit that comes from a cactus. It’s available everywhere around the world, but it’s indigenous to Mexico and South America,” Ilic notes.
What does dragon fruit taste like?
“If you like kiwi fruit and pears, then you’ll probably like dragon fruit. It’s sweet and crunchy.”
Dragon fruits come in a variety of shapes and colors:
- Pink skin with white flesh. This is the most well-known kind, but it’s the least sweet. It’s sold under the names including Alice, Cosmic Charlie and Guyute.
- Pink skin with red or pink flesh. Bigger and sweeter than its white-fleshed cousin, this variety is sold in stores under names such as Red Jaina and Bloody Mary.
- Pink skin with purple flesh. Look for the name “American Beauty” in stores.
- Yellow skin with white flesh. Yellow dragon fruit is the hardest to find, but it’s also the sweetest.
The benefits of eating dragon fruit
The flesh of the dragon fruit is low in calories and fat-free. It also contains plenty of:
Dragon fruit is an excellent source of fiber, Ilic says. The daily recommendation for adults is at least 25 grams — and dragon fruit packs 7 grams in a single 1-cup serving.
“Fiber, may benefit gastrointestinal and cardiovascular health,” notes Ilic. “Fiber is also filling, which is helpful if you’re trying to lose weight. People who eat whole, fiber-rich foods are more likely to maintain a healthy weight.”
Dragon fruit has a ton of beneficial vitamins and minerals, including:
- Carotenoids (may reduce cancer risk).
- Lycopene (may improve heart health and reduce cancer risk).
- Magnesium (important for cell function, and dragon fruit provides 18% of the recommended daily amount).
- Iron (important for healthy blood and energy, and dragon fruit contains 8% of the recommended daily intake).
- Vitamin C (helps your body absorb the iron and boosts immune system health).
Improves gut health
Healthy bacteria in your gut may help digestion and even reduce colon cancer risk. “Some studies appeared to show that dragon fruit promoted the growth of healthy gut bacteria,” says Ilic. “It may have a positive effect on the gut microbiome, the good bacteria in our intestines.”
How to cut and eat dragon fruit
If you can’t find dragon fruit in your local supermarket, you may have better luck in a specialty food store or Asian market.
To pick one out, Ilic recommends trusting your gut. “Follow your fruit know-how,” she says. “It should be slightly soft when you’re testing it with your finger. If it’s overly firm, you can still bring it home and leave it on your counter to ripen.”
Peel and cut it into sections when you’re ready to eat it. Much like an avocado, you eat the flesh and discard the skin. You could also cut it in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon or melon baller.
Dragon fruit is best eaten raw, but you can throw it on the grill like some other fruits. Enjoy it on its own or add it to:
- Desserts. , especially cod, tuna and mahimahi.
- Salads. .
“Once you cut it up, wrap it tightly and put it in your fridge,” says Ilic. “When your dragon fruit starts to get mushy and brown, throw it away.”
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What is it?
Part of the wood sorrel (Oxalidaceae) family, starfruit, or carambola, grows in clusters on small, bushy trees. Typically 3 to 5 inches long, the fruit has thin, glossy skin that turns from green to golden-yellow to nearly orange when ripe. It’s found in tropical climates throughout Asia (where it originated), the Caribbean, Central and South America, Florida, and Hawaii.
There are two types of starfruit, sweet and tart. Sweet varieties have thick, fleshy ribs; tart varieties have narrow ones. The difference in taste is negligible, though, since both types taste predominantly sweet when ripe. Starfruit is usually not labeled by variety, but the three most common ones found in the United States are Kary, which is sweet, and Star King and Golden Star, which are tart.
This tropical fruit is crisp and juicy, with a flavor vaguely reminiscent of a grape or a pear: mildly sweet and floral. Try them in fruit salads for visual punch, or as a garnish to a cheese platter or dessert plate. The entire starfruit, except for its few small seeds, is edible.
How to choose:
Starfruit make their way into grocery stores from late summer to late winter. A starfruit should feel heavy for its size and have smooth, shiny, evenly colored skin, with no signs of bruising. A ripe starfruit is extremely fragrant, and its skin is a glossy yellow or greenish yellow. Brown lines on the ridges are a sign of ripeness. Choose fruits that are firm, with no blemishes or bruises. You can ripen green starfruit by keeping it at room temperature and turning it often so the color will develop evenly.
How to prep:
To use starfruit, trim both ends, slice it thinly to reveal its shape, and remove any seeds. Add it raw to a tropical fruit salad, a pitcher of sangria, or a fruit tart.
When cooked, starfruit stays slightly crisp. Toss it into a stir-fry; braise it in honey, cardamom, and chicken broth for a luscious side dish; or layer slices over seared chicken breasts and broil. For a dessert, simmer sliced starfruit with cloves, cinnamon, honey, and a splash of rum to make a compote for waffles, or use instead of pineapple for an upside-down cake.
With its citrusy aroma, starfruit pairs well with warming flavors like five-spice powder, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Savory but not overly rich ingredients like soy sauce, chiles, and wine are perfect complements, too.
