7 Benefits of Kiwano (Horned Melon) — And How to Eat It
1. A healthy food source for pregnant women.
2. Helps in weight loss during pregnancy.
3. Has high nutritional value and it’s easy to digest.
4. Good source of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron and fiber.
5. Can prevent miscarriage due to its anti-fungal properties .
6. It is a good source of protein and other nutrients such as B vitamins, manganese, phosphorus, zinc and copper.
7. It helps in reducing cholesterol levels in your body.
8. Its high antioxidant content prevents damage caused by free radicals .
Kiwano (Horned Melon) Seeds are not only edible but they have many health benefits too. They contain a large amount of antioxidants which protect against cancer, heart disease, diabetes and many other diseases. These seeds are rich in minerals like magnesium, manganese, copper and selenium. It contains small amounts of protein and fat. You can easily make them into a snack or even use them as a salad dressing with olive oil or lemon juice.
The seeds can also be used as garnishing on many dishes and they look really good.
You can eat this kiwano fruit in different ways. You can mix the flesh with other fruits and make a juicy drink or you can eat it plain as a snack. Since it contains a high amount of water, it is very beneficial for people who are traveling or those who simply feel thirsty. It can also lower your blood pressure and improve your digestion.
There are 2 main ways of eating kiwano fruit. You can cut it in cross sections and scoop out the flesh or you can slice it lengthwise and remove the flesh with a spoon. The seeds can be eaten as well and mixed with other fruits or just eaten by themselves. Usually, they are not eaten by themselves because they have a very strong flavor.
They are mostly used in desserts but can also be eaten in salads, main dishes and even beverages. The seeds are mostly used for decoration purposes. They can be really helpful if you are having a dinner party and want to make the food look better. You can mix them with mashed potatoes and make the potatoes look like little flowers and then serve them to your guests.
The kiwano fruit is called by many different names. It is also known as horned melon, pumpkin pear, jelly melon, camel foot, curiosity melon, hedgedhog and wind melon. The name kiwano was taken from the African word for this fruit because it originates from Africa.
Most people like eating the skin of the kiwano fruit since it has a nice flavor. The flesh can be eaten as well but most often than not it is thrown away. The seeds should never be eaten because they are very bitter and have no nutritional value. Another part that should not be eaten is the center where the stem was attached. This part becomes bitter and slightly poisonous when the fruit is fully ripe.
The horned melon can be eaten year round but it is best if you wait until it is ripe. To check if it is ripe you should gently squeeze it. If its skin has a dull feel then it is not ripe yet but if it has a soft feel then it is ripe. Another way of checking is to see if the skin starts to crack.
It can be bought in some supermarkets or grocery stores but it is not available all year round. It can also be found in specialty stores that carry exotic fruits. If you cannot find it in a store near you then you can always look for it in online markets.
This fruit is not known by many people and normally only those who travel to places where this fruit originates, Africa, know about it. It is gaining more popularity among health conscious people who are looking for new, interesting and healthy foods.
The kiwano fruit has a unique taste that not everyone likes. Some say it tastes like a mixture of a cucumber, zucchini and bell pepper. Others say it tastes like a combination of a strawberry, tomato and bell pepper. To me, it tastes like a mixture of a cucumber and zucchini.
In the United States, the horned melon is grown in California and sold in specialty stores in the health food section. It is a very rare fruit and can only be found in a few cities. It is also grown in Israel, Japan and South Africa.
If you ever get a chance to try this fruit then I highly recommend that you do so. It may look weird but it is very tasty and healthy.
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: None
3 kiwano fruits, skin and seeds removed and flesh scooped out
1 cup watermelon, seeds removed and flesh chopped
1 cup strawberries, hulls removed and chopped
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
¼ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
4 tbsp plain yogurt (optional)
Method of Preparation:
In a blender, add the kiwano fruits flesh, watermelon, strawberries and bananas. Blend until smooth.
Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and place in the freezer until frozen. This should take about 4 hours.
When ready to serve, sprinkle some shredded coconut on the popsicles. Serve with a side of yogurt (optional). Enjoy!
Sources & references used in this article:
Proximate, Phytochemical and Vitamin Compositions of Cucumis metuliferus (Horned Melon) Rind by AC Ezekaibeya, AO Nnenna… – … of Complementary and …, 2020 – journaljocamr.com
Uses of Cucumis metuliferus: A Review by JG Usman, OA Sodipo, A Kwaghe, UK Sandabe – Cancer Biol, 2015 – researchgate.net
Social contact influences the response of infant marmosets towards novel food by B Voelkl, C Schrauf, L Huber – Animal Behaviour, 2006 – Elsevier
Field Guide to Produce: How to Identify, Select, and Prepare Virtually Every Fruit and Vegetable at the Market by A Green – 2004 – books.google.com
The multiple nutrition properties of some exotic fruits: Biological activity and active metabolites by VM Dembitsky, S Poovarodom, H Leontowicz… – Food research …, 2011 – Elsevier
The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce, and Obsession by AL Gollner – 2013 – books.google.com