Starfruit (or Carambola) is a mysterious and beautiful fruit that is a part of many cultures and serves as proof that things are not always what they seem. On the outside, it is somewhat awkward looking and shaped completely different than anything else in the produce section. It is of yellow/green color on the outside and almost appears to be composed of several orange segments aligned in a weird way. You are in for a surprise though; this fruit can be quite sweet and it looks exactly like a star when cut open (thus the name). Likewise, its popular worldwide and has several interesting medicinal uses in other countries.
The exact origin of this fruit is unknown, although it is thought have originated in Ceylon and the Moluccas (India and Indonesia). For centuries, it has been growing in Southeast Asia and Malaysia, it now grows in southern China, Taiwan, and India as well. While those are the typical growth- locations, its popularity extends past this region and throughout the world! Starfruit is beloved in the Philippines, Queensland, Australia, and some of the other South Pacific islands; Tahiti, New Caledonia, the Netherlands, New Guinea, Guam and Hawaii.
Despite being a part of many people’s everyday life in Asia, its reputation in the United States continues to be that of a rare, uncommon and unusual fruit. Why is this? Could it be we just don’t know how to prepare it in a delicious way? There are infinite possibilities of how one can incorporate Starfruit into their diet. It can be eaten plain, used as a salad garnish, cooked in a pudding or curry, pickled or made into a jam, or dried. It can even be juiced- in some countries Carambola juice is served as a refreshing beverage, perfect to cool you down on a hot day.
· Used for hemorrhages and to relieve bleeding hemorrhoids
· Taken to reduce fevers (dried or juiced)
· Used to alleviate diarrhea
· Said to provide relief of hangover symptoms
· May relieve eye afflictions (when made into an ointment)
· Sometimes used as a diuretic for kidney and bladder complaints
· Thought by some to diminishes eczema
As you can see, there are no limits when it comes to Starfruit. It can be eaten or prepared in every way imaginable and its benefits can extend to every part of the body. Here is a breakdown of its nutritional properties, followed by a tasty recipe that can be made at home.
Food Value Per 100 g of Edible Portion* Calories 35.7 Protein 0.38 g Fat 0.08g Carbohydrates 9.38 g Fiber0.80-0.90 g Calcium4.4-6.O mg Phosphorus15.5-21.0 mg Iron0.32-1.65 mg Carotene0.003-0.552 mg Thiamine0.03-0.038 mg Riboflavin0.019-0.03 mg Niacin0.294-0.38 mg Ascorbic Acid*26.0-53.1 mg
1 large starfruit, de-seeded
1 cup mango, peeled and pitted
1 kiwi, peeled
1/2 cup pineapple, cubed
2 cups fresh baby spinach (or other leafy green)
4 ounces of coconut milk