If you don’t try new things, eating a lot of fruits and veggies might get monotonous. Fortunately, there are plenty of tasty fruits and veggies to add to your diet. Carambola, or star fruit, is an uncommon fruit that is becoming increasingly popular.
The star fruit tree, Averrhoa carambola, is a tiny, slow-growing, short-trunked tropical tree that is said to have first found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and southern China. In the wild, it is now extinct.
For its unique fruit, it is commercially produced in many tropical and sub-tropical locations across the world. It can also be used as a multi-branched decorative tree.
What Kind of Fruit Is Carambola?
A sweet and sour fruit, Carambola has a five-pointed star form. Its peel is edible, and the meat has a mild, sour flavor that makes it versatile in cooking.
The hue of the star fruit is yellow or green. There are two varieties of it: a smaller, tart variant and a bigger, sweeter one.
The flavor is a mix of apple, grape, and citrus, with a crisp texture. Due to its distinctive star form, the fruit may be eaten fresh and is frequently used in salads and as a garnish.
When choosing a star fruit, make sure it is completely yellow. Then set it on your counter to mature until the fruit turns amber and the ribs start to brown. When fully grown, your Star Fruit may produce up to 200 pounds of fruit every year.
Growing Carambola 101
Star fruit trees thrive in subtropical and tropical climates and grow slowly, reaching a height of 20 to 30 feet with a low, wide trunk and a bushy, curved canopy. Although established trees may tolerate a few cold snaps without harm, temperatures below 27°F are likely to destroy new seedlings.
Tips for Growing Carambola
Subtropical and tropical conditions are ideal. Zones 10–11, however it may be cultivated in zone 9 using frost protection. Although older trees are more frost resistant, development ceases at 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and prolonged stay at conditions below freezing can kill the tree.
Best Varieties for the Backyard
Because of its sweeter flavor, Arkin is by far the most widely cultivated cultivar. Carambola trees range in height and width from 12 to 30 feet tall, depending on the type. They are a little tree that is ideal for the backyard of the ordinary homeowner.
Malaysia, Indonesia, and southern China are home to this species. Hawaii, Florida, and other tropical parts of the world currently produce commercially.
4 to 5 times a annually with a balanced liquid fertilizer or multiple times during the growth season with a slow secretion granular fertilizer.
Star Fruit thrives when watered on a regular basis. During the rainy season, no further watering is required.
Plant in direct sunlight. Trees thrive in areas where they are shielded or protected from the wind.
Carambolas aren’t picky about soil types, although people with greater organic matter grow quicker and yield more fruit. It requires adequate drainage and dislikes damp feet.
The Arkin cultivar is now available for purchase in the Garden Shoppe, and the Fwang Tung and Arkin kinds are grown on the Estates grounds.
Storage and Packaging
Fruit should be chilled after harvesting and kept within 39 and 41°F with a relative humidity of 90 to 95 percent. Depending on the harvest time and quality, carambola can be kept for 21 to 35 days. Due to the sensitivity of the fruit, it is carefully packaged in foam or plastic sleeves to avoid harm to the star points during delivery.
How to Eat Carambola
If you don’t know how to eat star fruit, you might be hesitant to try it. Here’s how to consume star fruit quickly:
- Check to see whether it’s ripe; a mature star fruit will be mostly yellow with a few traces of green.
- Clean the fruit by rinsing it in water.
- Remove the ends.
- Cut it up.
- Remove the seeds before eating.
This fruit may be included in your diet in a variety of ways, including:
- Slice it up and eat it by itself.
- It’s great in salads and other light meals.
- It can be used as a garnish.
- Make pies or puddings with it.
- It’s great in Asian or Indian stews and curries.
- It pairs well with seafood and shellfish meals.
- Make chutney, jam, or jelly.
- Make a beverage out of it by juicing it.
Types of Carambola
Carambolas come in two flavors: sweet and sour. They have been grown for generations in Southeast Asia (countries such as Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and India). However, trees were first planted in Florida over a century ago.
