17-10-2017 by redazione
Perhaps that cucumber aftertaste for a moment can leave you distracted, but in its sweet-and-sour bouquet you can also hear files, passions and bananas. We are talking about Kiwano, also called "horned melon".
Belonging to the family of the Cucurbitaceae, the Cucumis metuliferus is the fruit of a climbing plant native to this part of Africa, although its popularity owes to when in the thirties it was imported into Australia and New Zealand. There he was baptized as such because once cut, he resembled the kiwi.
The shape is that of an elongated egg, like a large fig tree of India. The skin is hard, smooth and sprinkled with small thorns that look like horns (and make this fruit particularly decorative.
The colour is bright green when still unripe, orange yellow when the fruit is ripe.
Kiwano contains a glossy green gelatinous pulp sprinkled with small edible seeds.
The taste is original, pleasant and refreshing, in fact Kiwano is considered a natural thirst quencher.
It is rich in water and for this reason it is rehydrating and remineralizing, in fact it is used as a source of water by the Kalahari desert populations.
The fruit can retain large quantities of water during the dry season and grows even under difficult conditions.
It has good amounts of vitamin C and vitamin B6 and is an excellent source of trace elements, especially magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron.
All parts of the plant are used in traditional medicine in South Africa.
The fresh leaves is used against fatigue.
The skin is consumed dried or cooked, used for dietary purposes and, thanks to its antioxidant properties, it is used to counteract free radicals. Many African tribes even use it to treat gonorrhoea.
The high content of dietary fibre promotes the intestinal transit of food.
It thus prevents constipation and the formation of intestinal gases with consequent benefits for the digestive process.
Recent studies have shown that kiwano intake has beneficial properties for hormone regulation.
Especially adrenaline and stress hormones.
If you are anxiously stressed, kiwano consumption can help to soothe your mind and spirit. It has a good zinc content, an essential mineral in our diet as it plays a role in protein production. It also intervenes in the repair of wounds and blood cell formation.
Although in many African countries it is cooked whole (roasted or boiled with vegetables), the kiwano is ideal to eat fresh.
To open the skin halfway, it is essential to be careful and equip yourself with the appropriate tools, especially not to point with the thorns.
Kiwano pulp can be used as an alternative to vinegar for salad dressing, or added to creams, yoghurt, fruit salads.
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