Sunday, January 17, 2010

Starring Star Fruit!

I had grand plans for spending quality time in the kitchen baking homemade rolls, making lentil soup, churning homemade pomegranate sherbet, and canning Tracy's Apple-Cinnamon jam. Doesn't all of that sound great? Instead, I spent my weekend playing Beatles Rock Band with the family (so fun!), reading my library loot, running (4 miles on Saturday), napping, spin class (early this morning), and um... napping again. All of which was really great.

In lieu of those other recipes I had planned, though, I'm just going to talk about carambola or star fruit since we got some of this exotic fruit in last week's organic produce share and tonight I tasted one for the very first time!

Star Fruit or Carambola is a tropical fruit that is thought to be native to Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka, but is now grown in may tropical and subtropical regions, including in Florida and Hawaii in the US. Star fruit is very low in calories, but high in antioxidants, Vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals. It is also high in fiber.*

A star fruit is ripe when it is yellow with a slight green tinge and brown along the edges of the 'star.' The one I cut up was probably borderline overripe as it also had a lot of brown spots. I have three other fruits that are still green, so I'll try to eat those as they approach their optimum ripeness this week.

To cut up the star fruit, first trim off a bit of both the blossom and stem end using a paring knife.

Then carefully trim a bit of the brown along the edges of the 'star' and cut the star fruit horizontally into slices. Remove the occasional seed from any slices with the tip of the knife.

Then enjoy on its own or in a fruit salad.

To me, the star fruit has a sweet flavor reminiscent of pears and oranges, with a texture between a pear and a melon. It was delicious and refreshing, and given its healthfulness, star fruit will now be making a regular appearance in my diet.**

I hope you give this healthy and exotic fruit a try the next time you see it at the market.

**Note: Star fruit is high in oxalic acid and may be a health risk for some individuals with kidney problems and can also interfere with the effectiveness of certain drugs.


  1. Hmm, I wonder if this is a goitrogen? I'll have to check. I admit I've wondered what they taste like. Thanks for sharing! And there is nothing wrong with napping! *G*

  2. I had no plans for the weekend and so far I haven't done much. LOL Your weekend sounds like a good mix of fun and relaxing.

    Star fruit is one of those fruits that when I see it I stop, look, then move on. :) I'll give it a try next time. A cross between pears and oranges sounds good.

  3. Star fruit is delish. The flavour reminds me of Bermuda cherries. A fruit that's damned hard to get your mouth on.

    I prefer them when they're fully ripe. The yellowy-orange color of the one in the bottom left of your shot. When they're still green I find them too tart.

  4. Good to know! Beautiful fruit.

    My son loves fruit though now i find out you shouldn't give them too much because it could give them tummy aches. Argh, where does it end? Will i ever do it right?

    Anyhoo, I should eat more fruit...hell, I should eat FRUIT, period. I'm currently addicted to my morning coffee and I can hear my mom tsking me for now eating a well rounded breakfast.
    She beings me vitamins when i see her. :)

    I like your organic loot!

  5. fun post! I went through a star fruit phase a few years ago - they're really good! Thanks for reminding me of them.

  6. They look familiar, but don't sound familiar :) Sound tasy though *grin*

    I'm currently drowning in plus - Black Doris plums - as my plum tree has been rather bountiful this year. Now it's just a race between the birds and I as my cat is not all that interested in chasing the birds away from the tree!

  7. Brandy, I didn't even know what 'goitrogen' meant. I had to google it. Did you find out if it is?

    Leslie, yes, I shouldn't complain. We had a fun and relaxing weekend, and my husband and kids were off today for MLK Day, so it is only ending now.

    Let me know if you try the star fruit and if you like it. Maybe it will taste like something different to you. I'm not even sure how much it would cost in the market, as we got them in our share and the prices aren't itemized. I'll have to check the next time I go to the grocery store.

    Venus, I have never had Bermuda cherries before. I was in Bermuda on my honeymoon many moons ago, but I don't remember sampling that.

    So in your opinion, is the star fruit on the bottom left of my photo that I cut up at it's optimum ripeness? I thought maybe it was overripe. It sure was delicious. I took those photos yesterday, but the green ones are already starting to turn yellow.

    Michelle, LOL! Your comment cracked me up. First, I have to say it is so sweet to get little snippets of your parenting a toddler through our interactions on our blogs and via emails. I have been there, done that, but still... it is sweet to reminisce through your experiences. Anyway... if your little guy likes fruit and doesn't seem to have tummy issues, I don't see a problem. Sneak in some colorful veggies on the plate with those fruits and you're good to go. ;)

    As for you, start having some oatmeal with that coffee, young lady. ;)

    Carolyn, sweet! ;) They are yummy, aren't they?

    orannia, maybe they're called something different in NZ? And oh my goodness! First blackberries and now plums?? I think I want to go on holiday to your place. :D

  8. orannia, I just googled images of Black Doris plums. Oh. My. They look so good! What are you going to do with all of them? Make jam? Tarts?

