by TERI PIZZA
Carambola, or Starfruit, is not only delicious, but beautiful too. With its five-point star shape, it can conjure up images of bright blue waters, white sandy beaches and tall umbrella drinks sipped under swaying palms.
This attractive fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. It also is replete with antioxidants and flavonoids for good health. However, it should be avoided by people with renal disease as it may cause neurological problems and, in rare cases, lead to an untimely death.
Choose ripe fruit with firm, bright-yellow
flesh. Ridges may be brown and can be easily
removed with a potato peeler. The larger the
starfruit, the sweeter it is — and you want it
sweet. (Green star fruit will ripen when left out
at room temperature for a few days.)
Rinse with water. Do not peel, just cut off
both ends, slice it crosswise into stars, remove
any large seeds, and eat. Treat the star fruit
gently; it bruises easily so handle it with care.
Sliced, it makes a terrific and unique garnish
for any type beverage especially tropical drinks
made with or without alcohol or as a sweetener
in iced tea. Try it in a smoothie or enjoy it in a
fruit salad. Some people boil it in sugar-water
and then dry it in the oven to make star chips.
Others like it in chutney served alongside pork
roasts or chops.
Recipes for Star Fruit Chutney and Star Fruit Chips can be found in Teri Pizza’s book,
ENJOY: Recipes for Fresh Produce.