Fruit from early imports in Florida was mostly sour. Seeds from Taiwan, Thailand, and Malaysia were brought more recently, and sweet cultivars were chosen.
Here are some popular foods and beverages you can make using Carambola:
Star Fruit Quencher
The highlight of this beverage is the star fruit, or carambola, which tastes like a combination of pear, apple, and citrus fruits. The entire fruit can be consumed. It’s pureed and filtered here to make a delectable, aromatic juice.
Star Fruit Chips
These chips are truly somewhere in the middle of dried fruit and sweets. The flavor is sweet-tart and spiced with a touch of ginger, with crispy edges and somewhat chewy interiors.
They’re ideal for munching. You may produce batches, and they’ll all vanish in no time. As a bonus, you’ll have starfruit syrup, which is fantastic in cocktails and lemonade.
Star Fruit Upside-Down Cake
Carambola tastes similar to apple in this cake. As a result, it is best made with warm autumn spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. The tropical fruit is high in fiber and vitamin C, as well as serving as a conversation starter.
This cake will be a hit with the kids. When flipped, the naturally-formed star fruit begins from the bottom of the pan, caramelizing in brown sugar, and finishing up as a tasty and charming ornament on the top of the cake. Allow youngsters to decorate the cake with pomegranate seeds to provide a unique touch.
Teriyaki Chicken With Star Fruit
Thinly sliced starfruit on top of seared chicken highlights the fruit’s stunning form while also adding crisp texture to the meal. Finally, serve the chicken with cilantro and sesame seeds as a garnish.
Star Fruit Jam
You can enjoy making exciting and delicious jams at any time of the year. We know you’ll find lots of applications for this delectable jam recipe, whether it’s to fill your breakfast or to give as a present this holiday season. This carambola jam is and unique and entertaining way to get your everyday fruit servings.
Prepare this juice to heighten your sense of taste. Most of you probably haven’t had this juice before. Trust me, you will be swept away by the refreshing flavor of this beautiful drink when you sip it.
Creatine monohydrate can be added just for the increased energy it gives. However, be cautious with such substance because it might produce adverse effects or complicate pre-existing problems.
A classic Goan recipe is the Carambola sweet and spicy pickle, also known as karmalache goad mel. This nutritious, preservative-free Indian recipe for star fruit chutney is prepared with jaggery.
This summer, try making Starfruit Pickle, a new and unusual Indian pickle recipe! It’s like your favorite mango pickle, but with a mix of starfruit. It’s simple to make, addicting, and only takes a few pantry staples.
Carambola Iced Tea
Carambola, often known as star fruit, is a naturally beautiful fruit. Its unique form is chilled and added to this refreshing iced tea, which is ideal for warm days. This recipe for star fruit cocktail is simple to make and quite cooling on a summer day.
Heath Benefits of Carambola
According to preliminary studies, star fruit may aid in the prevention of cancer. The fruit’s fibre helps to lessen toxins, lowering your risk of cancer.
This fruit’s strong antioxidant content makes it an effective anti-inflammatory that can assist with psoriasis and dermatitis symptoms.
Promotion of Weight Loss
Star fruit’s high fiber content might help you lose weight by speeding up your metabolism. You may also eat star fruit as a delightful snack without fretting about gaining weight. This is because each serving is minimal in calories.
Vitamin C is abundant in star fruit, ensuring that your body produces the proper amount of white blood cells for a healthy immune system.
Better Lung and Respiratory Health
This fruit’s anti-inflammatory properties can aid in the relief of a sore throat. Its juice cuts through mucous and phlegm, making it a renowned remedy for respiratory infections and overall health.
Carambola is a tasty fruit. It’s low in calories and high in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C.
Before eating this fruit, however, those with renal issues or those using prescription medicines should check with a doctor. Nevertheless, it is a nutritious and delightful supplement to add to most people’s diets.