How to store:
Store ripe starfruit at room temperature for up to three days or refrigerate in a paper or plastic bag for up to a week. Sliced starfruit freezes well for a few months.
One thing you can’t fail to notice about the carambola: it is star shaped. Which accounts for its other name of star fruit. And it’s a star anyway thanks to its lovely taste. The green to yellow skin hides a colourless, transparent flesh that is bursting with flavour: deliciously fresh and mildly sweet. The skin is edible.
At EAT ME we know exactly where you can find the best carambolas: in Malaysia. They are larger than varieties grown elsewhere in the world. When you see carambola in your local shop, don’t worry about the sour aroma. The fruit will continue to ripen naturally in the fruit bowl.
Recipes with carambola
Of course, the distinctive star shape invites you to use the fruit as a decoration. But that does not do credit to the other charms of the carambola. Use the decorative slices to jazz up a fruit skewer, along with other exotic fruit. And bring a touch of star quality to a salad with the addition of carambola! Or use it as a delightful taste maker in a cocktail.
- 20 min.
- 470 kcal
- Gluten free
Carambola can be eaten whole, but rinse the fruit well first. It is surrounded by a waxy layer that can dominate the subtle flavour. Then cut the fruit into slices to create the star shape. The fruit retains its flavour even when baked.
How to use carambola in the kitchen?
- In salads
- As a snack
Do you want to keep your carambolas slightly longer than the day of purchase? In that case, it’s best to store them in the fridge.
Star fruit (carambola) may be introduced in moderation as soon as baby is ready to start solids, which is generally around 6 months of age. If your child has kidney disease, you may want to avoid star fruit as studies have found that consuming large quantities can be toxic for adults with conditions that impact the kidney. 1 2 3
Background and origins of star fruit
Native to Southeast Asia, star fruit grow on trees in tropical climates around the world, where it goes by different names—balimbing, fuang, kamaranga, kamrakh, or ma fen to name a few. The fruit’s anglicized name hints at a common preparation: when cut crosswise, the slices resemble stars—a delightful shape to stimulate the senses of babies, toddlers, and adults alike. Ripe star fruit is sweet and slightly tart, like a cross between a green grape and an almost-ripe pear. Unripe star fruits are more acidic and a little sour, like a green apple. Star fruit is often harvested shortly after it ripens when its green skin has started to fade to golden yellow or sunny orange, depending on the variety—some of which are sweeter than others. The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked in savory or sweet preparations, from fresh chutneys and preserved pickles, to fish soups and vegetable stews, to iced drinks or simple salads of sliced star fruit dusted with salt and spice.
Yield: 2 child-sized servings
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
- 1 ripe star fruit
- 1 lime wedge
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- Wash and dry the star fruit.
- Cut crosswise into age-appropriate sizes.
- If you like, peel the skin from each slice. The skin is edible, but it can be challenging for young eaters to chew and swallow.
- Squeeze the juice of the lime wedge onto the stars, then sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Serve: Lay the fruit on your baby’s plate and let your child self-feed by trying to pick up the food, or pass a piece in the air for your baby to grab. For toddlers with advanced eating skills, serve a large lime wedge or spice on the side and let kids season the fruit on their own—an activity that is just as much a learning opportunity as an enticing invitation to eat.
To Store: Cut star fruit keeps in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 1 day.
The bright, refreshing taste of star fruit pairs well with sweet and savory flavors alike. Try serving star fruit alongside fellow tropical fruits like dragon fruit, mango, kiwi, papaya, or pineapple. Use star fruit to balance the richness of hearty proteins like beef, lamb, and pork, or to offset the heat of dishes with fiery flavor from cayenne, jalapeno, or Sichuan pepper. Or try pairing it with creamy foods like coconut, goat cheese, mascarpone cheese, or ricotta cheese. Star fruit also tastes great on its own with a sprinkle of your favorite citrus or spice!