  9. I checked the forum I keep an eye on and a site listing goitrogens and it's not, so next time I go grocery shopping I may pick one up to try! *G*

  10. I'm so jealous of you and your Beatles Rock Band! I've been coveting it, but haven't been able to convince myself to spend the money on it. My mom was chastising me for it the other day, though. "Just buy it already" she says. I might have to listen to her..just this once. :)

    As for star fruit..I love it. I bought it on a whim several years ago and it used to be a regular visitor in our house. I don't know why, but I haven't bought it in ages. I'll have to remedy that. Thanks for the reminder.

  11. So this is what it's called here a star fruit. You reminded me of my youthful years where I used to climb its tree at my grandma' s backyard. We call it then " balimbing" and yes it's very delicious I ate both green and yellow fresh and juicy. I don't use a knife to cut but with my kiddy teeth all straight to my tummy. Lol. I haven't eaten this fruit in ages and maybe this weekend I'll stop by at the store to get this.

  12. Oh and beatles rockband - they rock!

  13. Holly, I'm with your mom. Just buy it already! Hey, maybe we can play together online? :)

    Don't you already have Rock Band? All you have to do is buy the game for $54, right? It's not like you have to buy the whole Beatles Rock Band package. Not that $54 isn't a lot of money... but if you're a Beatles fan, it's so worth it. The graphics are great and everyone knows the songs... it's so much fun. No pressure. ;o)

    We have a PS 3 and got Guitar Hero for Christmas in '08. For Christmas '09, we got Rock Band 2 Special Edition and then the Beatles Rock Band game only.

  14. Natalie, where are you originally from? "Balimbing" sounds like it could be a Tagalog word (Philippines). I can totally see a kid just eating one of these out of hand, hanging from a tree. What a sweet visual.

    Beatles Rock Band is awesome. I can't wait for my teen to come home from school today. We already have a date to play "Don't Let Me Down" three times in a row. LOL!

  15. You're as bad as she is!

    Yes, I already have Rock Band. When the Beatles version was released it was $60 and that just seemed so steep! Now I've kind of settled into the idea, however, and I'm thinking I might need to buy it. drums broke. I don't know what happened, but there's a large hole through the red pad. So I might end up just replacing the whole system. We have the original Rock Band, so our stuff isn't wireless. I might have to upgrade.

  16. IMO, the optimum ripeness is just a bit before what's in your pic. Fully yellow turning to orange, but not fully orange. No green.

    It's kind of like a loquat, if you've ever had one of those.

    And Bermuda cherries are also called Surinam cherries (I believe), in case you've ever lived there. Or visited. :)

    There are some things I miss about home.

  17. awesome! i grew up eating these things as a kid in indonesia. we had a starfruit tree in the yard. mmm.

  18. Yes Balimbing is the word we call back where I came from (Philippines). But it's from a Visayan dialect. In Tagalog it has a different meaning though.

    Hope you're having fun with rockbankd. I imagine you singing while playing with eyes close singing these lines:

    Don't let me down, don't let me down.
    Don't let me down, don't let me down.

    Nobody ever loved me like she does,
    Ooh she does, yeah she does.
    And if somebody loved me like she'd do me,
    Oh she'd do me, yeah she does.

  19. Hmm, I've never tried star fruit before - I definitely want to try it now!

  20. Holly, broken drums?? Oh, that just won't do. Yeah, you need to take the plunge and buy a new Rock Band set.

    Venus, I don't remember if I mentioned this on your blog... but you do realize how amazing awesome lucky you are to be able to call a place like Bermuda home, right? Although I'm sure hurricane season can be rather frightening.

    sula, that is so cool!!! Did you eat them by hand right off the tree, too?

    Natalie, ahhh... I was close! My mother-in-law's dialect was Tagolog, which is what was spoken in my husband's home (before he made a home with me, that is...), but my father-in-law's dialect is Visayan. So you are originally from the southern islands of the Philippines? You should drop me an email sometime.

    Thank you so much for that link to the Beatles live performance of "Don't Let Me Down"! Wow! The Rock Band graphics during that song are JUST like the video.. only animated! I don't know why I'm so surprised. Of course it would be. LOL

    And I'm almost as cool as John when I play. ;)

    Tracy, you should definitely try a star fruit the next time you're at the market. Even if you end up not liking it so much... at least you'll know what it's like.


Leave a comment! I love to hear what YOU think.
[I apologize, but I've had to disallow anonymous users to comment on my blog due to an influx of spam. I'll change it back as soon as I can. Thanks for understanding.]