If you've yet to develop a passion for the tart and aromatic passion fruit, part of the reason might be that it is unfamiliar, and you're not exactly sure how it's served. Don't miss out on passion fruit benefits — be in the know about easy ways to eat this tropical fruit.
Passion Fruit Taste by Color
Passion fruit comes in two colors — purple and golden. Although both types of passion fruit originated in South America, according to the American Indian Health and Diet Project, you'll find this beloved fruit cultivated throughout the world. Hybrid varieties of the two are more resistant to disease, and produce red or orange fruit, according to the University of California.
Passion fruit contains approximately 17.5 calories per fruit, according to the USDA. The 4 grams of carbohydrates, 1.87 grams of fiber and 2 grams of sugar, per fruit, make passion fruit nutrition easy to incorporate into any diet.
Both colors of fruits have a musky, guava-like aroma and a sweet-tart to tart taste. They're filled with dozens of tiny seeds, which are entirely edible. Yellow passion fruits are generally larger and more acidic; purple ones are juicier, with a more intense flavor and aroma.
Read more: Top 10 Healthiest Fruits and Vegetables
Discover Passion Fruit Nutrition
Passion fruit nutrition is chock full of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, making it an ideal snack when you've got a craving for something a bit sweet and tart. According to the USDA, each fruit serves up:
- Calcium, 2.16 milligrams
- Iron, 0.288 milligrams
- Magnesium, 5.22 milligrams
- Phosphorus, 12.2 milligrams
- Potassium, 62.6 milligrams
- Sodium, 5.04 milligrams
- Zinc, 0.02 milligrams
- Copper, 0.02 milligrams
- Selenium, 0.11 micrograms
- Vitamin A, 11.5 micrograms
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), 0.023 milligrams
- Vitamin B3 (niacin), 0.27 milligrams
- Vitamin B6, 0.018 milligrams
- Vitamin B9 (folate), 2.52 micrograms
- Vitamin C, 5.4 milligrams
- Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), 0.004mg
- Vitamin K (phylloquinone), 0.126 milligrams
- Beta carotene, 134 micrograms
- Choline, 1.37 milligrams
- Beta cryptoxanthin, 7.38 micrograms
It's little wonder that passion fruit was historically used medicinally. Known for having a soothing, calming effect, the fruit was traditionally used as a sedative and digestive aid by South Americans, according to the American Indian Health and Diet Project.
Slice and Scoop
Whether you want to eat your passion fruit raw, or add it as an ingredient to a recipe, prepping it is as easy as slicing it in half and scooping out its tender pulp, seeds and all. Use a spoon to deliver the tart and tasty fruit directly to your tongue, or roll out the flesh and seeds into a bowl, for use in a culinary creation.
Read more: 3-Day Fruit and Vegetable Diet
Make a passion fruit dressing by combining the pulp and seeds from two fruits with 100 milliliters of coconut milk in a saucepan, and cooking it down until it's syrupy. Strain out the seeds, and add the juice of a half-lime, and sugar to taste, according to this recipe from Le Cordon Bleu. This prestigious school for chefs uses the dressing to top a salad with fennel, avocado and pomegranate, and accompanying grilled scallops. Reserve some seeds to top the mixture, if you like.
Blend It Up
One of the most common ways to enjoy the fruit is to add it to your smoothie, for a passion fruit drink with a tropical flair. But adding the pulp to a blender filled with delicious ingredients isn't the only way to enjoy it in liquid form.
Squeeze the pulp through two thicknesses of cheesecloth, or press it through a strainer, to remove the juice, according to Purdue University. You can thin the liquid with water, or other juices, such as pineapple, or orange, to make a fruity beverage.
Boil the pulp and juice until thick, to make a simple syrup, and then strain it well. Use the syrup as a flavoring for cakes, pies, gelato and other desserts. Make it into jelly or combine it with tomato or pineapple to create a deliciously unique jam.
Don't be afraid to buy lots of passion fruit when you see it on sale. Freeze the juice for up to a year, and enjoy passion fruit flavor in any season.
- American Indian Health and Diet Project: "Passion Fruit"
- University of California Cooperative Extension: "Passion Fruit"
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Data Central: "Passion Fruit, Raw"
- Purdue University: "Passion Fruit Food Uses"
- Cordon Bleu: "Recipe — Grilled Scallops, Fennel, Avocado and Pomegranate Salad, Passion Fruit Dressing, Sesame Tuile"