J. Truppi, MSN, CNS
V. Kalami, MNSP, RD, CSP
K. Grenawitzke, OTD, OTR/L, SCFES, IBCLC, CNT
S. Bajowala, MD, FAAAAI. Board-Certified Allergist & Immunologist (allergy section)
R. Ruiz, MD, FAAP. Board-Certified General Pediatrician & Pediatric Gastroenterologist
- Neto, M.M., Silva, G.E., Costa, R.S., Vieira Neto, O.M., Garcia-Cairasco, N., et al. (2009). Star fruit: simultaneous neurotoxic and nephrotoxic effects in people with previously normal renal function. NDT plus, 2(6), 485–488. DOI:10.1093/ndtplus/sfp108. Retrieved December 11, 2020
- Muthu, N., Lee, S. Y., Phua, K. K., & Bhore, S. J. (2016). Nutritional, Medicinal and Toxicological Attributes of Star-Fruits (Averrhoa carambola L.): A Review. Bioinformation, 12(12), 420–424. DOI:10.6026/97320630012420. Retrieved December 11, 2020
- Yasawardene, P., Jayarajah, U., De Zoysa, I., Seneviratne, S. L. (2020). Mechanisms of star fruit (Averrhoa carambola) toxicity: A mini-review. Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology, 187, 198–202. DOI:10.1016/j.toxicon.2020.09.010. Retrieved December 19, 2020
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. (2020). Vitamin C: Fact Sheet for Professionals. Retrieved December 11, 2020
- Beard J. L. (2008). Why iron deficiency is important in infant development. The Journal of nutrition, 138(12), 2534–2536. DOI:10.1093/jn/138.12.2534. Retrieved December 22, 2020
- Mitchell, T., Kumar, P., Reddy, T., Wood, K. D., Knight, J., Assimos, D. G., Holmes, R. P. (2019). Dietary oxalate and kidney stone formation. American journal of physiology. Renal physiology, 316(3), F409–F413. DOI:10.1152/ajprenal.00373.2018. Retrieved December 19, 2020
- Muthu, N., Lee, S.Y., Phua, K.K., Bhore, S. J. (2016). Nutritional, Medicinal and Toxicological Attributes of Star-Fruits (Averrhoa carambola L.): A Review. Bioinformation, 12(12), 420–424. DOI:10.6026/97320630012420. Retrieved December 19, 2020
- Yasawardene, P., Jayarajah, U., De Zoysa, I., Seneviratne, S. L. (2020). Mechanisms of star fruit (Averrhoa carambola) toxicity: A mini-review. Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology, 187, 198–202. DOI:10.1016/j.toxicon.2020.09.010 Retrieved December 19, 2020
- Morton, J., Carambola. Hort Purdue. Retrieved January 20, 2021
- Zhang, J.W., Liu, Y., Cheng, J., Li, W., Ma, H., et al. (2007). Inhibition of human liver cytochrome P450 by star fruit juice. Journal of pharmacy & pharmaceutical sciences: a publication of the Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences, 10(4), 496–503. DOI:10.18433/j30593. Retrieved December 11, 2020
- Hidaka, M., Fujita, K., Ogikubo, T., Yamasaki, K., Iwakiri, T., (2004). Potent inhibition by star fruit of human cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) activity. Drug metabolism and disposition: the biological fate of chemicals, 32(6), 581–583. DOI:10.1124/dmd.32.6.581. Retrieved December 11, 2020
- Numata, T., Ito, T., Egusa, C., Kobayashi, Y., Maeda, T., Tsuboi, R. (2015). A case of oral allergy syndrome due to star fruit sensitized from atopic hands. Allergology International, 64(4), 393–395. DOI:10.1016/j.alit.2015.06.011. Retrieved December 11, 2020
You have seriously been my hero. I have had such a hard time with my 13 month old and his lack of eating. This has helped me so much! Thank you for helping all us moms out there!
How to eat star fruit? What are the best ways to get the most out of star fruit? Does everyone know how to eat a star fruit? Here I’m going to tell you the best ways to eat star fruit.
Star fruit is one of the best fruit you can do for a summer vegetable garden! It’s juicy, nice, and full of vitamins that you need daily!
What is star fruit
Star fruit is a sweet purple fruit that grows on flowering trees like coconut palms. They have thin skin with white juicy flesh.
Star fruit looks a bit like a pine tree and tastes like a pineapple. It contains a gelatinous substance that resembles the coconut-gummy worms we had as children, also known as ‘watermelon seeds’.
The fruit is unique because of its bright yellow color ranging from light pink to dark orange. This usually takes on star shapes with a distinct bridge. Its petals or leaves are also shaped like stars.
Star fruit grows on top of trees and long branches. It is a delicious fruit that tastes like sour, tangy pears. You can easily tell the difference between the star fruit and the trees.
Star fruit is another member of the citrus family. It’s usually sold in clear, dry-looking rounds, though occasionally it comes in sticks or slices.
At first bite, its flesh tastes like an apple, but since star fruit digests slowly, you can eat them for breakfast with no ill effects!
In general, star fruit contains:
- Water about 90 percent
- 0.4 grams of protein
- 8.8 grams of carbohydrates
- Fat as much as 0.4 grams
- 3.2 grams of fiber
- Calcium as much as 4 mg
- Phosphorus as much as 12 mg
- Potassium as much as 130 mg
- Vitamin C as much as 35 mg
- Sodium as much as 4 mg
- Iron as much as 1.1 mg
Benefits of Eating Star Fruit
1. Control blood sugar levels
Stabilizing blood sugar levels is essential for a healthy life. The starfruit seed extract is a natural and safe diet supplement that helps to promote good health and weight loss.
Based on research, star fruit has a significant effect on blood sugar levels from its beta cells. By blocking the action of insulin in the body, it lowers blood sugar levels. With uncontrolled blood sugar developing diabetes is a frightening possibility.
2. Boost immunity
Star fruit improves immunity by boosting adrenal hormone production. Star fruit boosts adrenal and immune function and is especially helpful for people with compromised health.
It is less effective as an immune booster for people who stay well, but it helps people who are sick improve their immune function by releasing extra adrenal hormones.
Star fruit is rich in sources of nutrients like vitamin C, and also contains vitamin A among other compounds. that aid in fighting illness.
