Star fruit, also known as carambola, is native to Southeast Asia. Slices cut in cross-section form a five-pointed star, which is where it gets its name. Carambola is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C and low in sugar, sodium and acid. It is a potent source of both primary and secondary polyphenolic antioxidants. The star fruit contains both antimicrobial and antioxidant activities.
1 cup of sliced starfruit contains 37.2mg of vitamin C, or 62 percent of the DV (Daily Value).
Star fruit trees here on Kauai are know for their abundance of fruit due to our plentiful tropical rainfall. Because it is a fall bearing fruit and full of vitamin C, it is a great source of health building nutrients.
The star fruit is also high in fiber and low in calories so it is good for anyone on a diet.
Finding recipes that make this slightly tart fruit more palatable has been a passion of mine this season as there are several hundred pounds of fruit on my two trees.
One of the recipes I developed and love the most is the star fruit, tangelo, coconut juice frosty. Start by juicing the star fruit and mixing it with equal parts of tangelo juice (tangelos are also in season) add fresh coco water, to make about one third more juice. Pour into freezer containers and freeze to a slush. Enjoy after a garden project in the heat of the day. This is so refreshing and delicious. It goes straight into your blood stream and replenishes you immediately.
Another great receipe is star fruit salsa. Simply chop three or four medium sized starfruit, add the juice of one lemon, some cilantro and parsley to taste, a clove of finely minced garlic, the tip of a Hawaiian chile pepper and some Hawaiian sea salt. Mix everything together and keep the jar in the refrigerator. I have used this salsa on tacos instead of tomato salsa and it is a refreshing change.
You can also use frozen star fruit to make home made ice cream. Simply put the frozen fruit through the champion juicer (use the white plastic piece that comes with the juicer not the strainer) with other sweet fruits like bananas and jack fruit and make frozen fruit ice cream. The tartness of the star fruit works well with these sweeter fruits to make a delicious cooling healthy desert.
Between the frosty’s, the ice cream and the salsa we are consuming lots of delicious star fruit this season. We have also dehydrated some star fruit and the concentrated taste is like chewy sweet-sour gummy bears! I have even considered turning the dried stars into Christmas earrings and ornaments.
Do you have a star fruit recipe you would like to share? I would love to hear what you are doing with your star fruit this fall season. Nani Moon Mead makes it into a delicious dry mead wine right in Kapaa town. I would love to hear about other creative ways to use this healthy abundant fruit.