The Kiwi Fruit or Chinese Gooseberry is botanically recognised as Actinidia deliciosa of the Family Actinidiaceae. Despite its commonly recognised name (Kiwi Fruit) it is a Native of China. There are many hybrids of the Kiwi Fruit all bred for their own individual characteristics.

The fruit of the Chinese Gooseberry is recognised as the same name (Chinese Gooseberry or Kiwi Fruit). The fruit is a berry around the size of a small lemon (a little smaller than a tennis ball). The skin is approaching a khaki brown/green colour and is coated with a fibrous coating resembling hairs. Its skin is paper thin covering a light to mid green fleshy centre with small black seeds, which are edible.

Kiwi Fruit plants are dioecious meaning, they have both male and female plants. A single vine is not able to bear fruit with out its opposite sexual partner.

The name Kiwi fruit originated when exporters in New Zealand gave the fruit is now common “nickname” around the middle of the 20th Century. I have recently discovered it was once also known as Melonette – referring to its texture being similar to a melon only much smaller.

Nutritionally, Kiwi Fruit is high in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin K, they contain small amounts of Thiamine (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3) and Folate (Vitamin B9). They are also a rich source of Vitamin E.

They contain several minerals including Manganese, Zinc, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorous, calcium and Iron. Kiwi Fruit is low in fat and high in Carbohydrates and Dietary Fibre.

Kiwi fruit are great for digestion and for assistance in maintaining regularity of bowel function. They can assist in the reduction of cholesterol and aid in the prevention of heart disease.

The high vitamin C levels and notable spectrum of Vitamin B can assist in the prevention and treatment of colds and flu and may assist increase energy levels associated with the draining effects of colds and flu.

Kiwi Fruit is a very versatile food. It can be incorporated into many sweet and savoury dishes and used fresh in salads.

- Great chutney can be made with Kiwi fruit as the main ingredient or in combination with other fruits.

- Jam and sweet conserves can be made with the Chinese Gooseberry. I recently found a recipe for a kiwi fruit syrup for topping icecream sundaes and for flavouring milkshakes.

- Kiwi Fruit is great in Fruit salads, or tossed in mix green leaf salads with rocket leaves, beetroot leaves and young spinach.

- Thinly sliced Kiwi fruit is an excellent topping on Cakes and Pavlovas or served in a bowl of icecream or fruit pudding.

- Kiwi Fruit is also great straight from the vine.

Author's Bio: 

Eric J. Smith is an Experienced Horticulturalist with a keen interest in Organic Gardening. Eric's interest in Organics also shows in his interest in Organic Nutrition and Organic Skincare. More information can be found on these by visiting his websites http://www.buy-organic-products.com/health/ or http://www.lifestyle-health-services.com. Subscribe to Eric's FREE Health and Organic Newsletters via these websites.