3. Helps the process of weight loss
Overweight people are used to being fragile. Star fruit can help them build their muscle strength and speed up the weight loss process.
Star fruit is a unique fruit that is said to aid weight loss. Used as a weight-loss supplement, it has been proven to be effective in weight loss. Star fruit helps burn fat while the body’s energy levels are utilized for metabolic processes.
The combination of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in this fruit helps regulate metabolism and burns fat in the body.
By eating star fruit, you can expect to lose weight more quickly than usual without the dietary restrictions associated with traditional diets.
Also, studies have shown that star fruit can increase your metabolism and it can also suppress cravings.
4. Maintain heart health
Star fruit is a great option for people who are trying to maintain heart health
4. Relieve heartburn
If you’re suffering from heartburn, you might want to try star fruit.
How to eat a star fruit
1. Choose a star fruit that is ripe
When choosing fruit, it is important to pay attention to its ripeness. Choose a star fruit that is big enough and that has developed a deep yellow-golden color. The more orange, the sweeter and juicier it is.
If you eat a star fruit that has not yet turned into sweet fruit, you might end up with stomachache as a result of the lack of sugar content in the fruit.
2. Clean and wash with running water
It’s important to wash before consuming fruits. You don’t want to eat anything that’s been picked by a dirty, careless hand. Star fruit must be washed with running water, which will remove its sticky outer skin.
Also, this will remove any dirt and give you fewer chances for unpleasantness.
3. Cut from the ends
When cutting star fruit, cut off the ends first in order to avoid any remains from the rest of the fruit.
Cutting up the star fruit can be a little tricky because it gets slippery when it’s wet. To avoid dropping the fruit, you have to cut it in half and then separate the pieces one by one.
4. Cut the star fruit according to the size you want
Star fruit comes in many sizes and the bigger the fruit, the softer it is. Cut the fruit into slices of different sizes, depending on how you’d like to present it.
You can also make cut the star fruit as close to the center as possible. If it is cut far from the center, your star fruit will be hard to use for the presentation. By cutting it correctly you won’t need to throw it out due to how ugly it looks.
5. Remove the seeds
Cleaning the seeds from star fruit can be quite a bit of work, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Remove the seeds from star fruit using your fingers. Star fruit are very tasty, but they are quite difficult to remove the seeds from the skin.
6. Enjoy the star fruit
Starfruit is a flavorful and juicy fruit, but it’s not easy to prepare. When biting into it, you’ll discover a beautiful star pattern in the center of the fruit. The fruit is edible and tastes great after the whole preparation.
Okay, let me summarize the smart way of how to eat star fruit
- Choose a star fruit that is ripe
- Clean and wash with running water
- Cut from the ends
- Cut the star fruit according to the size you want
- Remove the seeds
- Enjoy the star fruit
Remember, reduce your processed food and eat raw. Star fruit is one of the fruits that I recommend to improve your health.
"I will eat them with chaat masala or pink salt," the actor said.
The actor plucked fruits from her garden and shared the video with her followers. (Photo: Instagram/@theshilpashetty)
Shilpa Shetty takes health and fitness seriously. No wonder then that her Instagram profile has inspiring videos and posts about yoga and clean eating. Recently, the actor shared a video in which she was seen plucking fruits straight from her own garden.
In the caption, she wrote: “Everyone knows my obsession with fruit plucking. So, I couldn’t resist anymore and got to some ‘fruit picking’ in my garden yesterday. (Sic)”
In the video, the actor seemed to enjoy the simple pleasure of tearing fruits from trees. She grabbed a few star fruits, also known as carambola or ‘kamrakh‘ in Hindi, and said, “I will eat them with chaat masala or pink salt.”
“It’s amazing when you plant with your own hands, and it grows into a tree and bears fruit…nothing beats that feeling,” she wrote, adding that star fruit “is a fantastic source of vitamin C and helps strengthen the immune system”.
“Adding a dash of pink salt makes the taste even more amazing (if you have any kidney-related ailments, please avoid this one),” she cautioned.
For the uninitiated, star fruit is in the shape of a five-pointed star, and has a sweet and sour taste. The skin of the fruit is edible, and according to healthline.com, in order to eat it one must do the following,
1. Make sure it’s ripe. It should be yellow with only a tinge of green.
2. Rinse the fruit.
3. Cut off the ends.
4. Slice it.
5. Remove the seeds before consumption.
You can add the fruit to salads, as a dressing, or even make a juice of it. Some people also use it to make chutneys.
Would you like to try?
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? The above article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.
Malia Frey is a weight loss expert, certified health coach, weight management specialist, personal trainer, and fitness nutrition specialist.
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman
Star fruit might not grab your eye in its full form, but when sliced horizontally, it makes a beautiful star-shaped garnish or snack. Also called carambola, star fruit has become more common in the United States. Although star fruit poses a danger for people with kidney disease, for the majority of the population, it’s a nutritious choice with several health benefits to offer.
Star Fruit Nutrition Facts
This nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 1 cup (132g) of cubed star fruit.
- Calories: 41
- Fat: 0.4g
- Sodium: 2.6mg
- Carbohydrates: 8.9g
- Fiber: 3.7g
- Sugars: 5.3g
- Protein: 1.4g
Start fruit has just under 9 grams of carbs per cup. This includes 3.7 grams of fiber and 5.3 grams of sugar.
Star fruit is very low in fat with just less than 1/2 gram per cup.
There are 1.4 grams of protein in 1 cup of star fruit.
Vitamins and Minerals
Star fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C. It also provides copper and smaller amounts of potassium, magnesium, folate, selenium, and zinc.
Star fruit has a lot to offer beyond its ability to create a beautiful plate. Here are some of the ways star fruit can better your health.
May Aid in Cancer Prevention
To evaluate whether star fruit produces changes in the body, researchers compared participants' blood samples after 2 weeks and 4 weeks of increased star fruit consumption. Although it took the full 4 weeks to achieve the greatest difference, antioxidant status improved as participants ate more star fruit, raising levels of vitamins A and C in particular.
Although more research is needed, this preliminary study suggests that star fruit may be protective against cancer development by equipping the body with free-radical-fighting compounds.
Assists Wound Healing
Getting enough vitamin C is crucial for the production of collagen and the body's ability to repair tissue damage and wounds. With over 45 milligrams per cup, star fruit is a great way to work towards the recommended 75–90 milligrams required per day for most adults.
Supports Heart Health
Star fruit has several nutrients that contribute to a healthy cardiovascular system. Potassium reduces blood pressure, fiber helps lower cholesterol, and vitamin C protects against oxidative damage. Getting enough fruits and vegetables every day is a cornerstone tenet of heart-healthy eating, and star fruit can help you reach this goal.
Star fruit is a good source of fiber, with almost 4 grams per cup. Fiber is essential for regularity, as it helps move food through the digestive tract and prevent constipation. The daily recommendation for fiber intake is between 25–35 grams; however, most Americans fall short of this amount. Including star fruit as a side dish or snack can help you get closer to meeting your daily fiber goal.
Improves Blood Sugar Control
Fresh fruits and vegetables are beneficial for diabetes management. The fiber in fresh, frozen or dried fruit, including star fruit, slows down food digestion and prevents rapid spikes in blood sugar. In addition, star fruit is a low calorie, nutrient-dense food that can support healthy weight management and help prevent development of insulin resistance. Including star fruit in your meal plan may help reduce your risk of diabetes and keep blood sugars under control when you include the fruit as part of a balanced diet.
Food allergies are possible for any type of food, although star fruit is not an especially common allergen. Food allergies can show up in the form of hives, shortness of breath, swelling of the tongue, dizziness, or even anaphylaxis. Symptoms may appear immediately or up to 2 hours after eating the offending food. If you suspect an allergy to star fruit, see an allergist for a full evaluation.
Anyone with impaired kidney function should avoid star fruit. Star fruit contains a neurotoxin that can cause damage to the brain when it is not properly detoxified by the kidneys. Symptoms of this toxicity may include hiccups, mental confusion, seizures, and even death in serious cases.
Star fruit can also inhibit enzymes responsible for the metabolism of certain drugs. Always read your medication labels to screen for possible interactions and avoid eating star fruit at the same time that you take medications.
There are many varieties of star fruit that vary in color, size, and sweetness. Some star fruit varieties are sweet and some are tart. Certain varieties contain edible seeds although most people prefer to remove them. Most varieties of star fruit originate in Florida, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, or Hawaii. Some examples include Erlin, Demak, Pasi, Golden Star, Maha, or Cheng Chui.
When It's Best
Star fruit is becoming increasingly popular. While you may not have seen it in the produce department a few years ago, you're more likely to find it in many markets now.. Star fruit is grown in warm climates and imported, so it is generally available year-round at the grocery store.
The best star fruit is bright yellow and firm. Green star fruits are not yet ripe. Because star fruit doesn't continue to sweeten once it's been picked, you don't want an unripe star fruit. A few brown spots are OK (usually on the ridges of the fruit) but avoid major blemishes.
Storage and Food Safety
Star fruit may be stored in plastic bags in the refrigerator for up to 21 days. Wash well under running water before slicing into star fruit. The peel is edible. Cut star fruit should be placed back in the refrigerator in a covered container for consumption within a few days.
How to Prepare
To show off star fruit's characteristic shape, slice it horizontally and use it as a garnish for drinks, salads, and other tropical dishes. Star fruit is usually described as being sweet with a hint of tartness. Ripe star fruit has been compared to the taste of apples, pears, grapes, and lime. Green, unripe star fruit may be sour.
Blend star fruit into a smoothie or add it to a fruit salad. Placing star-shaped slices on your plate next to eggs or with salmon and a bagel can brighten your breakfast plate.
Baking star fruit creates fun-shaped star chips for kids. You can also pickle star fruit, use it in sauce or jelly recipes, or use it to top yogurt or ice cream. Some southeast Asian recipes use star fruit in savory recipes like curries and stews.
Star fruit, also known as carambola, is a juicy tropical fruit native to India and Southeast Asia, where it is very popular and heavily cultivated. The yellow, star-shaped fruit grows best in sunny, humid climates and can be found on trees in India, Asia, South America, Australia and in limited areas of the US.
While star fruit is relatively unknown in the US, often simply used as a garnish for cocktails or in salads thanks to its attractive star shape, it is enjoyed in raw and cooked preparations all over the world. It has a slightly sweet-sour flavor, somewhat like a mix between a ripe pear, green grape and orange. The meat is juicy and firm, similar to a grape. The entire fruit can be eaten, including the waxy skin, making it easy to eat raw.
Fun Facts about Star Fruit:
- Although the fruit is native to Southeast Asia and most commonly produced there, it has been grown in Florida for over 100 years.
- They aren’t popular in the US, but some especially acidic varieties of star fruit can be used to remove rust and tarnish from metals like brass.
What to Look for When Buying Star Fruit
Look for firm carambolas with bright yellow or yellow-green skin; the edges may be slightly brown. If the fruit is mostly green, it is not ripe. When a carambola is dark yellow and has brown spots all over, it is overripe.
SEASONAL FOOD GUIDE
Find Out When Star Fruit is in Season
Sustainability of Star Fruit
Star fruit has been relatively tricky to grow in the US, which is generally cooler and drier than the areas the plant is native to. It requires rich soil, and is sensitive to cooler temperatures and wind. In Florida, where growers are looking for other fruits to supplement citrus and avocado crops, there has been a decent-sized commercial star fruit industry since the 1970s. Today, researchers are looking at how cover crops can be used to support increased growth of the fruit, which would also cut back on the industry’s use of fertilizer by developing biodiverse, fertile soil.
Star fruit plants are susceptible to some insect pests including aphids and mites. Commercial producers may use pesticides, but growers using biological methods, such as releasing predatory wasps to control pests, have seen success. To avoid potential toxic exposure, purchase organic star fruit when possible.
As star fruits are native to subtropical and tropical climates, the plant has high water needs.
Star fruits are harvested during two periods in South Florida; from August to September and December through February. Depending on the grower’s planting schedule, you can likely find local the fruit year round.
Carambola is grown commercially throughout Southeast Asia, Australia and South American. It is also grown commercially in the Southern United States; Florida represents approximately 90 percent of US production, with the remaining mostly being grown in Hawai’i.
Eating Star Fruit
To cut the fruit, place on a cutting board and gently run a sharp knife along each of the five ridges (or “star points”), removing and discarding the brown outer edge. Hold the star fruit horizontally and cut crosswise to your desired thickness; the pieces will look like stars. Use the tip of the knife to remove the seeds. The fruit can be cut down into smaller pieces, but the iconic shape is half the fun of using the tropical fruit.
If you buy a green carambola, you can store it at room temperature (away from sunlight) for a few days, and it will turn to yellow. Store star fruit with brown ridges in the refrigerator for up to four days to avoid over ripening. (Overripe fruit will have brown spots all over and can have a fermented flavor.)
Although starfruit sounds like something Mario would eat in the Super Mario Brothers games, these starfruit recipes are proof that it’s a real fruit with plenty of real health benefits.
Also known as carambola, starfruit is a waxy-like fruit that’s yellow with green accents or edges.
You can eat both its skin and flesh, and it has a mildly tart flavor that fans of sour fruit love.
There are two sizes; the larger of the two is generally sweeter than the smaller ones.
In addition to having lots of antioxidants, starfruit may also help reduce cholesterol and the risk of fatty liver. It can also help decrease inflammation.
Perhaps more importantly for some, though, it just tastes really good, so whether you’re in it for the health benefits or just like the taste, here are 10 yummy starfruit recipes for you to try.
1. Starfruit and Apple Juice
If you enjoy fruit juice that combines sweetness and tartness, you’ll love this four-ingredient, 10-minute recipe for starfruit and apple juice.
It combines fuji apples, starfruits, Medan oranges, and two tablespoons of honey for a bit of additional sweetness.
It looks like thicker, bubblier orange juice and has a sweetly tart flavor that’s hard not to love.
It’s simple to make and tastes delicious. If you like juice, give it a try!
2. Starfruit Mango Smoothie
As long as you remember to freeze your mango and strawberries ahead of time, this lovely orange smoothie takes only 5 minutes to whip up.
It’s smooth, creamy, cold, and delicious, and the taste is so sweet and candy-like that you’ll swear it couldn’t possibly be good for you.
Actually, though, everything in it is healthy, and there are no added sugars.
All you’ll need to make it is starfruit, mango, strawberries, water, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
It will, of course, have some sugar and carbs from all the fruit, but it’s natural sugar.
The smoothie is also packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, copper, and potassium.
3. Starfruit (Carambola) Upside-Down Cake
This recipe takes the traditional pineapple upside-down cake recipe and substitutes starfruit instead.
It also calls for passion fruit juice, which makes it moist, tender, and sweet.
The basic process for making the cake is the same; simply use your sliced starfruit in place of the pineapples.
Between the starfruit and the passion fruit, the cake has an exotic, tartly sweet taste that everyone I know adores.
Additionally, the naturally star-like shape of the starfruit looks gorgeous on top of the cake once it’s done.
4. Starfruit Dessert
In terms of desserts, it doesn’t get much simpler, healthier, prettier, or more colorful than this dessert featuring sliced kiwis and starfruit, whole raspberries, and a generous Reddi-whip swirl.
If you can slice fruit and add it to a plate with whipped cream, you’ll have this dessert under control!
It’s sweet, tart, and fruity. Plus, whipped cream is always tasty!
5. Starfruit Popsicle
Fruit popsicles are a favorite of mine in the summertime because they’re refreshing, tasty, and unbelievably easy to make.
Starfruit popsicles are no exception.
With nothing more than water, sugar, and starfruit, you can have these popsicles ready for the freezer in 15 minutes or less.
Let them freeze overnight, and you’ll have a tart and tangy treat that everyone, adults and kids alike, will enjoy.
6. Tropical Fruit Salad
If you’re looking for a light, sweet dessert that’s all-natural and not that bad for you, tropical fruit salad is just the thing.
Simply combine pineapples, mango, kiwi, seedless grapes, starfruit, and flaked coconut in a bowl and let them chill for half an hour.
Then toss them with a honey and fresh lime juice mixture to add just a bit more flavor.
You’ll get all the sweet deliciousness of tropical fruit but with just a little something extra, as well.
7. Teriyaki Chicken with Starfruit
So far, I’ve only showcased sweet starfruit recipes, but the fruit adds a wonderful kick to savory dishes, as well.
The chicken in this recipe is juicy and flavorful, thanks to the homemade teriyaki sauce of soy sauce, brown sugar, orange juice, ginger, sesame oil, and garlic.
The scallions add a touch of herby freshness, and the starfruit brings the zest.
Plus, the starfruit adds a touch of elegance and class to the dish’s overall appearance.
8. Starfruit Pineapple Mint Julep
As far as tasty cocktails go, a mint julep is always a big hit, and this tropical version featuring pineapples and starfruit is sweeter and even better than the original.
It’s cool and refreshing, as all mint juleps are, but it has this tartly sweet, slightly tropical flavor to it that adds a whole other layer of yumminess.
Plus, if you take the time to add the beautiful starfruit garnishes, mint leaves, and pineapple chunks, it looks simply stunning.
And I love making a statement with my cocktails!
9. Exotic Fruit Skewers
Fruit skewers are always a fun and easy treat for any occasion, and fruit skewers made exclusively with exotic fruit are even better.
Of course, these are skewers, so you can adjust the ingredients however you like.
Basically, if you can stick a piece of fruit on a skewer, you can use it.
However, if you want to keep to the exotic fruit vibe, I recommend using the fruit the recipe specifies: pineapple, mango, lychee, banana, and starfruit.
You won’t add the clementine to the skewers, but you will drizzle the rest of the fruit with the juice from it. In short, these skewers are delectable.
10. Fruit Smoothie Bowl
Creamy and tasty smoothie bowls are always a great breakfast, brunch, or snack option.
You don’t need a special occasion to enjoy them, especially considering they only take 10 minutes to make.
This one combines several ingredients – almond milk, vanilla yogurt, almond butter, oats, avocado, and plenty of fruit – to make a rich, bold, mostly sweet treat.
The thing I love most about this particular bowl is how it looks!
If you’re looking for a special treat for any patriotic-themed holiday, this red, white, and blue dish – complete with stars, no less! – is the ideal option.
Starfruit, or carambola, is a tropical fruit grown in Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Florida and Hawaii. It is golden yellow to pale green in color and typically 3-5 inches (13.7-15.2 cm) in length, with four to six outer ribs. Its flesh is the same color as the exterior of the fruit and contains small brown seeds. The fruit gets its name because, when cut, its unusual contour creates a star shape.
The skin of the starfruit is edible and, therefore, does not have to be peeled. Its flavor ranges from sweet to tart. Usually, its tartness can be determined by the width of its ribs. The closer together the ribs are set, the more tart the flavor.
The taste of carambola is compared to plums, pineapple or lemons, as well as apples or grapes. Starfruit is also known as coromandel gooseberry, bilimbi, belimbing, Chinese starfruit, five angled fruit and star apple. It is commonly used in salads or desserts, eaten as a fruit or used as an attractive garnish. Its juice is also used to flavor commercially prepared drinks. Starfruit is very juicy and has a pleasant scent.
The season for starfruit is late summer to midwinter. The carambola tree is able to grow with less sunlight than most tropical trees. The tree requires a fair amount of space and a lot of moisture. Starfruit is rich in vitamin C. Like other fruits that are eaten with the skin intact, it is a good source of fiber.
To choose a starfruit, look for one that is firm and has a bright color. The ribs often have a brown tinge when ripe. Store a ripe starfruit in plastic in the refrigerator for up to one week or use within a few days at room temperature.
Carambola can be cooked with vinegar, sugar, ginger, pepper, anise, vanilla and saffron to create a sweet pickle. Other starfruit recipes include salsa, relish, chutney and soup. To jazz up a typical fruit salad, add starfruit, kiwi, sugar, Grand Marnier and mint leaves.
When cooked, starfruit can serve as a dessert or condiment. It also makes a nice sauce or garnish for poultry, fish, pork and beef dishes. Starfruit can be combined with chicken or other protein, avocados, and other fruits and vegetables to make a salad. It is also used in sweet bread recipes and cakes.
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Is there any specific method you have to learn about how to eat a star fruit? I mean, most pictures that I find of them show them sliced across, but that might just be to display the star shape more clearly.
Aside from just munching on them whole, is there any special way to prepare them that doesn’t involve cooking them and mixing them with a bunch of other ingredients so they’re hard to recognize anymore?
I wonder what grilled star fruit would taste like. My dad will try grilling anything at least once, and has had success with making grilled apple slices and grilled peach halves, so grilled star fruit could be a winner. Now I’m going to have to buy one and put this to the test. Malka June 10, 2011
If you have any sort of kidney condition, you should avoid eating starfruit! Starfruit contains some kind of toxin that needs to be filtered out through the kidneys. Healthy kidneys do this fine, but those with impaired kidney use, and especially those with kidney failure, simply cannot do it.
The resulting effect of eating starfruit when you have a kidney condition is called starfruit intoxication. Though it sounds like you will end up pleasantly drunk judging by the name, starfruit intoxication symptoms are actually nausea and vomiting, mental confusion and agitation, insomnia, and a persistent case of the hiccups, as well as convulsions.
Starfruit intoxication occurs anywhere from one to five hours after you eat the fruit, and if left untreated it can kill you. If you or anybody you know eats starfruit and shows the symptoms described, you need to go to the emergency room for dialysis to treat it.
It doesn’t take much starfruit to cause this condition in someone with impaired kidney function; in one case, a patient died after eating just one fruit, and in other cases it only took half a fruit or 8 ounces of starfruit juice to bring the symptoms about (although thankfully, those patients did not die.)
Starfruit is delicious, and perfectly healthy for people with healthy kidneys to consume. Just be advised about starfruit intoxication so that you and your loved ones don’t inadvertently hurt themselves eating it. yumdelish June 10, 2011
I love the way starfruit tastes, to me it’s almost sour but in a good way. Plus, the fact that they only have thirty calories each means I can indulge without any guilt.
Try a starfruit smoothie and you’ll not regret it. My next experiment is low fat muffins using this fruit, maybe with some organic cherries in there too. dfoster85 June 10, 2011
@MrsWinslow – I think you’re right. When I was on my honeymoon in St. Croix years ago, we made arrangements to go horseback riding. You know how tourist farms always have other stuff, and this place had an orchard. My husband and I ate starfruit right off the fruit trees, and it was delicious.
Later, we bought a couple at the grocery store, and they didn’t taste anywhere near as good as we remembered, though they were still a nice novelty. But here’s the question: was that because they weren’t as fresh, or because on our honeymoon, everything tasted good? MrsWinslow June 10, 2011
@anon11255 – I have no idea, but I bet you can. I live in the American South and we can buy fruit from Australia, so it seems like you should be able to get starfruits from the Caribbean or Hawaii! The question is, would you want to?
I don’t know about starfruit–I’ve never picked one up–but I know that when I buy out-of-season strawberries from California, they’re expensive and taste just OK. But when I buy them in season at the farmer’s market–WOW! I wonder if starfruit would really be tasty after having to travel such a long way. anon11255 April 11, 2008
Star fruit can be very delicious, and sometimes just hearing the name can muster up images of the sun and the beach — leaving you with an extra tropical feeling on a regular day. A Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction report details that the fruit, also known as carambola, is believed to originate from the countries of Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The same report explains how the fruit was incredibly popular in Asia, before making its way to North America in 1887.
In 1935, the WDPI reports, star fruit made its official jump to Caribbean islands, Central America, and South America. From then on, the love for star fruit grew so much that the United States began growing it commercially in Florida, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. But not everyone can or should eat this small sweet (and sometimes tart) fruit as it could cause some major health concerns. This yellow tropical fruit can actually be quite deadly to people, according to Top Tenz.
Why you need be careful when eating star fruit
Yes, star fruit can be quite delicious, but if you or someone you love suffers from kidney problems, it would be best to steer clear of it. Healthline explains how star fruits are high in oxalate (or oxalic acid), which can have adverse effects on those who experience issues with their kidneys. What is oxalate? According to Healthline, it is a compound that is found in a variety of things — like leafy greens, vegetables, cocoa, nuts, seeds, and even fruits. Why is oxalate something that can harm those with kidney issues? Folks with fully functioning kidneys can easily release this compound through their stool and urine, but those with kidney issues cannot, according to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF).
The NKF explains how this compound can be extremely harmful and even have a toxic effect on those with kidney issues or kidney disease. Because their bodies do not possess the ability to push it out of their system, the compound stays within the body. Healthline explains that oxalate can reduce the body’s ability to absorb minerals properly and facilitate the creation of kidney stones. The NKF states that some of the symptoms of star fruit poisoning can include hiccups, mental confusion, seizures, and in extreme cases, even death.